"Employee engagement is like measuring happiness. The absolute value is immaterial. What matters is relativity across orgs and trends trending green. Data needs to be collected in the aggregate and normalised using statistics."
Surveys are the most popular tools
Employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, NPS, CSAT etc., measure how connected the employee feels. The factor that matters most is a broad-based cross-company survey that highlights how employees feel.
Social media tools like glassdoor, google for business are inaccurate since they have a tendency to vent. And negative emotions are better triggers to write and rate than positive triggers. More like, natural human tendency, and we can do nothing more about that.
Measuring employee engagement via timed pinpoint surveys
It is an approximate process. It needs to be wide enough to gain a predictive value. Gallup does one and so does AON Hewitt but those are yearly and with the rate of change a lot can change in a year. With the average stay of an employee being 1.5 years, an annual survey does not really provide much insights.
Also, it is difficult to get a pulse for your particular segment and region will be difficult to get a hold of. So what options do you have so that you can get some sense of how your employees are engaged and what are the levers that you can use to improve engagement?
And what about engaging the millennials at work?
What is the best approach?
The best approach is to measure how the employee engages with their workplace. Various aspects on responsiveness, completeness, volunteering ideas and accountability as well as the feedback as a part of the performance management process add to an individual's engagement.
The problem with today's tools is multifold. We do not have too many new age engagement platforms that work for people. Also, we are completely fragmented in getting one view of all the people touch points in the chain. The tools that we have for surveys, polls, ideation, rewards, recognition, hiring and performance measurement don't talk to each other.
As a result, we lose the integrated view and the insights that could lead to a 2+2 = 5. Hence, engagement to measure, trend and be impactful is more broad-based than sending a survey.
How do we go about it?
Platforms like peopleHum give an integrated ground-up view with an integrated set of tools. They help you measure your engagement index effectively. Also, you can create various programs in areas where you are lagging to help you improve.
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