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How do we measure engagement?

Measuring engagement

It's been said that measuring engagement is like eating an elephant - a big job and it's difficult to know where to start. Despite this, it's one of the most frequently asked questions by visitors to our website - so presumably it's important to a lot of businesses and especially HR managers. This page is designed to offer some guidance.

First, you need to know what it is you're measuring - what engagement is. At the moment there isn't a universally accepted definition. However, most good definitions agree on a number of key components which relate to things like the enjoyment people get from their work, their sense of pride in the company, and their willingness to go the extra mile to help customers and colleagues. At Digital Opinion our preferred definition is:

"Engaged employees enjoy their work, feel valued, and are proud to tell people that they work for the Company. They go the extra mile to help their customers and colleagues, and they want to stay and develop a career with the Company. In the long run they are the real contributors."

This forms the basis for our engagement model, which reduces the complexity inherent in engagement to measurable proportions and, returning to the elephant analogy, enables us to deal with it bit by bit.

Employee engagement

 

In this model employee engagement has two dimensions: the first relates to the satisfaction that people get from the work they do. The second relates to the commitment they feel towards their employer. Each dimension has three facets.

The satisfaction dimension focuses on:

  • Work - Does it give people the opportunity to do what they're good at? Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day?
  • Support - Do people feel supported by their line manager and colleagues?
  • Recognition - Do people feel that their efforts are recognised and valued?

The commitment dimension focuses on:

  • Loyalty - Do people want to stay and develop their careers with the company?
  • Advocacy - Do people feel proud of their company and recommend it to family and friends as a great place to work?
  • Values - Do people share the company's values and feel that colleagues' and managers' attitudes and behaviours reflect those values?

These six key questions are always included in the engagement surveys we conduct for clients, and their combined scores drive our Engagement Matrix.

Engaged people are those who get satisfaction from their work and are committed to their employer. They are the real contributors.

Disaffected people are those who are negative on both counts. They can be expected to make a minimal contribution, have a negative impact on their colleagues, or leave the Company.

The frustrated are those people who are committed to the company but currently get little satisfaction from the work they do.

The uncommitted are those who get satisfaction from their work but have little sense of commitment to the company.

 

Many of our clients find the matrix an extremely valuable way of measuring, visualising and communicating the current state of engagement in their business or, indeed, within different parts of their business. Listen to what Catriona MacDonald, HR Director of Johnston Press, one of the top media organisations in the UK and Ireland, has to say about it.

 

Having a robust measure of engagement that is easy to understand is clearly a must for any organisation but it's not an end in itself. It is equally important to understand what drives your people to be engaged, what works against engagement, and how engagement impacts business performance.

If you would like to discuss how we could help you to measure engagement in your business, give one of our advisors a call on 020 8546 7243.

In the meantime here are further related pieces:

How do we define engagement

Employee engagement surveys

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Read the latest articles, reports and research papers on employee engagement. At Digital Opinion we're committed to providing our readers with a rich source of engagement information to support their goals.

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