Top tips on carrying out an Employee Engagement Audit

How engaged are your people really? And what are you planning to do about it?

As an employee engagement specialist, I keep an eye out for interesting statistics on how engaged we are at work. I look for the positive ones but, as good news doesn’t get the headlines, it’s almost always the bad numbers that get banded about. And, if you believe the stats, we’re still not a happy bunch.

Earlier in the year, Sodexo Engage found that only 12% of UK employees are completely happy in their job. Flip that on its head and we have a whopping 88% who aren’t. And according to Gallup, it’s even worse with just 8% of the UK workforce engaged at work.

But, engaged employees have long been recognised to impact on productivity. Research from the Social Market Foundation states that happy and engaged employees are up to 20% more productive, and further research from Gallup reveals that engaged employees can increase sales by up to 20%.

Which makes getting to the bottom of the issues that cause disengagement a top HR and a business priority - or so it should be.

Put employee engagement on your 2020 to do list

The low number of engaged employees suggests that organisations should be focusing on the reasons why next year. Only by addressing this can organisations have any hope of realising the benefits that engagement brings.

The good news is that there are many ways of generating a more engaged and productive workplace - once you’ve identified the issues. From greater recognition, better trained line managers, the support and involvement of leadership, a focus on values and culture - it’s perfectly possible to achieve a highly engaging workplace.

But, as with any improvement process - you have to find out where you are now - and, with a 20% productivity bonus at stake it’s too important make assumptions.

This can mean only one thing… yes, it’s time for an employee engagement audit.

Planning your Employee Engagement Audit

An Employee Engagement Audit will help you measure the subjective view. What’s going on in the minds of your employees. How do they really feel about working for you? Often employees respond well to the process. Everyone wants to feel they have a voice after all, and that their opinions matter and count.

You’ll want to put some thought into what you ask, so here are some things to consider:

  • As well as being understood, does the mission or purpose of your organisation make the employee feel that their work is important?
  • Do your people feel like they belong ? Do they feel trusted?
  • The line manager relationship - do yours give recognition for doing good work? There’s a saying that people join organisations but leave a manager. It’s often because of lack of recognition.
  • Do they feel like they’re fairly rewarded and do they get the benefits they need?
  • Is there a sense of ‘team’ - with fellow employees also committed to producing good work?
  • Is there a feeling that the organisation provides the opportunity to learn, develop and grow?
  • Consider work-life balance - what kind of external pressures exist and how best to accommodate them?

Don’t be afraid to explore these issues - you’ll discover the positives as well as some negatives. Try sorting them into a traffic light system of red, amber and green - the red lights being your most critical actions. And remember, no organisation is perfect - that fact that you are doing this is a move towards better engagement.

Some sample questions you could ask

There’s a saying that if you can't measure it you can't manage it, and if you can't manage it then how can you improve it? So, the obvious approach is to ask questions - and that usually means a survey or focus group.

While I would always suggest customising a survey to your business, you might find the Survey Monkey sample Engagement Questionnaire of help at the ideas stage. And, if you do run a survey, don’t forget to share the results, invite feedback and then track and monitor progress. This will be your baseline data from which you assess how engagement levels are improving.

Next steps - need a little outside help?

I hope these have been useful pointers as to why you should audit and measure employee engagement with some useful start points. I’ve touched upon some of the key areas but there’s a lot more you could look into.

As an employee engagement specialist you’d expect me to say I can help. That’s certainly the case but, considering the above areas will help start your thinking. You can certainly do this yourself - but you may find an external consultant will save you time and act as an objective point of view as you interpret the results.

The en:Rich engagement feedback audit

If you would like help to measure the levels of engagement in your business, the en:Rich engagement feedback audit has been designed to do just that. It’ll help you look into your organisational culture and get a valuable view of your current levels of engagement and motivation. What’s more, you’ll identify the steps the business could be taking to keep staff motivated and build greater team spirit. If you would like to find out more, please drop me a line and get in touch.

Author: Richard Roberts
Posted on: Thursday 2nd January 2020

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