An employee engagement survey measures things such as how passionate employees are about their work; how proud they are to tell people where they work; if they believe in the mission of the organization; and if they feel their work is valued and their talents are utilized. It has been shown that engaged employees (those that are absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work) are more productive and creative on the job. Unfortunately, only about 30% of employees are actually engaged while another 50% are disengaged, meaning they are basically just along for the ride.
But an even more startling statistic shares that approximately 20% of employees are "actively disengaged". These employees often dislike their job and/or employer and may even undermine performance. While disengaged employees just get through their day, adding little to the organization and flying under the radar, actively disengaged employees 'act out' their disengagement and lack of job satisfaction with destructive results often decreasing productivity for themselves and others around them. Actively disengaged employees become a cancer in the organization (aka the bad apple ruining the bunch). A Gallup study estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy half a trillion dollars a year.
So whether you're trying to improve engagement or eliminate disengagement, it's important to know where your organization stands. You can't solve a problem you don't know about and ignoring disengagement is costly.
Typically, employee engagement is measured through an employee engagement survey distributed throughout the organization. The content of employee engagement surveys is different from a regular employee survey because engagement measures much more than just happiness or satisfaction. Engagement survey questions generally ask employees to rate their agreement with statements such as:
- I would recommend this company to a friend.
- My talents are well utilized.
- I believe in the mission of the organization.
- My work is recognized and valued.
- I have a sense of my career path.
Additionally, reporting for employee engagement is sophisticated primarily because managers need to identify engagement issues or successes to pinpoint where they are in the organization. Managers can then drill down into the data so they can quickly see pockets of high or low engagement. This allows them to discover whether something is pervasive or localized to a specific group and will aid in fixing problems and creating a stronger and more engaged workforce.
Now that the economy is improving and dissatisfied employees are more apt to change jobs, it may be a good time to measure your employee engagement. An actively disengaged employee can wreak havoc on your high performance employees, negatively impacting their satisfaction and in some cases causing your best employees to leave.
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Strategic Human Resources, Inc., is a national full-service HR management firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our president and founder, Robin Throckmorton, can be reached at Robin@strategichrinc.com.
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