Many employee surveys focus on employee satisfaction, as it is assumed that satisfied, happy employees will be more productive and have higher retention rates. However, increasing research evidence has shown that a more telling determinant of productivity and performance is employee engagement.
Engaged employees are more than just satisfied with their jobs; they are committed to the company and its goals. They have passion, pride and energy for their work and their organization, and are willing to go the extra mile on a regular basis. Employees who are truly engaged stay because they enjoy their work and support the company; disengaged employees stay simply for a paycheck, favorable working conditions or job security. Employees can enjoy their work and be satisfied without being necessarily engaged.
Measuring Employee Engagement
An employee engagement survey is a great starting place for addressing this issue. Many consulting firms (including The Bailey Group) offer such surveys, but you can also create and conduct one on your own. In order to be effective, it is important to examine all aspects of the worker’s job, environment and involvement with the organization, including their opinions on management, direct supervisors, coworkers, employer-employee communication, opportunity for advancement, job characteristics and HR policies. The following are sample questions to help you get started in crafting an engagement survey:
- Do you know what is expected of you at work?
- At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
- Do you receive recognition or praise for a job well done?
- Do you have a positive relationship with your immediate supervisor?
- Do you trust your immediate supervisor?
- Do you trust the upper management of your company?
- Do you receive consistent feedback on your work?
- Are you held accountable for your progress and performance?
- At work, do your opinions seem to count?
- Do you understand how your job relates to the company’s mission/goals?
- Are your fellow employees committed to doing quality work?
- Do you have a close friend at work?
- Are there professional learning and development opportunities within your organization?
It’s important to remember that measuring these factors is not enough. Once a survey is conducted, you must analyze the results and tie them to strategic initiatives to address problem areas. Conducting any survey is futile without taking action based on the results. By identifying areas that are hindering employee engagement, your company can focus on improving those areas to strive toward a more engaged, productive, profitable workforce.