Measuring employee engagement is a tricky but hugely important part of any business. When conducting a company-wide employee engagement survey, it is vital that you use the right questions to accurately assess an employee’s emotions regarding their job. Chatbots utilising artificial intelligence can help convert your stale staff surveys into engaging conversations that will help you measure and improve employee engagement.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Before we get to measuring employee engagement, let’s take a step back and look at exactly what it is. Employee engagement is a way to understand and describe the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees. This should be done both qualitatively and quantitatively.
An engaged employee is someone who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work so will take positive action to further the organizations reputation and interests. It also has a lot to do with the employee’s emotions. Kevin Kruse from Forbes.com states;
“Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.”
The job is more than just a pay cheque and engaged employees are passionate about their work.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Better engagement means better productivity. It has been proven many times. According to Towers Perrin research, companies with engaged workers have 6% higher net profit margins and according to Kenexa research, engaged companies have five times higher shareholder returns over five years.
Employee engagement has a positive effect on things like performance, retention and innovation. Engaged employees deliver better results and are more likely to be loyal to your company. Employee engagement surveys allow teams to capture employee feedback at scale, representing the collective voices of your employee base, rather than just focusing on the voices of the loudest few.
If you don’t measure employee engagement, then you have no real way to take informed action on improving the culture within your company or the experiences of people at work. If you don’t give your employees the platform to express their feedback then they can often take to social media to voice opinions.
How To Measure Employee Engagement
Most employees turn up at work without complaining and get along with the job at hand but just because they may appear content does not necessarily make them feel engaged. It is also worth pointing about that ‘Employee Engagement’ and ‘Employee Satisfaction’ are not the same thing. A satisfied employee is not necessarily a highly engaged employee who will go the extra mile. A highly engaged employee beats a satisfied one any day of the week.
So how can you actually measure employee engagement? The key to finding out how engaged your employees are is to use an engaging survey! You need to ensure you are asking the right questions and at the right frequency.
What Questions Should I Ask?
The key is to focus on the areas that actually have an impact on the employee experience and performance. It might be nice to know how your employees travel to work every day but does it really make any difference? You can use metric questions such as an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) to help provide a reflection of how satisfied this person is at their job. If they are unhappy at work, there is not much chance of them recommending the company to their friends.
It is important you find out how they feel about their career path and development to ensure you are not only keeping them engaged with the company but that you are also maximising their ability. Understand how they feel about their work-life balance to ensure there are no signals of an impending burnout.
Try also to go beyond simple metrics and find out about the emotional connection they have with your company. Ask open ended questions to allow employees to fully express themselves and utilise sentiment and text analytics to identify positive and negative trends.
Using Artificial Intelligence To Transform Employee Engagement
AI is playing a growing role in all areas of business and employee engagement is no exception. If you want to collect feedback at scale but offer a more personalised interaction, then AI is the missing piece of the puzzle. AI can take the place of a human interviewer by automatically probing for more information or routing the survey down different paths depending on the responses the employee is giving. Understanding the topic they are discussing and the sentiment they are expressing allows you to delve deeper than a traditional survey could offer.
Below is a link to an example employee engagement using Wizu conversational surveys. You can see how the bot will vary its reactions and follow up questions based on the responses provided.
Every company should be measuring employee engagement but the way you measure can actually impact on the results. If you send out a basic 2 question survey with no personalisation then you are essentially telling the employees that you don’t think their voice is important. Give them the freedom to express how they feel and collect metrics and responses around key areas in the business. This will help the employees feel more connected to the company and provide much better insight into the areas that you can improve.