Employee engagement is crucial to any organization’s success: Engaged employees are more productive, they produce higher-quality work, they have better overall morale, they have fewer issues with absenteeism, they are better teammates, and they have lower turnover.
We’ve talked a great deal about ways to improve employee engagement, with suggestions such as incentives for performance, opportunities for advancement, and buy-in to the company mission.
But before you can tackle any potential employee engagement problems, you need to understand whether there’s an engagement problem in the first place and get to the bottom of the sources and causes of that lack of engagement.
Here are some strategies for getting a better understanding of your company’s employee engagement.
Monitor the Symptoms
Employee engagement is often difficult to quantify. Still, we know that lack of engagement contributes to the problems discussed earlier. One way to identify engagement problems, therefore, is to monitor the symptoms of poor engagement.
If you see productivity or quality drop, or if absenteeism or turnover increases, it can be a sign of changes in the level of employee engagement.
Talk to Your Employees
When trying to get a handle on the level of engagement among your employees, why not go to the source? According to a Deloitte survey, nearly 80% of employers survey their employees annually or less frequently. That’s not nearly frequent enough.
Employers should be constantly talking to their employees about their level of engagement—how satisfied are they with their jobs? How committed are they to the company mission? These questions can be asked in the form of surveys, or their answers can be deduced through one-on-one discussions with managers and their staff.
It’s rarely good when an employee leaves, but it does provide an opportunity to find out what is contributing to turnover. Exit interviews can be a good way to do this, as you can ask departing staff about what caused them to leave.
Although the decision may simply be prompted by an opportunity for higher pay or better benefits, employees often decide to leave an organization because of a lack of engagement and the company’s culture.
Employee engagement is part of the bedrock of a successful organization, and it manifests itself in a variety of areas, ranging from productivity and quality of work to turnover and absenteeism.
The problem many organizations face is that they don’t know enough about how engaged their employees are and what is standing in the way of potential improvements in employee engagement. It’s essential for employers to find a way to keep their ears to the ground and keep an eye on employee engagement.