The term employee engagement is being used extensively in business circles for more than two decades now. Organizations define employee engagement as the level of emotional connectivity or the sense of commitment that employees feel towards the organization. However, most organizations still find it difficult to interpret the concept clearly as they are unable to quantify it. In this context, employee engagement surveys have come to play an important role. Even though these surveys were initiated as an annual practice in most organizations; in recent years, they have become a much more regular feature in most organizations.
Importance of employee engagement surveys
Since the concept was first introduced, employee engagement has been largely associated with the happiness and satisfaction level of the employees at the workplace. However, it has been observed that even when employees seem happy and content, they might not be truly engaged. This is where employee surveys can come in quite handy as they help organizations get inside the hearts and minds of their employees. These surveys help organizations measure the various factors that contribute to employee performance and retention. It helps their HR managers gain a better understanding of how the employees actually feel about the organization and what is their level of commitment towards it.
Key components of engagement surveys
Most people perceive engagement surveys as just another means of seeking employee feedback about the various organization policies. However, these surveys should go much beyond that, they should be aimed at learning about the views and opinions of the employees with respect to overall engagement, organization culture, and its employer brand status. This information can help organizations get a better understanding of the current level of employee engagement and the efforts they need to take to address the gaps. Discussed below are a few key aspects that organizations should focus on assessing through these surveys for enhancing employee engagement:
- Inter-office communication
Understanding the level and type of communication between the employees themselves and the management can play an important role in ensuring better engagement. An effective engagement survey can help organizations answer the vital question about whether their employees are happy with peer-to-peer and top-down communication. It can also become the employee voice for concerns around two-way communication with the management and about their opinions being heard.
- Prevalent leadership style
According to research conducted by renowned employee survey agency Gallup, the leadership style prevalent in the organization impacts engagement quite significantly. That is why engagement surveys should focus on understanding the leadership style existing within the organization. They should help provide insights into how effectively the leaders are able to convey the organization’s goals and values to the employees. In addition, they also help organizations to learn about the ability of the leaders to align the personal goals of individual employees with the organization’s goals and make them feel valued.
- Efficient employee recognition
It is well-known that rewarding and recognizing the efforts and achievements of the employees in a proper and timely manner is key to driving engagement. Employee surveys can help gain information about whether or not the employees feel duly recognized and appreciated. Surveys should offer an understanding of the satisfaction level of employees with respect to the acknowledgment and appreciation that they receive for their behavior, achievements, and hard work. In fact, it is advisable to conduct anonymous surveys for the same to ensure that the information acquired is unbiased and reliable.
- Opportunities for personal and professional development
Another important aspect that employee engagement surveys should focus on is the extent of opportunities for personal and professional development being offered to the employees. In fact, this is one of the biggest contributing factors to keep the employees engaged and motivated. These transparent surveys should help organizations gain insights into where they are lacking in this context and also about what they are doing right. This information can then be used to ensure effective personal and professional development of employees through various training programs for enhancing their knowledge and skills.
- Level of work-wife balance
The highly competitive and stressful professional lives of the employees take a toll on their personal lives; which in turn, is known to impact their engagement significantly. That is why employee surveys should focus on seeking information on work-life balance enjoyed by the employees. The surveys should also provide insights into the opinions of employees with respect to current and planned strategies aimed at improving work-life balance. This can go a long way in helping organizations ensure better employee engagement and motivation.
Employee engagement surveys can prove to be highly effective tools for measuring and enhancing engagement levels. This can, in turn, lead to higher productivity and pave the way for sustained business growth.