Measuring Employee Engagement

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Employees who feel valued because they are heard and appreciated by their employer bring their best to work each day. Supportive and enriching work environments lead to employee engagement, which leads to higher performance. However, it can be hard to measure employee engagement without the correct tools. The first step to improving employee engagement and increasing performance is to measure engagement correctly.  

Learning how to measure employee engagement can be challenging because many factors impact it. It is based on feelings and differs from person to person. There are also so many factors that influence employee engagement. Every company will have different internal struggles and may require other measurement techniques.  

What is employee engagement? 

Employee engagement is the strength of an employee’s connection to their work and employer. This measurement goes beyond just satisfaction and includes motivation, loyalty, and a willingness to recommend their organization to others. 

It’s important to measure employee engagement because employee satisfaction only measures how happy people are in their roles. Happiness is essential, but it’s based on surface-level feelings rather than a more profound sense of connection.

The leading employer recognition program, Top Workplaces offers regional and national employer recognition. The survey measures elements of employee engagement: commitment, referral, and motivation. Measuring employee engagement starts with measuring these factors. 


  • Commitment: An employee’s intent to stay at the company. 
  • Referral: An employee’s willingness to recommend their company. 
  • Motivation: An employee’s drive to give their best work. 

Employee engagement happens when employees respond positively to those survey statements, which results in boosted performance and productivity.  

How to measure employee engagement 

Measuring employee engagement is all about learning what matters most to employees, so they want to stay, refer others to the organization, and give their best effort. Employee surveys allow leaders to learn what matters most to employees. 

Asking employees for anonymous and honest feedback is how to measure employee engagement. It is the first step of effective employee engagement strategies, provided leadership is ready to hear the feedback and create the space for real solutions. Surveys are the most common tool for measuring employee engagement, but there are other methods to consider too:  


  • Pulse surveys: Short, frequent surveys including 5-10 questions that evaluate sentiment and capture input.  
  • Recurring 1:1 meetings: Regularly scheduled time that offers a safe environment for dialogue.
  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): Asks employees, “How likely would you recommend my product/service to a friend or colleague?” 
  • Focus groups: Assemble a diverse group of employees to participate in a guided discussion.  
  • Employee retention rate: Review employee loyalty and commitment. Low retention rates are an indicator of low engagement.  


Why is employee engagement important? 

Employee engagement impacts performance metrics, including productivity and employee retention. Lack of employee engagement is a primary reason why employees quit. Companies benefit from reduced turnover (and costs) when engagement is high. This dynamic creates a strong workplace culture for everyone involved and dramatically reduces the costs of turnover (both monetary and time) for the organization. 

It is important to note that the benefits to the individual employees and the organization’s benefits entirely depend on each other, and one cannot survive without the other. Those benefits, including reduced turnover costs and happier employees, must be maintained by constant measuring and iteration.  

Put the metrics you’ve gathered to use 

Measuring employee engagement is essential, but what organizations do with that data is equally important. The survey feedback means little when no action is taken. Start by communicating the results with employees at a company level, and then share the next steps. Providing employees with consistent updates and highlighting when changes result from employee feedback goes a long way toward engagement. 

Measuring employee engagement is not a one-time activity. Develop the habit of asking for feedback. Pulse surveys effectively target specific issues and allow you to capture real-time employee feedback at a regular cadence. Asking people for their candid input will help employees to feel valued, connected, and engaged and improve employee engagement


Ready to measure employee engagement? Survey your people when your company participates in Top Workplaces, the employer recognition program that offers awards in 60+ regional markets as well as national awards for culture and industry excellence.        


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