Once you’ve set a goal, you’ve taken your first step on your path to engagement! (If you haven’t set a goal, go back to Step 1 in our Road Map to Engagement.)
Now it’s time to decide what you’re going to measure and how you’re going to measure it. As you can see, that’s not something you can do without a goal — the goal you’ve chosen will help inform the decisions you’ll be making about metrics. Whether your goal involves performance, innovation, culture or talent, it will inform the kinds of questions you’ll ask and how you’ll ask them. Here’s what you need to know.
3 Buckets to Measure
When it comes to measuring, there are three factors you’ll be asking questions about:
- Satisfaction. How satisfied are employees with their job, pay, benefits and work environment?
- Alignment. Do employees feel their goals and motivations are aligned with the organization’s mission and path?
- Sense of future. Do employees feel they can achieve their goals and have a future with the organization?
Depending on your engagement goals, the questions you ask will be in different proportions among the three factors. If you’re looking to improve culture, you may have more questions about satisfaction and alignment than sense of future, for example, while an engagement initiative focused on retention may have a higher proportion of questions about the sense of future.
Points or Lines?
As you start assembling questions, decide whether you’re looking for points of data that will indicate whether an engagement level is rising, or whether you’re hoping to collect more longitudinal data that you can correlate with other points to look for predictive insights. If you’re just getting started with engagement, chances are you’re looking to solve an immediate issue that focuses on short-term changes. Keep in mind, however, that you can use data over time and crunch it with other data to discover other insights.
Pick Your Tactic
There are three survey tools you should consider:
- Survey. An electronic, customizable survey can be used for a comprehensive baseline survey, and can involve multiple questions across several categories. You could also use it as a targeted pulse survey, asking as few as one or two questions, and as many as a dozen, on one or two topics.
- Social feedback. These surveys use open-ended questions that allow people to provide ideas and long answers. Employees can see and comment on other employees’ answers.
- Focus groups. Group interviews can be used to get face-to-face feedback from individuals or groups of people. Many companies avoid this tactic because it takes time, isn’t always efficient and isn’t anonymized, although it can be useful in some settings.
When deciding which tactic you want to use, the most important thing to keep in mind is your organization’s ability to manage the data you’ll get from the survey. Do you have the time and staffing power to dig into the results from a 50-question survey across dozens of employees? If not, stick with a more manageable pulse survey.
Culture will also affect the kind of survey you use. A dynamic, forward-thinking company that can change quickly will find pulse surveys useful. A very small company that would find it hard to anonymize responses anyway may pick face-to-face feedback sessions to find out what employees think.
Ask This Question — No Matter What
There is one question that’s useful for any survey. Always include a question about how people feel about their work — is it fulfilling? Do they have what they need to get it done? Do they feel aligned with the organization? The exact wording will vary depending on your culture and internal vocabulary, but asking a question about how employees feel about their work and whether they can do their jobs effectively will go a long way toward giving you the insights you’re looking for.
Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience. Contact us today to learn how your company can start achieving better business results.