Read any selection of articles about employee engagement and you will read statements like…
- Great employers understand that truly innovative ideas come from an engaged and inspired workforce.
- Successful companies emphasize employee engagement as a significant factor in their success.
- The importance of employee engagement can’t be overstated…
From the headlines one can quickly determine that employee engagement is important and companies who want to be successful should take steps to improve it. And any good process improvement guru will tell you, “Anything worth doing is worth measuring.”
How do you quantify employee engagement? The Gallup organization has established a survey of 12 questions which they and many others feel will provide a measure of employee engagement. They refer to these questions as the Q12 and they have been performing surveys since 2000 with thousands of employers and 100’s of thousands of employees. Every five years they publish a State of the American Workplace with the most recent published in February 2017. You can receive a copy of this report here. It is free of charge and is referenced by journalists and bloggers heavily.
Employee engagement affects eleven performance outcomes. Compared with bottom-quartile units, top-quartile units have:
- – 41% lower absenteeism
- – 24% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
- – 59% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
- – 28% less shrinkage
- – 70% fewer safety incidents
- – 58% fewer patient safety incidents
- – 40% fewer quality incidents (defects)
- +10% higher customer metrics
- +17% higher productivity
- +20% higher sales
- +21% higher profitability
While the report is done every five years the survey is completed by employers continuously every year. The 12 questions asked in the survey are broken down into four categories. The twelve questions and 4 categories are listed below.
These surveys establish baselines which can be used by your company to compare your employee’s overall engagement compared to the hundreds of thousands of employees surveyed each year. You can purchase this analysis for your company at a cost of $15/employee from Gallup. Your employees will be given a link and credentials to complete the study and your company will receive back a nice report which will show how you compare to the baselines established each year. If your company has multiple departments or groups these reports may also be used to compare results between groups
There are other measures and other methods that may be used to perform this analysis, but Gallup is well established in this field and no doubt you will be able to use this information to establish your own baseline for process improvement and a broader baseline to compare your employee’s engagement to other workers in the United States workforce.
Once your baseline is established you would want to repeat it, periodically to see if you are improving or declining, using the report to identify target areas for improvement.
There is little doubt that employee engagement is highly important to a successful company and that adding it as a significant part of your overall strategy for improvement is a very wise decision for any business leader.
In my next article we will look at analyzing the survey results.