Measuring employee engagement in the new normal
Measuring the exact level of Employee Engagement has always been a somewhat grey area, considering the myriad factors that are involved in its measurement. Just when the HR community had figured out the right mix between surveys, one to ones and other techniques to collect feedback from employees, the pandemic hit us. Monitoring employee sentiment became more than important during the crisis. It was one thing to gauge engagement levels of employees when HR and employees both worked out of a common workplace. However, measuring employee engagement while more than 70 % of the workforce is operating remotely is a different ball game altogether especially because it is unexplored territory.
While the HR fraternity has left no stone unturned in revamping engagement initiatives, it is time we revamp the ways we measure the engagement levels as well. Here are a few suggestions that organizations can consider.
Real Time Surveys - Gone are the days when engagement surveys could be rolled out on an annual or biannual basis. The drawback of rolling out surveys once or twice a year was that most employees used these surveys as sounding boards or dumping grounds for all their pent-up feedback resulting in skewed results. The idea now has shifted to taking a daily check in with employees. Softwares like Officevibe are designed to collect feedback on 1-2 key questions daily and collate results on a real time basis. Answers to simple questions such as What is your Stress Level today? Or How is your day going? Can reveal a lot about how engaged the employee is feeling.
Human Touch – While technology has made it a lot easier to measure engagement levels, the kind of personalization and care that is projected through One to One connects is unparalleled. Talking to employees regularly, trying to understand their pulse will never go out of style. Though, the number of Teams/ Zoom meetings has gone up in the present scenario. Managers should make it a point to set some time aside to just catch up with their team members and ask them how they are doing.
Shift in Focus – The focus of questions being asked in engagement surveys will also have to make a shift to being more focused on the physical and emotional well being of the employee versus just hygiene related questions. How do you feel about a particular aspect goes a long way in accessing engagement such as Do you feel cared for by your manager and team members versus would you recommend your organization to your friends?
Transparency – Keeping engagement scores a top secret only to be shared with senior management is passe. Being transparent about what is going right and what is not working, goes on to show that the organization is confident of its efforts and cares about what employees think. In fact, opening up to employees and asking their suggestions on how the organization can make them feel more engaged goes a long way in building a trusting relationship with the employees.
Like all HR practices and initiatives, measuring engagement will also have to be revamped to adjust to the new normal. However, as HR professionals we must never miss out on the human touch. The more focus we bring on employee well being and making them feel cared for the more they will feel engaged and motivated to go the extra mile.