How to measure employee engagement

California tech giant Cisco aims to support its workforce during COVID-19 pandemic

How to measure employee engagement

HR leaders are tasked with improving employee engagement, but how does one measure it?

For starters, you have to know exactly where your employees currently stand. Asking for feedback from employees is a vital part of understanding the company’s performance, but sometimes not everyone is willing to participate. Offering anonymous feedback methods for employees helps them feel secure in giving honest responses.

Read more: 8 ways to boost employee engagement

After all, employee engagement surveys allow workers to give feedback that can help companies identify what’s working and what’s not within the organization. Collecting data through employee engagement surveys is essential for companies to know what needs of the staff should be addressed and benchmarked for future efforts. It also ensures the collected data is relevant and actionable.

Once data is recorded, leadership should resolve matters and issues highlighted in the data. Employees also appreciate being informed of the findings that employers gather; regular meetings with teams are a great way to discuss the results and improve employee engagement. Additionally, sharing the results collected with the team can also help foster a sense of trust and transparency within an organization. It also opens a way for everyone to discuss new ideas and share opinions on pressing matters.

For example, Cisco has been determined to monitor the mental health of its nearly 80,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Jose, CA-based tech giant had a team of company researchers create and validate a measure of employee well-being. Representatives of the team shared their process and findings in a presentation at the Workhuman Live conference in Atlanta.

“Well-being helps explain engagement, which in turn helps explain retention,” said Madison Beard, senior leader of applied research, people research and intelligence at Cisco. “If people aren’t well, they can’t be engaged in your company.”

Understanding how well-being impacts the employee experience has allowed Cisco to better serve its people by reshaping strategies, policies and benefits. After all, its employees power the company’s purpose of creating an inclusive future for all, and the only way to achieve that vision is to care for its people in a holistic way.  

“Our intention is to create a culture of well-being,” said Roxanne Bisby Davis, senior director of people research and intelligence at Cisco. “Have conversations with individuals in your organization about how they’re doing. There’s no work/life separation anymore. Look for cues and listen. Ask for their cameras to be turned on and learn their body language.”

For more ways to boost employee engagement, click here.

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