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Engaged employees perform better. The best HR teams measure these six metrics to understand and improve employee engagement.
Are your employees engaged?
If employee engagement isn’t a top goal for your HR team, it probably should be.
Employee engagement has a significant impact on important business metrics like productivity, employee retention, and profitability. Yet despite all the data pointing to the importance of employee engagement, research shows that only 15% of global workers are engaged.
We highlight six employee engagement metrics that high-performing HR teams measure to answer that question, along with some tips on how to improve each one.
Your employee Net Promoter Score measures how your employees feel about your company. The underlying thought is that if an employee would recommend working at your company, they must enjoy their work and be engaged. eNPS relies on one simple question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [your company] as a place to work for your family and friends?”
Employees are split into three groups based on the number they select:
You calculate your eNPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters (ignoring the passives). Then, drop the percentage symbol for your score. A score between 0 and 30 is considered good, but what’s most important is that you are tracking how you compare over time. If your eNPS score is growing, your staff is becoming more satisfied and engaged.
Many companies follow up the core eNPS question with an open-ended question—like “Why did you choose that option?” — as a way to gather more actionable insights from their workforce.
eNPS surveys can give you insight into your current engagement, but you’ll need to work with your employees to understand how to improve. Some tips to improve eNPS include:
Your employees won’t stick around if they’re not engaged. Employee retention rate measures how long people stay employed at your company. There are two ways to look at employee retention in relation to engagement:
Retention is a complex issue because the reasons employees leave a job vary widely. However, there are a number of common actions you can take to help retain your employees:
Disengaged employees aren’t excited about their jobs, so it makes sense that they often have higher rates of absenteeism. Employees can and should take time off and use PTO to avoid burnout, but absenteeism is about measuring unexpected absences.
You can calculate your absence rate for an employee by dividing the number of days they were absent during a time period by the number of days they were scheduled to work in that period. For instance, if Helen was absent 5 days this quarter but was scheduled to work for 60 days, then her absence rate would be: (5/60)*100 = 8.33%.
High absenteeism can signal low engagement, but low absenteeism doesn’t necessarily mean your team is engaged. Presenteeism—when an employee is working, but not at full capacity due to illness, disengagement, or other factors—may cost businesses as much as 10 times more than absenteeism.
Life happens. Every employee will occasionally be absent, but how can you reduce the frequency of unplanned absences and limit the impact on your business? Start with these tips:|
Morale can feel like a nebulous thing. It’s about how your employees are feeling, what their outlook is, and how satisfied they are with their work. Many factors can impact morale, which is why it can be difficult to measure. But when members of your team are struggling with low morale, you can bet they aren’t engaged and they aren’t performing at their best.
The best way to track and improve employee morale is to keep a close eye on it. Taking your team’s morale ‘pulse’ every day enables you to quickly understand when people are feeling off.
That’s one of the reasons why we built Kona, a Slack integration that checks in on your team every day. It enables you to understand how they’re feeling, builds camaraderie across your team, and gives you real-time insights into where you can provide support.
eNPS (covered above) asks how likely your employees are to refer friends and family to work for you. That’s hypothetical. Measuring employee referral rate moves you out of the hypothetical into reality. If your team is disengaged, they’re probably not going to refer people they know to join your company.
There are several metrics you can use to measure the success of your employee referral program, including referral to hire rate, tenure of referrals, and average time to fill referrals. You can check your current rates against referral benchmarks to understand how you’re performing. If your numbers are lower than average, it’s a sign you need to improve your referral program and do some engagement work.
One of the reasons employee engagement is so vital is that it has a direct impact on productivity and performance. A seriously disengaged employee is never going to produce the same results as a highly engaged employee.
Your performance metrics are unique to your business and to each team, but tracking how they trend over time is an important employee engagement metric. If a team’s performance—quality, efficiency, goal achievement, etc.—suddenly starts to trend downwards, there’s a reason for it. That reason is frequently tied to employee engagement.
We can’t—and shouldn’t—tell you how to run your business. You know how to do that better than us. But we will suggest that you treat poor performance metrics as a warning sign that you might have engagement issues.
Engagement is often overlooked as a reason for poor performance. We’re quick to blame things like external factors, bad planning, or poor management. Those things can certainly play a role in a failure to perform, but a sign of a highly engaged team is that they’re often able to overcome barriers and adjust to obstacles.
If your team is struggling to achieve their goals, poor engagement might just be the culprit.
High-performing HR teams know that without the right data it’s hard to prescribe the right course of action. Start by picking a few of these metrics and tracking them over time. As opportunities become obvious, take thoughtful action to improve your employee engagement.