What to Measure in the Employee Engagement Survey

You’ve finally admitted that you’ve had enough – enough of reading facial expressions, enough of listening carefully for double meaning, enough of second guessing – all in an attempt to figure out the level of #EmployeeEngagement at your company. You decide to conduct an #EmployeeEngagementSurvey.
Whether you are designing the survey internally or using the services of a provider, you need to ensure that survey questions refer to the emotional and intellectual connection that the employee has with the organization as well as the employee’s contribution to the business outcomes.
Consider if you want to measure Employee Engagement or #EmployeeSatisfaction, since with the latter, questions such as  Are you happy? or Do you have a best friend at work? become important, even though they may have little correlation to the business outcomes.

There are two main survey questions to be answered.  These are then further broken down to questions that deal with the what and how of the engagement

1) What do employees need to be emotionally connected to what they are doing? This is broken down to questions that deal with the following needs.  Employees need to:

  • Work in physical spaces that are conducive to their work
  • Have the right tools to effectively work
  • Be seen and heard
  • Feel that their contributions are valued and valuable
  • Feel a sense of pride in the work that they do
  • Feel a sense of pride in the company that they work for
  • Have a sense of belonging
  • Have fit with the organisation

2. What does your employee need to be intellectually connected to the work that they do? This is broken down to questions that deal with the following needs.  Employees need to:

  • Understand the company’s strategy/ mission/ vision/ core values
  • Understand how the work they do is aligned to the strategy/ mission/ vision/ core values
  • Be effectively led
  • See leaders walking the talk
  • Have the skills for the job they are doing
  • Work with effective processes
  • Be clear about their career paths
  • A view of their future within the organization

The survey questions can be grouped under different headings such as : Physical space, Strategy, Work Process, Technology, Leadership, Communication, Executive Management and any other headings that are important to your organization.

While some companies take the survey as an opportunity to ask about the kitchen sink I would caution against this approach, since it weakens the impact of the survey, and sends incorrect signals about what it important.  If there is a core competency or strength that your company sees as important to its business outcome then by all means include questions about that.
Be aware that what you measure is what you will get responses on.

Does your company conduct Employee Engagement Surveys? If so what is measured?
If not what do you want to measure?
Maxine Attong is an Organisational Development Consultant, Executive Coach and Author. Check out my website www.maxineattong.com to learn more about me.

P.S. Save the date – March 15,2017. Breakfast seminar: Maximising Human Capital in the New Economy.


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