What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is widely defined as the emotional/psychological commitment an employee has to the organization, its goals, vision and mission. This being whether the employee believes in the company cause, whether the employee believes and buys into the company brand and whether the employee believes in the purpose the organization fulfills.
Why is it Important?
It is in the organizations best interest to purposefully strive to improve employee engagement as this results in a happier, more committed and more productive workforce, and thus a more successful organization.
An engaged employee is a happy employee and Simon Sinek, renowned author, in his book Start With Why, stated that “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order.” We therefore believe that in order to grow as an organization, to ensure satisfied returning customers which would translate into happy shareholder, the custodians of the vision and dream need to be heard and this is best done through our survey.
Our Approach to Employee Engagement Surveys
We believe that in order to successfully create a plan for the future, one needs to critically and honestly evaluate their current standing, to fully understand what is working well, what needs a little tweaking, what is a cause for discomfort and what is not working at all. Our survey seeks to measure and understand employee engagement in the organization by focusing on the following people practices;
- Leadership competencies,
- Performance optimization (commonly referred to as performance management)
In seeking to further understand the level of engagement, we also question whether employees understand the ‘why’ of the organization. Why does the organization exist? What is the organization’s vision and mission? How are they living the organization’s values? Do they understand their role in the organization and how they are an integral part of building the vision?
We intend to reach all branches and most employees in the organization as this is important to us due to the unit of analysis being the organization as a whole and therefore it is important to gauge the temperature of the entire organization. Although quantitative research methods are more popular and less time consuming, we believe that employee engagement is a multi-dimensional construct and therefore both qualitative and quantitative research methods are necessary in order to capture the intricacies and nuances which can often be missed if only quantitative research methods are used.
The employee engagement questionnaire consists of 35 single response rating items. Respondents are given the option to choose between five response options that vary between strongly agree and strongly disagree.
Electronic questionnaires are the preferred survey method since they are the fastest and most cost-effective method. The convenience that it provides to respondents also greatly improves participation. If the organization has employees who do not have access to computer or smart phone facilities, then one of our team members would facilitate a group administered questionnaire.
The questionnaire would take between 15 – 20 minutes, although this is dependent on the literacy of the respondents.
Due to the advantages that electronic questionnaires provide, we endeavor to survey every employee in the organization. Where this is not realistic, a statistically significant sample will be chosen.
The employee engagement survey is non-experimental research. It is not designed to meet the requirements of external validity. It is only designed for internal consumption.
The Measuring Instrument Reliability
The survey reliably measures employee engagement in a stable and consistent manner and is free from bias from the researcher and respondents.
Demographics are a very important component of the survey. An analysis of the responses, based on the demographics of the respondents, provide valuable insights into ways that employee engagement can be improved. The following demographics will be analyzed:
- Length of service
- Geographical location
- Job level
Qualitative research will mainly be done through interviews, that can simply be defined as conversations with the purpose of gathering information. More specifically, semi-standardized and focus group interviews will be used. This gives the researcher some flexibility to tailor the interviews according to the individual respondents, but also gives the opportunity for group discussions where employees are given the opportunity to interact and debate the questions as a collective.
The questions used during the interviews will be informed by an analysis of the results of the quantitative research. This would allow us to further explore and unpack the main themes and findings highlighted by the quantitative research methods. Thus, allowing us to delve deeper and gain a clearer understanding of employee engagement in the organization.
Organizational Development Services
Our full employee engagement service offering includes:
- Maximizing the survey experience through qualitative and quantitative assessments
- Using analytics to uncover improvement opportunities across the organization
- Providing strategic advice and consulting that integrates the 5 key people practices into the organization’s business and people strategies
- Implementing change management solutions
What will this world of work look like in the future and how will organizations adapt to these changes?
Many employers have realized that they have to harness the power of purpose by creating dynamic workplaces that motivate and engage employees through inspiration created by meaning. Those who do not will soon be left behind by their competitors.