Workforce Engagement & How to Measure
In a 2020 Gallup survey found that only 36% of workers are engaged in their work. This number changed to only 32% in Gallup’s follow up survey in 2022.
Employee engagement remains both one of the most sought after and elusive workforce concepts for most businesses. Most employers understand the correlation between highly engaged workers and increased productivity, but it can be difficult to measure, track, and have a positive impact on engagement. In many ways the pursuit of engagement becomes so frustrating that some employers just ditch the measurements and go with their gut feeling. As a business owner I can 100% understand, I’ve been there.
When putting together our 2022 strategic plan it became clear that we had one risk that jeopardized all the others- all of our goals and initiatives were 100% dependent on having the right team members actively engaged in the right roles. Turnover would quickly sink any plans we were creating. With this in mind we set one strategic goal above all others - reducing teammate (employee) turnover through increasing engagement. In addition to increasing both retention and engagement we saw a 37% increase in productivity and a 44% increase in income!
While we could have an entire Workforce Connector series on the tools we implemented it seems most appropriate to start at the beginning – how did we decide to measure engagement? This one decision help us make all the others with increased clarity and success. Honestly, this was also a hotly contested debate with our Engagement and Retention Team. We ultimately settled on Gallup’s 12 Question Engagement Survey.
The Q12 is a simple twelve question survey based on a very complex set of research on hundreds of thousands of employees and businesses. The questions are easy to administer, easy for employees to understand, and simple to quantify. We conduct this survey on a quarterly basis with all of our teammates to keep a finger on the pulse of engagement.
The Q12 questions are as follows and are measured on a scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree):
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
By measuring this quarterly we were able to determine which next steps were needed in order to increase teammate engagement (the next quarter’s score ). As an example, in the 3rd quarter of 2022 we noticed a dip in the results of question 10 (I have a best friend at work). When we dug in we found that we’d hired several new teammates recently and they hadn’t had much of an opportunity to get to know their new work family outside of our office. We planned a handful of offsite events to bring everyone together and then watched the score move right back up.
If you’re looking to focus on increasing employee engagement I would highly recommend starting with this survey to help get your baseline. Depending on the results there is a bevy of resources and solutions available for you and your team – the majority of which are either free or very low cost (my favorite price 😉)!
Employee engagement will have a tremendous impact on your business whether you choose to focus on it or not. By starting with this survey you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are and can build a plan accordingly. If you’d like to discuss in more detail or have questions please feel free to email me at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to share all the experiences we’ve had.
Here’s to improving employee engagement and increasing your productivity and income in 2023!