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04 Oct 2023

Beyond the survey: 5 other ways to measure employee engagement

Assessing your company culture goes beyond surveys. Here are alternative methods to consider

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Employee engagement is vital to the success of any organisation due to heightened productivity, innovation and commitment to work that it engenders.

But measuring employee engagement is not so easy and the typical annual or bi-annual employee survey is not enough.

Employee engagement surveys are valuable tools that provide insights into employee satisfaction, motivation and commitment. They typically include questions related to job satisfaction, communication, work-life balance and the overall workplace experience. Some key benefits of using employee engagement surveys include:

  • Quantifiable data: Surveys provide measurable data that can be tracked, allowing you to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • Employee feedback: Surveys give employees a voice, allowing them to anonymously express their concerns and suggestions.
  • Benchmarking: You can benchmark your survey results against industry standards to understand your competitive.

However, surveys often focus on surface-level metrics and may not capture the nuances of your company culture and diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) progress. Also, surveys may not uncover issues that employees are hesitant to tell the business directly, anonymously or not.

Other ways to assess culture

Assessing your company culture goes beyond surveys. Here are alternative methods to consider:

1. Leadership assessments and feedback

Evaluate leadership behaviour through 360-degree assessments and feedback from employees. Assessments can reveal how leaders’ actions align with the organisation’s cultural values.

2. Observation and feedback via managers

Encourage open communication and feedback between employees and their managers. This can help identify cultural issues that may not be evident in surveys. The key is ensuring a clear feedback loop from managers.

3. Monitor employee turnover and retention rates

High turnover can indicate cultural problems. Analysing turnover data can reveal areas where culture may need improvement.

4. Analyse diversity metrics

This means at all levels of the organisation, including leadership positions, to identify disparities. If you have 250 employees or more, you’ll be submitting gender pay gap reports in April, which might help reveal a need to improve your policies and culture.

5. Employee resource groups and affinity networks

These groups provide safe spaces for employees to connect, share experiences and offer insights into DEI and other cultural issues.

When embarking on any research, it’s crucial to have a clear purpose. Without a defined end state to measure against, you won’t be clear on how to make meaningful changes to your culture.

The importance of combining approaches

Each method has its strengths, but the magic starts when you combine multiple approaches, giving a more comprehensive view. Surveys alone probably won’t capture the day-to-day experiences and interactions that shape your company culture.

Your employees are busy with their day jobs, and it can be easy to request feedback, receive little, and give up. A study by the Institute of Internal Communication found that you have 15 minutes (or less) each day to engage employees. Too much communication, and you won’t have an audience, demonstrating the importance of a solid communication strategy to ensure your messages are concise, relevant, and timely.

An ‘always on’ strategy can help, requesting small pieces of feedback regularly on multiple channels. By incorporating a variety of methods, you can uncover blind spots and gain a more holistic understanding of your culture and DEI efforts.

Employee engagement surveys are valuable tools, but they may not provide a complete picture of your organisational culture. To foster a more inclusive and engaging workplace, adopt a multi-method approach. You can gain deeper insights and drive positive change by combining surveys with leadership assessments, feedback, and DEI initiatives.

We help our clients measure their employee engagement and the effectiveness of their internal communications every week. If you’d like to discuss your organisation and its challenges, get in touch with us at [email protected].

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