In 2009, the Labour government of the time commissioned a report* on how UK companies could become more competitive by having a more engaged workforce, and ensuring greater alignment between business aims and values, employee involvement and commitment to the business goals, and the subsequent improvements in customer satisfaction and financial performance. The report* describes employee engagement as:
“a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being”
The drive towards building higher levels of engagement in the workforce has gathered much momentum in recent years, and many larger organisations now have functional specialists, and even departments, for Employee Engagement. Companies are also looking for regular data on how their efforts to build a more engaged workforce are progressing, which has resulted in high demand for employee engagement survey techniques to inform action planning and decision making in companies and public sector organisations alike.
We now conduct employee engagement surveys for over 50 organisations each year, including Saga, The AA, Harrods, Tulip Foods, and the Chartered Institute of Management. Most have worked with us on their employee engagement survey more than once before, and often several times, because they value our ability to benchmark results with other best practice organisations, and to compare progress over time within their own companies.
Our approach to engagement surveys includes delving deeply into the drivers of engagement, or diagnostics, as well as reporting and tracking the key evidence of engagement, which we base on how people respond on up to 6 questions. From these, we formulate an employee engagement index – a key metric that can be used to compare results between divisions, departments, over time, and by benchmarking against other organisations.
We also use the pattern of how these key questions are answered to (anonymously) identify the engagement level of each responding employee. Knowing the percentage of employees that are Positively Engaged, Passive or Disengaged provides a powerful starting point for action planning, as well as getting attention for employee engagement survey results in the Boardroom!