A company that truly values the happiness of its employees is more likely to find success within its industry. After all, a content employee is one who feels her work is appreciated, feels invested in the mission of the organization and is less likely to search for another job elsewhere. So, it would behoove any and all brands to create a strategy to maintain or increase employee engagement and retention. And like any good strategy, it should rely on key metrics and analysis.
In PR News’ soon-to-be published Measurement Guidebook, David Gorodetski, co-founder, COO and executive creative director at Sage Communications, and Brian Kelley, VP of public relations and employee experience at Sage Communications, provide some best practices for measuring your employee engagement program to ensure it is efficient and effective.
Here are nine strategies for using data to create a successful employee engagement strategy:
Define what your employee engagement looks like
Before you begin collecting and assessing your data, determine what your ideal engaged employee looks like—this may vary depending on your industry, company size and culture—and what constitutes success in your employee engagement strategy. This will help give your data a framework.
Gather benchmark data
Distribute an initial survey that includes qualitative, quantitative and scaled questions with free-response prompts focused on how employees feel about working at your organization and why. The data culled from this survey will act as your benchmark for your measurement efforts going forward.
Consistently take employees’ “pulse” with surveys
One survey is not enough. Make sure to follow up consistently with quarterly, biannual or annual surveys to discover if your efforts to increase engagement are working or if your strategy needs adjustment. Remember to compare to the benchmark data first and then to prior pulse surveys.
Mind your retention rate
Truly engaged employees are less likely to want to leave their jobs. Retention rate can be influenced by many things, but it can be an indicator of the overall satisfaction of your employees with the environment of your company. Measure the retention rate throughout your engagement strategy to see if it has had a positive impact on your retention rate. If it has fallen, you may need to shift gears.
Monitor online for sentiment
Pay attention to your employees’ interactions with posts on brand social profiles, as well as their personal posts about the company as appropriate. Review posts on third-party sites like Glassdoor as well. Employees may not feel comfortable reporting some negative opinions on pulse surveys, so it’s a good idea to mine the internet for additional insights and feedback.
Compare your organization with competitors and industry metrics
It is crucial to compare your own data to metrics from your industry at large and your competitors, especially when it comes to retention rate. These should be used in conjunction with your initial survey as a benchmark.
Meet with your employees one-on-one
Though this will obviously involve a time commitment if your company is of a larger size, individual conversations are a more personal way than a survey to make your employees feel their opinions are valued. It is also a good way to glean your workers’ true thoughts on the functions of the company in a more comfortable environment.
Keep an ear to the ground for sentiment at the office
This is not a free pass to eavesdrop, but rather a suggestion that being aware of the attitudes and tonality of your employees’ conversations around the office can be a good way to understand whether your engagement strategy is working.
Take action based on your data
The most important part of any measurement program is the actionable results it spurs. Share the data you’ve collected and the employees’ feedback with leadership and determine how you can improve the professional lives of your workers. Don’t forget to involve your employees in conversations in how your company’s work environment can be better.