10 Ways to Measure True Employee Engagement (part two)

By: Chris Skaggs | @chrislskaggs


We recently published an article explaining the first five metrics that relate to employee engagement. When you think of “engaged employees,” these individuals are totally committed to and passionate about their work. More importantly, engaged employees are proactive about furthering the company’s mission, vision, and reputation.

Recognition, feedback, happiness, personal growth and satisfaction were the five metrics previously discussed. Glancing below, the remaining metrics will not only help a business flourish, it will also give your employees a sense of purpose to take that next step in giving back to an organization’s success.  For metrics 1 through 5, check-out part one of this series.

Work-life balance, work-life integration, work-life fit…these are all terms that have recently been thrown around when talking about today’s workplace. No matter what you call it, with the prevalence of mobile technology, our personal lives are blending more naturally into our professional lives. In our fast-paced, always-on society, it’s easy for people to get stressed.

Stress causes us to lose focus and increase irritability — negatively impacting all aspects of our lives. Employers that recognize this reality and build wellness programs around it — such as flexible hours, discretionary vacation, fitness allowances, healthy snacks in the office, massage days at work — create less stressed and more productive employees, who in turn are more engaged. 

One of the quickest ways to gut check your company culture is to look at your employee referral program, which may be the best indicator of a successful, thriving and envious company culture.

Your own employees — when engaged — can serve as your largest and most easily accessed recruiting pool. Employees who are actively recruiting their friends to work with them are engaged employees.

Does your manager sit in their office and never interact with you until you-know-what hits the fan? Expect engagement rates to plummet if this is the case.

Any successful relationship is built around good communication. Gallup found that engagement is highest among employees who have some form (face to face, phone or digital) of daily communication with their managers. Good managers and engaged employees have regular back-and-forth dialogue where they talk about more than work.

Employees in the U.S. arguably spend a majority of their waking hours with their co-workers — more so than family and friends. A generation ago, people would rarely imagine interacting with a co-worker in a social setting. Today, it’s almost expected.

When you think about friendships with colleagues, the statistics speak for themselves:

  • Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%
  • People with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work
Going back to the concept of job vs. career, people want to get up in the morning and  work toward something bigger than themselves. They don’t want to feel like a cog in the wheel; rather, they want their work to add value and have meaning.

Survey findings by the Energy Project and a story by The New York Times shows 50% of surveyed employees lack a level of meaning and significance at work. There is great room for improvement here, especially when you consider said survey also showed that employees who report a sense of meaning at work have a 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and are 1.4 times more engaged.

A good start for creating alignment with employees is actually sitting down to define your company vision, mission, and core values. Then clearly communicate all of it to your employees and look for opportunities to reiterate what you shared.  

Now you have the complete list of metrics, hopefully you can tell that employee engagement is not for the faint of heart. But it’s also no longer optional. The studies and surveys don’t lie, organizations with high employee engagement are more successful.

You may not have the time and/or resources to immediately tackle all of these metrics, but starting to pay attention to a few of those core metrics will surely start to make a difference in your organization.