The need for employee engagement practices is well established across most forward looking organizations. Those who consider their human resources an asset and invest in them believe employee engagement is an important tool to achieving organizational development. There are several aspects one needs to focus on to make employee engagement a success. While there are the ideation and actually implementation of these practices, measurement and tracking are equally important. The objective is to monitor whether the practices undertaken are actually moving the needle or are they a mere tick in the box.
Measuring and tracking employee engagement practices
A constant question that most business leaders have for their people practices is “Are they really making a dent”? Unless there are specific metrics or indicators to track the efficacy of employee engagement practices, saying if they are really working stands on a slippery foundation. Here are a few practices that organizations can measure to comprehend the effectiveness:
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): Whether it is from the customer or the employee, net promoter score says a lot about an organization. If your employee engagement practices are actually working, employees should feel that this is a great place to work leading to a high eNPS. Put simply, eNPS comes from the score or the rating employees render when asked, “How likely are you to recommend a friend to work at your company”. The higher the score, the better employees feel about their organization. Generally on a scale of 0-10, those who rate between 0 and 10 are detractors while the remaining are promoters. Subtracting the number of promoters from the detractors and dividing it by the total number of respondents gives the eNPS. While a negative eNPS refers to a low level of engagement, the higher the score is on the positive ladder, the better is the effectiveness of the employee engagement practices.
Combination of Surveys: Most organizations rely on a particular type of survey to gauge the effectiveness of their employee engagement practices. While some leverage annual surveys, others use pulse surveys. However, an optimal approach is to focus on continuous measurement. It would help cover the recency bias and data lags of annual assessment as well as bridge the non comprehensive nature of pulse surveys which may not cover all that is needed. They are the perfect sweet spot to identify larger trends and give a bigger picture and gauge opinion at shorter intervals which is overall comprehensive. It is best to have a combination of open and closed ended questions as well as quantitative and qualitative nature. Finally, the surveys must be organization wide and not just limited to a sample population.
Continuous Active Listening: Finally, it is very important to keep a track of employee sentiments on a regular basis. What may not come out during surveys and other activities, comes out subtly during conversations. For instance, candid conversations with employees not directly on how engaged they feel, but around their wellness and happiness. Additionally, keeping a track of their absenteeism makes sense. It’s not simply important to determine how often an employee takes off, but what is genuinely the reason behind it, which comes from active listening. Therefore, it is extremely important to encourage a two-way communication to gauge if your employee engagement practices are actually working.
Leadership plays an important role
Most leaders believe that augmenting the effectiveness of the employee engagement practices is a responsibility of the HR in the team. However, the senior leadership and managers play an equally important role. Unless they build a strong relationship with their team members, active listening and surveys will not come out to be authentic. Managers need to lay the foundation where employees can authentically share their opinions and views about engagement without the worry of job losses or delayed appraisals. Additionally, organizations must experiment with online tools like SuperBeings that can facilitate constant engagement and practices to measure its effectiveness.