10 essential employee engagement metrics

Happiness goes hand in hand with productivity. It pays to keep tabs on workers’ personal growth, satisfaction, manager relationships and overall wellness.

When organizations start measuring employee engagement, it can quickly become overwhelming.

How do you know what to measure? Is one metric more important than another?

In our research, based on decades of academic study on employee engagement, we found there are 10 key metrics to examine.

Before identifying these metrics, two important points:

  • Industry benchmarks are important, but you focus more on improving yourself—and monitor your progress monthly.
  • Measure frequently. The more frequent, the better, because you want the most accurate and complete data possible.

10 key employee engagement metrics to measure

1. Personal growth

Employees want growth, in every sense—more money, more responsibility, more credit, more autonomy.

Measuring and monitoring personal growth should be at the root of your performance management strategy. The chief goal of every manager should be to ensure the development and growth of every team member.

Question to ask employees: Do you feel you have enough growth opportunities?

Follow this question (and all others) with a “why?” to get to the root of key issues.

2. Happiness

Happiness is important to track, but too many organizations stop there. It’s important to know how happy your employees are, but you’re missing out on a lot of information if that’s all you’re looking at.

Research shows that happy workers are 12 percent more productive, so find out what pleases your people. It’s usually nothing fancy.

Workers love free things, better work/life balance, more autonomy and exciting projects to work on. Those are easy happiness boosters.

Joy-draining personal issues are out of your control, but you can offer a listening ear or helping hand.

happiness at work

Question to ask employees: On a scale from 0-10, how happy are you at work this week?

3. Ambassadorship

This gauges loyalty and pride. We want to understand whether workers are true brand ambassadors—that’s the ultimate goal of employee engagement.

This is modeled after the Net Promoter score, designed by consulting firm Bain as a customer service metric.

Question to ask employees: On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our organization as a place to work?

4. Relationships with peers

Teams must work well together to facilitate productivity, good communication and collaboration. Every workplace has different personalities, but it’s part of your job to make sure everyone feels connected and welcome.

Some say being ignored at work can be even worse for a person than being bullied. Work hard to make your team’s culture radiate inclusion and equality.

Question to ask employees: On a scale from 0-10, how would you rate your relationship with your peers?

5. Relationship with manager

People join organizations; they leave managers.

You want to build an open, honest, trusting relationship with an employee. People should feel free to express themselves without getting into trouble—especially when it comes to concerns about a manager.

Do your best to communicate frequently, honestly and politely with your team to make sure they feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters.

Question to ask employees: What would you change to improve the relationship with your manager?

6. Recognition

Recognition is the acknowledgment of a job well done. It has nothing to do with rewards; those are separate things.

Employees should receive frequent recognition. When they don’t get that validation from you, they start to worry. It’s up to you to remove that anxiety.

According to Gallup, you should praise your employees at least once every week.

employee recognition at work

Question to ask employees: Do you feel you get enough recognition for your work?

7. Feedback

If employees aren’t getting sufficient feedback, make sure managers have the tools to provide more substantive feedback.

Make frequent feedback a priority, and schedule regular meetings with members of your team, as well as informal discussions. Your feedback should be specific, instructive and helpful.

Question to ask employees: On a scale from 0-10, rate the quality of the feedback you receive.

8. Wellness

Most workers are stressed, tired and overworked.

Leaders should be mindful of worker wellness and should promote a healthy office environment. That includes mental health. Don’t let a top performer burn out.

Question to ask employees: On a scale from 0-10, what’s your stress level at work this week?

9. Alignment

When an employee’s personal values align with the organization’s, that’s a culture fit.

Help employees understand why you do what you do. Let them see who your customers are, who your competitors are and what you’re doing differently. Let them know how they’re a crucial piece in achieving collective goals.

Question to ask employees: How well do your personal values align with our core values?

10. Satisfaction

Satisfaction encompasses a lot of what makes an employee enthusiastic about work. Check in with employees frequently to see whether they have what they need to succeed and whether there’s any confusion to clear up.

When we think about “satisfaction” at work, we’re referring to three things:

1. Compensation (salary and benefits)

2. Workplace (the work environment)

3. The role of the employee (clarity of expectations, satisfaction with the day-to-day)

Salary is always a sensitive topic, so focus on benefits and perks instead. Keep in mind that the trust, respect and appreciation that comes from allowing employees to periodically work remotely is worth more than a salary increase.

Question to ask employees: Is your work environment distracting?

Employees are the lifeblood of any company. Make sure your people are engaged, happy and well cared for.

A version of this post first appeared on Officevibe’s blog.


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