How can you tell if your employee engagement efforts are actually working? Simply throwing resources at a problem and not measuring outcomes can be just as bad as not doing anything at all. It’s important to track the results of your programs and measure your employees’ engagement so you can take action when necessary.
The easiest way to do this: Surveys. Use a tool such as Survey Monkey or Google Form and ask your employees how they feel. Make the surveys anonymous to encourage honest feedback and run them quarterly to keep your finger on the pulse of your teams’ engagement levels.
As an example, polling company Gallup conducts a “State of the American Workplace” study every year. The study is built on these four categories of employees’ performance growth requirements:
- Basic needs
- Individual needs
- Teamwork needs
- Personal growth needs
These categories provide a game plan that can help managers encourage and develop their teams, while at the same time improve every team member’s performance. Each level builds on the previous one. The questions the pollsters ask in their survey are answered on a ranking scale of 1-5 (1 being worst and 5 being best), and directly correspond to the requirements above, as shown by the number following the statement:
- I know what is expected of me at work. (1)
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. (1)
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. (2)
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. (2)
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. (2)
- There is someone at work who encourages my development. (2)
- At work, my opinions seem to count. (3)
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important. (3)
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work. (3)
- I have a best friend at work. (4)
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress. (4)
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow. (4)
You can very easily pattern your own survey after this one to more precisely see where your employees land on the engagement scale. And then you can take these three steps toward better motivation among your workforce:
- First, believe what your common sense is telling you about how to create a healthy, productive work environment (open, honest communication; clear expectations; opportunities for your employees to shine).
- Second, figure out exactly what motivates your employees to do their best work.
- Third, measure engagement at your organization. You can gain valuable insights and probably more than a few a-ha moments from the results. And there’s nothing like hard data to get the attention of your leadership team.