Time and time again, workplace studies have shown that employee engagement has a huge impact across a whole range of aspects of an organization. With all the components of employee engagement addressed in a carefully considered strategy, you can improve internal performance as well as promote a positive external image of your brand.
There are several different types of employee engagement factors to consider regardless of what kind of model you opt to implement within your business. Here, we’ll take you through the 11 most important areas. Many of these are interlinked, which is why it’s important to adopt a cohesive model rather than one that is overly siloed.
1. What Is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the emotional and mental commitment an individual has with your company and its objectives. When an employee is fully engaged, they are likely to exhibit higher productivity, energy and morale, going beyond the minimum requirements of their job without prompting.
2. What are 3Cs of Employee Engagement?
You can broadly consider 3 components of employee engagement: cognitive (understanding and identifying with the goals of the organization), emotional (feeling supported and engaged by peers and managers) and physical (the actual elbow grease people put into their work).
3. 11 Key Components of Employee Engagement
Every level of leadership plays a crucial role in keeping staff involved and enthused. This begins with the executive team, who need to clearly define the company mission and set the tone for the rest of the business. If the higher ups are enthusiastic and inspiring, it will filter down through the rest of the organization.
Staff trust in leadership and effective communication from managers both have an enormous impact on employee retention. It’s important for team leaders to act as mentors and coaches for their hires, providing acknowledgement of successes as well as offering training where there are gaps in skills.
3.2 Internal Communications
Keeping everyone in the loop about developments at the business is a good way to build trust and transparency. When people feel they are being actively involved and consulted about changes or updates at a company, they tend to be more engaged and motivated.
Internal communication should be thought of as a two-way street. Through pulse surveys and other polls, you can monitor employee sentiment and identify areas which may be impacting employee engagement negatively.
Additionally, internal communications can be used to support other key components of employee engagement, such as company vision, corporate social responsibility and work culture.
3.3 Work Culture
A company’s workplace culture is defined by the values and principles it promotes. The way you communicate, the way you recognize contributions, the way you structure your organization’s hierarchy – all these contribute to the profile of your workplace culture.
Some ways you can build a strong work culture are to clearly define policies around work-life balance, advocate for diversity and inclusion, and establish a robust employee recognition program. All these create a nurturing environment in which to attract and retain top talent.
Don’t forget the importance of organizing team bonding activities or social get togethers, as a friendly office, whether virtual or physical, can really set the character of a brand.
3.4 Rewards and Recognition
Employees in an office with high levels of recognition are 2.7 times more likely to say they feel engaged at work. There are many different forms you can demonstrate recognition in your company, whether through regular performance reviews, walls of fame, annual accolades or peer-to-peer praise on platforms like Kudos.
You can also build your own rewards schema, incentivizing staff to achieve their objectives and key results (OKRs) through performance-related bonuses, gift vouchers and other attractive perks. Software like Reward Gateway, for example, can even help you automate the process, increasing employee engagement using minimal personnel resources.
Adjacent to rewards and recognition, feedback is one of the most important stages of employee engagement. In general, a process of continuous feedback has been shown to be the most effective way of driving performance, but annual reviews or quarterly check-ins may be more appropriate in your company setting.
When staff receive constructive feedback about their work and conduct, they are able to improve their skills and capabilities. This can be closely tied to achieving their personal development goals.
Feedback can also be an indicator to workers that managers are paying attention to their attainments and investing time in their development. Both these factors drive engagement.
3.6 Company Vision and Values
Another of the key components of employee engagement is convincing staff to believe in a company’s vision and values. This in turn can lead staff to become advocates and ambassadors for a brand, both within the business and without, whether in conversations with colleagues, meetings with clients or on social media.
A clear set of guiding principles are useful in defining what an organization stands for. Once you have these, you can then explain to people why they should work for your company and the kind of positive impact you hope to have on the world.
3.7 Ownership of Tasks
While you might think that increased accountability and responsibilities would have a negative impact on staff in terms of stress, the overall pros greatly outweigh the cons. Data shows that individuals crave autonomy in the workplace for a number of reasons.
First, being given ownership of tasks allows them a greater degree of control, giving them the agency, they need to succeed. When staff can make their own choices about how to proceed, they have a greater opportunity to explore creative solutions and self-direct their workload. This in turn increases job satisfaction and motivation, while also developing leadership qualities.
3.8 Employee Performance
This component of employee engagement refers to how well an individual fulfills the duties and objectives of their role. People are naturally more likely to enjoy their jobs if they are knocking it out of the park. Achieving milestones and meeting quotas should be backed up by timely praise from managers.
To bolster employee performance, make sure you are providing people with the resources they need to succeed. There’s nothing more frustrating and demoralizing for staff than attempting to give it their all but finding themselves hamstrung by a lack of the necessary tools.
3.9 Personal Development
Continuous personal development is a cornerstone of employee engagement. One study found that 80% of people would feel more engaged if they had access to relevant learning and development opportunities at work. Personal development can breed higher levels of confidence in your workforce, who are more likely to stay with you if they feel there are still pathways open to them to hone their skills.
Some companies choose to purchase a learning management system (LMS), complete with a whole package of digital courses covering a range of capabilities. Alternatively, you can be more selective with the sessions you offer by first interviewing staff to find what they feel would most benefit their ability to perform their role.
3.10 Career Growth
According to a LinkedIn report, 94% would stay with a company if it invested in their career development. Career growth is about showing your staff that they have opportunities within the business to advance. That might not necessarily mean constant promotions – although promotions are a good incentive when it comes to employee engagement. Instead, think about other ways that workers can be given a sense that they are attaining greater responsibilities, perhaps through ownership of tasks. Learning and development can also give individuals a sense of growth.
Managers should take the time to hold annual, biannual or even quarterly discussions with their team to ask them how they see their future and what their ultimate goals are. With these targets in mind, a roadmap can be created together that elucidates what needs to be done to reach career objectives.
3.11 Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the components of employee engagement that has grown the most in importance in the past few years. Staff need to feel they are working for a business that takes its obligations towards wider societal issues seriously in order to feel motivated.
Employee activism generally is on the rise, with specific concerns around the environment highly influential (46% of workers believe it should be a CSR priority). Consulting your staff about what’s most important to them is a good way to involve them in the process and maintain their enthusiasm. You can also consider implementing policies like volunteer days in the office.
4. Employee Engagement Metrics to Watch out For!
4.1 Employee Net Provider Score (eNPS)
This particular employee engagement metric is based on Net promoter scores which are used to measure the satisfaction and loyalty of customers. Though with a couple of minor tweaks in the kind of questions asked, progressive employers who are looking to foster an environment that is employee centric rather than customer-centric, have been collecting information about employee engagement as well.
So, how it works is that a simple question is asked like- “How happy are you with your current role?” The employees answer on a scale of 1-10. On this scale anyone answering between 0-6 is termed a detractor, 7 & 8 are termed passive, and finally, 9 & 10 are called promoters. The final employee net provider score is calculated by subtracting the detractors from promoters and then dividing it by the number of respondents.
eNPS = (Promoters - Detractors)
4.2 Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is the amount of workload that an employee has during the week. Also, do check whether or not it can be achieved realistically within working hours. Too much work can lead to burning out which is a big detractor when calculating employee engagement metrics. Burning out is a detractor as it shows that people are exhausted because of work, which leads to low productivity and engagement.
This can be easily resolved by keeping track of the workload amongst the team using timesheets, hour tracking, and employee monitoring software. Constant surveys also help you see whether people are at risk of overwork. This is also how you ensure that the workload is evenly distributed, and employee engagement remains high.
Questions like - “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your workload?” help you understand their work-life balance better.
4.3 Professional Development
Growth is the biggest driving force behind employees today. They prioritize learning, making connections, and moving ahead professionally as one of the biggest attractions to any job irrespective of their position. It is the knowledge that they collect from the job that helps them grow further.
Failure to provide your employees with learning development opportunities can lead to the loss of top talent. So how do you measure this? A survey is the best way to do so. Include questions like- “Do you think you receive opportunities to further your talents in the organization?” in your surveys to gauge the workforce better.
4.4 Workplace Recognition
Recognition is another aspect that impacts the overall success of your organization as well as an essential employee engagement metric. A culture of recognition is one where employees are recognized for their contributions which in turn makes them feel valued and perform even better the next time around.
So, how do you measure this particular metric? well, a survey is always helpful. You can design a pulse survey with questions like - “Do you feel valued at work” & “Is recognition given on time” to see where you can improve this aspect of working for your employees.
If people take a large number of leaves for no valid reason, then the company has an engagement issue. A team member taking a vacation sets off a chain of events with other employees having to cover for the one who isn’t there, which in turn can hamper their work, thus leading to a bad employee experience.
If this happens once or twice, it's fine, but if absenteeism is a chronic issue in your organization, you need to consider taking steps to manage and streamline work better. A high absenteeism rate has a direct impact on the growth rate as well as both the work, as well as employee morale, gets hampered.
This particular metric is individually calculated for every employee. The most common way to calculate absenteeism is;
Absenteeism rate = Number of absent days
Number of working days
4.6 Retention Rate
Retention rate refers to the number of people who stay in the organization beyond their notice period. This signals high engagement with the organization. A good retention rate provides two major benefits to the organization. On one hand, it helps keep the recruitment costs down as hiring a new employee is an expensive endeavor and secondly, it keeps productivity high as people fit in and understand the internal process better.
You can calculate the retention rate by;
Retention rate = Total number of employees - Employees who leave
—----------------------------- X 100
Total number of employees
4.7 Work Culture
A good work culture is one that is transparent and inclusive. It allows people to have an open conversation. It is an essential pillar in attracting and retaining employees. This is another factor that is slightly abstract when it comes to changing it into a metric to understand.
The easiest way to do it is with the help of questions like - “Are you happy with the work?” & “Do you find it easy to connect with people socially in the workspace ?” in a survey. These questions will be more along the lines of a yes/no answer, allowing you to compile the data with ease.
Here alignment refers to whether or not an employee can relate to the larger organizational goals. For a company to grow, an employee’s goals need to be in tandem with the organization. This way they will see their work as essential to the organization providing them with an intrinsic motivation to go above and beyond when it comes to accomplishing goals.
A basic survey i.e an employee happiness survey will once again help you understand your employees better. Include questions like- “Do you agree with the organizational values and do you believe they align with your personal values?”
4.9 Compensation and Benefits
Compensation is one of the most basic metrics along which you can judge employee engagement. Employees who are rightly compensated for their job are known to be much more engaged with their work than their underpaid counterparts. In case you are not providing them with fair compensation, you will see a high turnover rate.
But how do you know you are providing the right compensation? There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Always be attuned to the industry average and also the cost of living in your areas. Another way to gauge if you are paying your employees a fair amount is through a survey. Include questions like- “Are you satisfied with the process used to calculate pay in the organization?”
4.10 Employee Performance
Employees who are engaged are bound to work better. So, just a simple assessment of your employee's performance will allow you to have a better understanding of the employee engagement metrics.
There are four aspects you need to check out when looking at employee performance-
- Quality metrics (e.g. number of errors): This refers to the quality of the work being produced.
2. Quantity metrics (sales, units produced): The volume of the work which is dependent on the industry in question.
3. Efficiency metrics: The effort and amount being invested to get the desired results.
4. Organizational metrics (ROI): How well the organization is performing as a whole.
4.11 Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is an understanding of external factors like the work environment and benefits. A satisfied employee is one who feels that all aspects of their work are in alignment, and they want to put their best foot forward every time.
An easy way to understand employee satisfaction is with the help of a survey. There are two kinds of surveys you can run. The first is a pulse survey that you can send out at regular intervals and the second is an annual survey which is done once a year.
The questions in the survey would be:
- Do you feel your job allows you to use your skills?
- Are you happy with the career path you are on within the company?
- Do you have a healthy working relationship with your manager?
Having autonomy over work allows employees to have better results. An often overlooked aspect of employee engagement is the manager they are working with; No employee wants to be micromanaged. If they are constantly being nagged about work their focus is not on the quality of work but rather on how to avoid the nagging. This is detrimental to both the employee as well the organization.
So, ensure that you have good managers at the helm of your different departments. This metric can be figured out through surveys. A pulse survey designed to understand the relationship between managers and employees will help you do so.
4.13 Customer Satisfaction
Constantly track your customer satisfaction rates, they are a great indicator of how your employees are doing. High engagement rates will directly reflect in the interactions employees have with customers. A good customer review can be
This metric is not 100% foolproof though. There are going to be times when customers will be happy but employees burnt out, so do approach this one with a certain level of moderation.
4.14 Employer Review Site Ratings
Ratings have a massive impact on what kind of talent to end up attracting to your organization. Before people walk in to do an interview with your organization they will read reviews. Considering Glassdoor is the industry leader in gauging workplace satisfaction. So, keep a look out for these reviews you will be able to gain valuable insights that might not be easy to get otherwise around.
Other employee review sites include Indeed, Career Bliss, Job Advisor, and Job Case
4.15 Employee Engagement Surveys
Finally, if you are looking at employee engagement metrics, you need to talk about employee engagement surveys. These are the most straightforward ways to be able to get the information you are looking for. Once a year doing an annual survey with all the employees and the questions stated above will allow you to understand where you need to improve and where you are doing fine.
- Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?
Increased productivity, higher morale and reduced absenteeism are all characteristics of employee engagement. One way to think about it is with the 4 elements of employee engagement: enablement (providing necessary resources for every job role), energy (understanding how to motivate and inspire), empowerment (allowing for self-directed working) and encouragement (implementing a rewards and recognition framework).
- Why Is It Important That Employees Be Engaged at Work?
Levels of employee engagement determine how loyal and how hard-working your staff will be. If there is little attention paid to strong leadership, work culture or feedback, there will be a commensurate drop off in performance