These days, we're hard-pressed to find an employer in disagreement with what is now common wisdom: employee engagement is essential to organizational success. Whether it's customer service, profitability, or employee retention, the canon of data supporting the positive effect of employee engagement has become impossible to ignore. That said, one of the most common questions we hear from our customers is this: what is employee engagement exactly?
The Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey
Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey is comprised of 78 questions rated on a 5-point Likert scale, that fall into eight core focus areas. Additionally, there are two open-ended questions at the end of the survey where respondents can share what they love about working for their employer as well as what they’d like to see improve. We surveyed nearly one million employees in the last 12 months and we asked them each a standard set of five questions to measure satisfaction with the work environment at their roughly 6,000 respective organizations. Over the past 15 years, we've learned that when employees agree with the statements below, they're engaged at work.
1. Overall, I am satisfied with my employer.
When employees are satisfied with their employer, they tend to feel good about the culture, communications, leadership, supervision, work environment, training, and benefits. Imagine for a moment that you feel dissatisfied with your employer, it might be hard to engage at work. Imagine instead that you're satisfied with where you work, there's not much you wouldn't do for them.
2. Most days, I look forward to going to work.
When employees look forward to going to work, they want to be there. When they want to be there, they are more likely to engage with the work. The desire to go to work indicates a general connection between the employee and their workplace.
3. My job provides me with a sense of meaning and purpose.
Meaning and purpose inspire and focus an organization and its employees. The Harvard Business Review suggests that a CEO's job is to provide that purpose to her employees. When employees have a sense of meaning and purpose, they belong to something bigger than themselves. They engage.
4. I am proud to work for this organization.
While pride is something that engages us in our relationships with sports teams, family members, and personal achievements, Fast Company's case study of Facebook's employee feedback data reveals that employees have a relationship with their employer and pride is the number one driver of engagement at that particular company.
5. I feel this organization has created an environment where I can do my best work.
Speaking of pride, doing great work is something we can all feel good about. If we feel like our employer is a roadblock to our ability to make an impact, then we can feel defeated and disengage. Conversely, if we feel the organization is a place where we can be our best, then we engage in our work.
6. I am willing to give extra effort to help this organization succeed.
Arguably the holy grail of employee engagement, the willingness to go the extra mile to see the organization succeed is what most employers vie for in their quest for high employee engagement. When employees agree with this statement, they engage with their work until it's done well. They personally take on the work. They don't say, "That's not in my job description." Perhaps most importantly, they advocate for customers rather than passing the buck.
7. I plan to continue my career with this organization for at least two more years.
If your employees are engaged, they plan to stay with you. Many of our customers share the important goal of reducing high turnover. Knowing how many plan to stay on valuable information.
8. I would recommend this organization's products/services to a friend.
This statement indicates pride, trust and loyalty. If you would recommend to your loved ones that they buy from your employer, that quite an endorsement. That's your employee standing behind your brand and taking responsibility for its quality.
9. I would recommend working here to a friend.
Similar to recommending products and services, recommending employment to their loved ones demonstrates devotion and admiration on the part of the recommending employee. This is some of the highest praise your employees can offer.
If you're not yet convinced that employee engagement is worth investing in, just check out this piece by Cleverism: 10 Shocking Stats about Employee Engagement.