• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Measuring employee engagement in the workplace

Employee engagement

Last week I defined employee engagement as the level of conscious involvement of employees in the organisation’s activities and the continuous belief in what the organisation is set to achieve. In my analogy of the ten employees, the three that are engaged are the driving forces in achieving the company’s mission, objective, strategy, and tactics (MOST analysis). The remaining seven are either coasting or waiting for the appropriate time to quit the organisation. The seven not engaged and actively disengaged employees are a risk and opportunity for the organisation, depending on your perspective. They are a risk if they continue to stay not engaged or actively disengaged thereby, undermining the efforts of the few engaged employees.

In line with Gallup global survey on workplace engagement, the risk of having 85percent disengaged employees to your organisation’s objective is high. Also, in my opinion, from an experience standpoint, the benefits of converting not engaged employees to ‘believers’ in the organisation outweigh the advantage of recruiting new employees. The learning, experience and engagement curve is higher with existing employees, and the culture shocks are avertable. Gaining high learning curve and averting culture shocks are a few of the benefits for organisations that grow and groom their talent pipeline rather than shopping for talent all the time.

I was once an employee of an organisation where I was redeployed to different roles six-times within ten years. I voluntarily invoke the change of position in most of the deployments. However, the organisation benefited because there wasn’t time wasted learning the culture or the internal processes. In one of the roles, I could relate with the top-level leaders seamlessly because of the knowledge of the workplace atmosphere and culture.

Read Also: Employee engagement, disengagement and profit

Suppose employee engagement is crucial to the success of high performing teams. How should the engagement level be measured?

Measuring your employee engagement will, in the first instance, send a message of your commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of the employees to the team. Many organisations have bastardised measuring engagements using the suggestion box and failed to act on the previous feedback received. In such cases, the doubt has set in before the measurement is concluded. The point is always negative; no meaningful outcome will be seen from the exercise.

Therefore, the starting port of call for an effective employee engagement is the commitment of the business leaders to be open to the outcome and act without an attached string of emotions to the status quo. The major pitfalls of the desire to make institutions out of existing organisations are the emotional attachments of the decision-makers to what is working at the moment and their limited worldview to what a change in the attitude and connection of their employees could do.

Measuring engagement and acting on the outcome has the potency to improve internal efficiency, reduce staff turnover, increase the loyalty of the customers, increase patronage and the other entire key performance indicators- market share, profitability, growth in customer base and product penetration rate.

In measuring your employee engagement, setting the objective is vital. What will the measurement outcome do for your team and organisation? In most cases, the aim is to improve employee commitment, thereby reducing the attrition rate.

Gaining a high learning curve and averting culture shocks are a few of the benefits for organisations that grow and groom their talent pipeline rather than shopping for talent all the time.

However, at Mentoras Limited, we use a dual purpose and organisation-wide approach to employee engagement. We measure how engaged your employees are as input in determining the dominant culture and mapping your current productivity level to the current performance level.

In simple analogical terms, your organisation’s culture is the soil on which seeds are to be planted. The seeds are the level of engagement among your employees. The engaged employees are the hybrid weather-proof seeds that grow in all climates. The gene of personal brand in the hybrid seeds is powerful enough to negate any adverse atmospheric and humidity conditions. The not engaged and the actively disengaged employees are, in basic fact, the not too good and bad seeds. No matter the favourable conditions of your soil, the seed conditions are too toxic for facilitating cross-fertilization and germination. The seed is like the biblical seeds that fell on the rock without water and moisture.

To avert building your team and organisation planting on sandy soil, measuring your employee engagement is vital. The double-edged objective is to fertilise both the soil (improving on the culture) and the seeds (the attitude and commitment level of the employees).

There are many ways of measuring if your employees are engaged or not. The significant indicator of employee engagement is the current level of staff turnover, which I often describe as the ‘exodus rate’ instead of the usual attrition rate. But more dangerous than the departure of staff is the existence of many showstoppers marking time and space in your team.

Engagement surveys, if well executed by an experienced external consultant, have been known to be effective and give a ray of hope to the employees. At Mentoras, we have a set of logical and emotional intrigued questions that unmasked the level of connection and involvement of the staff in your team. The questions cut across many aspects of employees’ daily experience, including their relationship with their job functions and colleagues in the workplace. The factor influencing the engagement of employees can be summarised into two: self-expression and relational security in the workplace.

Where self-expression is lacking, there is a tendency of a disconnect between the person and his or her daily routine. I wrote a book titled: Take the lead (to live, energise, activate, and develop your potential) to address professional and personality conflict at work. Relational security in the workplace is the level of personal cum professional connections with other colleagues, mainly influenced by the dominant culture. The advent of the clan or family culture favours workplace relational security above the market, hierarchy, and adhocracy culture.

In conclusion, there is a link between employee engagement and the dominant culture of your organisation. The engagement survey or measurement outcome must influence the dominant culture to get a meaningful effect or benefits for the organisation.