While most managers spend a lot of time giving feedback to employees, it’s all too often a one-way street. Getting the perspectives of your employees in the workplace is one of the best ways to help increase employee engagement. Engaged employees are the ones that solve problems, cheer on their team, and put in a little bit of extra effort when it’s necessary. They’re the backbone of a successful company, and successful companies foster engagement every chance they get.
But first, it’s important to define what employee engagement is—and what it’s not.
What is Employee Engagement?
Engagement is when employees are passionate about their work and care about the organization. It’s the intrinsic motivation beyond money that drives them to do a stellar job. Having happy and satisfied employees are often prerequisites for having engaged employees, but they’re not the same thing. For example, a happy employee might also be a complacent or even lazy worker. An engaged employee gets the job done.
Why Measuring Employee Engagement is Important
A lot of employers make the mistake of thinking that employee engagement is something that is intrinsic to certain employees. While it’s true that people’s work ethic can vary, engagement is also intrinsic to a workplace. Healthy workplaces nurture engagement, while unhealthy workplaces erode it. Collecting feedback from employees can help you understand how well your workplace supports engagement.
Employee engagement programs fail when managers don’t collect feedback and focus on the wrong solutions. Having a foosball table is great, but if your employees are suffering from burnout, they’ll only use it to escape doing real work. Employees are your best resource when it comes to creating a culture of engagement at work.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
The first step to improving employee engagement is to give your employees the right venue to tell you about their experience of your workplace. Employees that are worried about their jobs might not be as forthright as you’d like them to be in meetings with management. Giving them a way to submit discreet or even anonymous feedback is the best way to get the real scoop on what needs improvement.
ViewPoint feedback kiosks can be placed in strategic spots around the office, to give employees a way to answer a quick survey whenever they have a few minutes to spare. It also offers employees a chance to give feedback at any time, while the issues are fresh. That means feedback can be an ongoing conversation, where employees give feedback continually, and management continually responds. While an annual survey can give you an overall feel for how you’ve improved year over year, an ongoing dialogue lets you fix minor issues before they become major ones.
Asking the Right Questions
Recent Gallup research has identified 12 different elements of employee engagement and designed survey questions for each one. It’s possible to put these questions into three broad categories that predict employee engagement: a supportive work environment, matching the right employee to the right job, and creating a sense of community. Here’s a little more about what each of those categories looks like, plus some specific questions you can ask for each one:
Supportive work environment:
A supportive work environment means employees have the basic tools, resources, and support to thrive at their jobs. A lot of managers try to make their workplace fun, but it’s wasted effort if there are problems with these more basic issues. Clear expectations, frequent feedback, and opportunities for growth are all essential for employee engagement.
The right employee in the right job:
It’s difficult to feel engaged when you’re doing the wrong job for your skillset. Most managers focus on finding the right fit only when they’re hiring, but in doing so, they miss a valuable opportunity. Understanding that employees grow and change, and supporting that growth, is vital to maintaining engagement. That doesn’t always have to mean a promotion either—sometimes it can be an opportunity to take classes, to attend a conference, or to switch to a different department.
Sense of community at work:
It turns out that happy hour, cake day, and fun runs aren’t just a distraction from actual work—they foster engagement. Employees who feel like their supervisor and coworkers care about them are more likely to want to help out their team. When coworkers know each other a little, they’ll feel safer sharing opinions, ideas, and concerns more freely. Recent research from Harvard Business Review suggests that most workers crave more meaningful work, and that community is one way to cultivate that meaning.
Following Up on Survey Results
As with any survey, follow up is key. Real-time data and instant notifications from ViewPoint kiosks can help managers follow up on any urgent issues. The dashboard summary gives a top-down view of employee responses, making it easy to strategize and pivot when current plans aren’t working.
Metrics on their own won’t solve employee engagement issues; it’s what you do with them that counts. Companies with successful engagement programs are the ones that are willing to do the tough work of changing management practices to support engagement. When you’ve identified an issue, sit down with your employees or management team and figure out what you need to do to improve. First and foremost, a good employee engagement program requires engagement from the people running it.
About ViewPoint customer feedback solutions
ViewPoint helps organisations to radically improve the quality of their services. Our interactive feedback technology engages with consumers, patients, employees, and any other stakeholders, to understand their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience they encountered.
Our unique smiley face surveys attract, engage, and encourage users to leave their thoughts. Four reasons feedback kiosks are the preferred feedback collection method:
- Lower cost customer survey solution
- Suitable for all environments
- Reliable and always on
- Highly accurate insights
Find out more about how real-time surveys can help you assess customer and staffing issues, monitor improvements, and compare departments to deliver the best service possible.