How to measure Employee's level of Engagement?"....what are the different ways do organizations use to measure employees engagement levels

Employee engagement is not just about survey, feedback, low attrition, organising event and bringing smile on employee's face. It i beyond that.

Following is the discussion of various HR professionals on HR Shapers group on 23rd December 2014. I hope you will enjoy it.

[23/12 07:40] Shubhajit: Good morning all, can you guys share some of your ideas n means on " How to measure Employee's level of Engagement?"....what are the different ways do organizations use to measure employees engagement levels eg; Gallup Survey, etc.? Regards, Shubhajit Bose

[23/12 07:57] Ashish: VGM...Shubhajit n all...let us make this as 2day topic....
[23/12 08:00] Ashish: Today Topic - How to measure Employee's level of Engagement?"....what r the different ways do organizations use to measure employees engagement levels eg; Gallup Survey, internal survey,any third party survey, manager feedback, less attrition, high productivity, etc.?

[23/12 08:14] Participant 1: Good Topic!
No need of any survey!
Just ask one question-
Every day morning when you get up, do you feel like going to work?
If the answer is YES, he/she is engaged, if NO is disengaged.

In all surveys people try to intelectualise responses and hence you don’t get real picture, my personal experience.

[23/12 08:21] Ashish: Access the Engaging For Success report (also known as the MacLeod Report) to read more about employee engagement.

[23/12 08:21] Ashish: I think other than these measurable tools one can see the happiness while employees are at the workplace. Secondary, how positively they talk about their workplace outside the organization and to new peers. And lastly, how easily they can approach management to share their feedback, ideas, complaints, suggestions, etc. I think these are the best ways to capture their engagement level, but obviously one cannot record it.

[23/12 08:22] Ashish: Employee Engagement is a favourite topic of HR and business managers.

At one of the leading MNC Bank, we used Gallup for a pretty long time. The results were pinned to a line  manager and actions were accordingly taken. It was felt to the overused and We recently  moved to right management engagement tool. That measure employee engagement. On each parameter the employee rates the organization and then imp is the parameter for him. The gap score acts as an action area item.
Apart from this you do see a lot of informal ways like HR conversations, employee fgd's, other surveys, skip level meetings, line manager comversation, performance assessment surveys, documented feedback etc. that works well. You get early warning signals.
But then that it is always that uncertainty, one event, on an incident that will kick start a new cycle
The challenge, however, would be to ensure that one creates an environment where employees don’t feel threatened to share honest feedback, encourage speak up et

[23/12 08:36] ‪Participant 2: Increase employee referral ratio also indicates employee engagement it shows that in  the market these employees are giving positive feedback for preferred employer to work with

[23/12 08:36] Ashish: Yaar one question, How do v trust 3rd party n analysis done by them....

[23/12 08:36] Ashish: I think, to measure overall org pulse index three aspects are very important.
1. Audit report without NC
2. Good ESAT, preferably external
3. Less attrition compared to competitors

[23/12 08:36] Ashish: Its a tool the third party guy provides... Feedback / responses are provided by the employees. Example : payroll processing done by Hewitt but; comp is agreed by you.

The question is whether you pay people appropriately is our issue, philosophy, ability, etc.  to complete the analogy the tool measure engagement in certain parameters - Gallup uses different parameters - as an org u need to choose how relevant it is for u. The problem is not the tool in my mind

[23/12 08:37] Ashish: True.. Even we do People Pulse Survey to measure engagement level, however,  I feel unethical when our management asks us to get it filled using pencil. So, how can we trust these third party agencies?

[23/12 08:37] Ashish: Internal data analytics can be used to correlate initiatives undertaken, areas it addresses and subsequent outcomes like attrition, productivity, etc

[23/12 08:37] Ashish: We look at brand health index as well in addition to the's in the lines of engaged staff- engaged customers

[23/12 08:39] Ashish: Input from group I......where r my group II members...
[23/12 08:41] Ashish: Rupali...employee referral can be monetary push as well...isn't..

[23/12 08:42] ‪Shubhajit: Thanks. I agree with u Vijay. Questions can be framed in such a manner that employees are not able to manipulate their response and even if they do that should get reflected in subsequent questions. Doing a correlation with productivity/ health index can be a tangible way as well. However, informal meetings n skips levels r d best.

[23/12 08:47] Participant 3: 100 percent employee engagement score is a myth. The multi generational workforce in the organisation has different and unique requirements. Perhaps that needs to be understood and  addressed. This would lead to greater customization. However a majority of HR programs and policies are standard and uniform. Question: Is it time to reflect on relevance of 'one size fits all' and 'required customization' in HR policies and programs ?

[23/12 09:01] Participant 4: They can because they think they can. #GetInspired #GoodMorning :-)

[23/12 09:03] Ashish: Guys one input n request...its gud to share what ur, others companies n industry doing...its help us to understand what is best of best happening in d industry n some of them can b adopted as per ur org need...Thank u all those who share their best practices on this learning platform of HR Shapers however most welcome to ur own thoughts, ideas, knowledge as well u may want to apply... share what u believe in doing if ur CEO, MD, HR Head, Dept Head etc...this way we can increase our knowledge base much more n encourage n motivate more participation... Guys...ideas not ne1 copyrights

[23/12 09:04] Participant 5: As HR we need to first understand the needs of different sets of employees like gen x, gen y, babyboomers and millennial. Post that we can plan various EE activities and this will reflect in your annual survey and attrition nos... Specific example from Capgemini we show set of gen x disengaged in the  start of 2014 by various EE we got them engaged and that reflected in the annual survey

[23/12 09:05] ‪Participant 2: Ashish yes ,thats true too but, there are times when n employee is involved in understanding new projects open requirements these are key indicators to show the employee is connected

[23/12 09:06] Participant 5: Annual surveys are really effective if proper actions plans are drawn and implemented based on employee feedback

[23/12 09:07] Participant 1: Shishir...agree with you. No ' copy paste ' as all orgn are different and people are too. Customisation is must. We as HR should learn this first.

[23/12 09:17] Participant 5: One suggestion on how to measure is - evaluated/ measure the employee/ manager relationship by doing focus groups this will a fair idea who is undervalued and not treated well

[23/12 09:29] Participant 1: Are we saying employee satisfaction and engagement are same?

[23/12 09:37] Participant 4: Hi Mr. Vijay, it differs from company to company. Depending on the nature of company you need to customize.

[23/12 09:45] Participant 6: Employee satisfaction & employee engagement both are different but they connected. 

If they are happy/ satisfied,  then only they engage them-self in the organisation.
[23/12 09:47] Participant 1: Particularly in Service Industry, where people get offers without searching for jobs, and higher salaries, they are forced to get disengaged, no matter how satisfied they are!

This is totally driven by external factors and no survey will capture this.
This happens typically in middle level where attritions are very high.

[23/12 09:48] Govind Sharma: Agree to Vijay. Every organisation is unique, so the need and we should get various ideas, then we should take our own decision, also low attrition does not indicate engagement it also indicates employees creating comfort zone. Engagement is there when people love and enjoy their job, shows an increase in productivity and overall growth of the organization

[23/12 09:54] Participant 1: Govind..
You nailed it!
You take Govt.Orgn. Zero attrition unless kicked out!
Highly satisfied.
Zero engagement and low productivity

[23/12 09:56] Participant 7: I also don't support engagement  survey,  but it's being used by us as it gives a numerical  value for the business heads. My experience, mostly the gap is known and have not seen much of new things coming out of survey. I advocate mostly informal ways and agree with what Vijay has pointed out

[23/12 10:08] Participant 1: Formal survey or no formal survey, what u do with the findings is important.I mean actionables.
If the survey points out at some people and they are highly productive or skilled, are we going to sack them?

[23/12 10:10] Participant 6: If you want to see how employee are engaged, simply organise an event on the weekend.

[23/12 10:12] Participant 1: Jibon..
Best survey you suggested.

[23/12 10:19] Ashish: Yaar one do we trust 3rd party n analysis done by them....

[23/12 10:20] Ashish: We do attrition analysis, analysis on VOE surveys etc. Regular interaction with employees helps.

[23/12 10:20] Ashish: Employee Engagement is not  once a year survey activity.
It is a constant dialogue with employees covering both - expectations and commitment from both parties that is an employee and employer 
One on one / skip level / happiness quotient survey for shop floor 
Employee engagement was / is measured in three pillars of 
1. Say 
2. Stay
3. Strive 
Internal / external surveys give indicators and on which action plan is made and each head is responsible for his / her team performance plus motivation and total engagement levels

[23/12 10:20] Ashish: We, at XYZ have introduced interesting tool called as "mood indicator", where the employee can express their mood. This helps to take immediate action and arrest discomfort, if any

[23/12 10:20] Ashish: Mood Indicator Ye sahi hai

[23/12 10:21] Ashish: "Today is my last day at Sun. I'll miss it. Only fitting to end on this hiku.  Financial Crisis / stalled too many customers / CEO no more". I wonder if in a VUCA world conventional EE has any meaning left!

[23/12 10:21] Ashish: How often can we use this, who has access... Where all is the info used
[23/12 10:21] Ashish: By the way guys mood indicator very famous n many using...

[23/12 10:21] Ashish: At Fujitsu we run a half yearly internal and an annual external is done for non Japan employees and we have done exceedingly well on the same. Engagement has to be measured through a survey only...attrition...grievances , etc. are only indicators of health

[23/12 10:21] Ashish: What I understand that every morning employee or asked to chose they r in which mood...and employee select happy/sad/enthu/so on etc...n HR keep checking n approaching those whose indicate they r in a bad mood...

[23/12 10:22] Ashish: We have a system built on social platform through which we have provided smileys to employees to indicate mood

Access is limited to senior management and HR.
This is used cautiously, and we have built trust in employees.
Helps to know overall mood of the organization. Arrest attrition, work life balancing, etc......

[23/12 10:23] Ashish: What matters is continued org commitment to ensuring a happy, healthy, stress free workplace for associates with policies to match and support. Different employees in different career phases will have different engagement levels, recognizing this variance and tackling it is more important than just doing the survey...engagement is a long term commitment that an org must keep.
[23/12 10:24] Ashish: N HR Professionals like Gautam Ghosh n Anand Pillai hv appreciated n admitted this grt tool kind of knowing employee engagement mood in Tech HR Conf Gurgaon in front of 150 HR.. Baliram...BTW..this all happened when Sameer Bendre HR Head was sitting in the conf...
[23/12 10:28] Participant 1: Tools are always good.
Results depend on Who, how its used.
Mood Indicator is a good tool.
Nothing stops me clicking ' Excitex' daily  to please my boss !
[23/12 10:29] Participant 1: I meant Excited...
[23/12 11:51] Participant 1: Looks all are highly Engaged !!
[23/12 11:58] Participant 10: Since this organisation is a manufacturing industry, apart from common indicators like attrition, people survey score, etc., we also look at No. Or percentage of people engaged/participating in Kaizen/TPM/improvement initiatives. Also absenteeism is one of the measures.

[23/12 12:05] Participant 7: Very important  point Vijay . Tools are good, but how is perceived value by employees  are important. If they don't put the right feedback no one will know the actual situation on the ground.

[23/12 12:06] Participant 7: Also the next point of discussion on this will be once u know the tool analysis and report what you do with it

[23/12 12:14] Participant 1: Good point Amol.
We need to share survey findings without editing along with the actions proposed.
Also give periodic heads up on what is done and not done then people will believe.

[23/12 12:14] Participant 7: I feel surveys which r driven using some scientific tools are important and required. For example - look at the tools like Kenexa- these are amazing tools. If the questions are appropriate, interpretations are correct,  then those surveys can get you wonderful results. Especially the business focussed functions like HRBP, Talent management can contribute to a gr8 extent to get max participation into these surveys. Especially in large organisations like where you have more than 100k employees working and you have a large multi location, presence - then those survey tools make a lot of difference. At least they will help u w some set of behaviours, trends in the org which could in turn help to drive your engagement programs in the organisation. These surveys will so bring you a result of how effective these clients facing functions are!!

[23/12 12:15] ‪Participant 8: Tools are good, but same tool is not applicable across all levels of the organisation also. There is a difference how it is perceived in different operations/levels. Customisation is required as per the focused target. Generally, we use same tool every year across levels...

[23/12 12:15] ‪Participant 8: As mentioned by many of us that more important is what is our course of action on reports outcome.

[23/12 12:24] ‪Participant 8: Exit feedback also gives us a glimpse of what's the pain area(also about current employer). If we study and strategize on its outcome. It's very helpful.

[23/12 12:24] Participant 9: True Sandhya

[23/12 12:25] Participant 9: Exit interview gives many aspects of employees.

[23/12 12:26] Participant 6: But i don’t think so. 

Sometime exit interview doesn't work. 
They don't provide proper feedback.

[23/12 12:26] ‪Participant 8: If hr is constantly in direct personal touch with employees, we don't need any big tools to find out if our employees are engaged and happy.

[23/12 12:28] ‪Participant 8: Jibon-that happens when we doing it as one of the formality. If we have a contact with our employees it does not happen.

[23/12 12:29] Participant 9: Agree with Sandhya

[23/12 12:29] Participant 6: But in a big organisation, its impossible to keep in personal touch with each employee. In that case, line manager is the perfect one.

[23/12 12:31] ‪Shubhajit: We also have proper structured "stay interviews" in our organization.

[23/12 12:31] ‪Shubhajit: We also have structured "stay interviews" in our organization

[23/12 12:33] Participant 6: Sandhya - yeah that's right 
I have seen with one of the largest Indian conglomerate, for them exit interview for lower level employees is just a formality. If the manager and above, then only they take it seriously.

[23/12 12:40] ‪Shubhajit: If the size of the org is big, then HR partners for this specific business has to play a crucial role. It all depends how genuinely one takes up the job n get into the field along with the line managers. I have seen people considering employee engagement as simply extra curricular activities. While its just a small subset which actually encapsulates the larger goal to evaluate the level of involvement of an employee to his work n how closely he is committed to his organization.

[23/12 12:59] Participant 1: If we can train or orient all HR
[23/12 13:00] Participant 1: Sorry, all Line Mgrs to effectively handle employees half the problems will be solved.

[23/12 13:22] ‪Participant 8: That's right Vijay... its mainly direct managers who can keep the heart and mind of their team engaged.

[23/12 13:22] Participant 1: As its said HR should know Business, why not Line Manager should know HR, as people are the major contributors to the productivity.

[23/12 13:24] ‪Participant 8:  that's must these days.

[23/12 13:48] ‪Shubhajit: Yeah whether in line or HR the more you climb up the ladder, the more HR manager u should come... Its all about managing human capital

[23/12 13:48] ‪Shubhajit: Become

[23/12 13:53] Ashish: Guys...this topic really engaging all of us...happy to see so many comments...keep it up...Group I also bombarding with input...will share soon...

[23/12 14:03] Participant 10: Ashish thoda slow bombarding karna. We are already getting so many messages. It has become difficult to cope up with and give input with our busy schedule.

[23/12 14:05] Participant 1: Ashis... .keeps writing thisintermittentlyy on both groups!
Message is same !!
It works as booster dose 
Appreciate his commitment

[23/12 14:09] Participant 6: Its also an engaging activities.

[23/12 14:09] Participant 6: Activity

[23/12 14:17] Ashish: Ketan...completely understand hence doing in one shot with all message in one...most welcome to give input after working hrs as well...

[23/12 14:19] Ashish: Vikram Poddar: Had one query here. We have all heard the expression that 70 per cent of employees join good companies but leave bad managers. While we can capture satisfaction at a holistic level, the very basic satisfaction still comes from your reporting relationship?

Ashish Gakrey,MTHR Global: Vikram...satisfaction n engagement r 2 difference things though connected with each other... engaging employee can b satisfied but satisfied employee can't be engaging...

Deepak: AG true. The chances of engaging a  satisfied employee are higher than a dissatisfied employee.  Disengaged employees are more harmful than your  competitors.

Vikram Poddar: Thanks Deepak and Ashish for explaining that. So we could say that level of engagement is expressed through both tangible and intangible indicators?
Bhushan Surve: Good content flowing..I'm still with paper Era. will take time come upto survey..or such lovely far...1-1 interactions are the solutions for us...

Vivek Vyas: For an employee 'what's in it for me? ' is the question which is crucial to answer else all engagement activities remain reporting tools used for leadership team. Through employee catch up we identify the areas / concerns and try resolve them. This brings lot of credibility to HR from managers. There is a fine balance we need to maintain where we don't end up being agony aunt. At times we need to correct employee expectations.

Monisha Sharma: We are conducting an ERM survey for the last couple of years. It's a unique survey, which tracks EE based on three parameters, i.e., demography, situational and institutional. Situation parameters have question surrounding the current work environment like supervisor, role, job satisfaction, etc. and institutional parameter has questions pertaining to org like compensation, benefits, Facility, support team, etc. For demography, data is pulled out from system to check native, last promotion date, queries raised in system etc.. Its an exhaustive tool where a piece of data comes from the employee history recorded in the system. Based on,the outcome, we identify the circle of engagement for each employee. The data is mapped as per each leader n presented to them to identify the high risk attrition cases and appropriate action is taken accordingly.

Monisha Sharma: As per the input from our leaders, they can relate to the outcome as employees identified as high risk are genuine high risk cases.
Monisha Sharma: The only recommendation which has gone from my end is that it should be done 3 months after appraisal cycle n not before the roll out promotion/ hike letter.

Devi Dash: At a leading Healthcare, we had won the Workplace Award for 2014. This is given to organisations who have performed exceptionally well in engaging their workforce and leveraging that strength to drive business results and sustainable growth. We are now in the process of building a tool to gauge the mood of employees.

Devi Dash: In addition to that, we also conduct in house employee satisfaction survey for the gauging, work environment, job satisfaction, facilities, compensation etc.

Devi Dash: @ sorry missed to mention that we had won the GallUp workplace award for 2014

Devi Dash: The aforesaid helps us in analysing our current situation and act appropriately on the same.

Rajesh Manik: At a leading financial organisation, we have weaved our Employee Engagement model/ practices around our Best Place To Work Philosophy and journey. We believe: Engagement is the state of emotional and intellectual involvement in a group or organization to the extent to which an organization has captured the hearts and minds of its people. 

It is about engaging every single mind in the organization, making everyone part of the action and allowing everyone to have a voice a role in the success of the enterprise. We follow the Hewitt Engagement Model of Say, Stay & Strive and the Great Place To Work researched model of 9 steps of the  employee life cycle which is Hiring & welcoming, Caring, Listening, Speaking, Developing, Inspiring, Thanking, Celebrating and Sharing
We have been executing people engagement since 2011 and measure it by way of regulations.

[23/12 14:20] Ashish: .....engagement since 2011 and measure it by way of regular employee feedback, skip level meets, exit interviews, annual surveys, appraisal discussions, level of participation in work and fun events, attrition %, level and quantum of participation in OD activities/projects and overall proactive involvement of each employee in making our organisation a Best Place To Work

[23/12 17:45] ‪+Participant 11: Survey conducted in most of the MNc and action plan/suggestions, recommendations, implementations is purely based on monetary or budget based through senior management or company financial constraints or condition.
[23/12 17:50] Participant 1: That’s why people loose interest in such surveys which cost bomb!

[23/12 17:56] Participant 10: There are many dimensions which are covered in our survey which we conduct every year at this manufacturing company. Like Working conditions & facilities, communication, leadership, growth opportunity, leaning & development, HR systems & processes, commitment to environment & society. ..etc. There are statements in each of these dimensions. People have to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 ( strongly agreed to strongly disagree). As far as question of  the budget is concerned, it will come only in Working conditions & facilities dimension.

[23/12 18:21] Participant 12: Few thoughts : Are today's HR's engaged ?

[23/12 18:22] Participant 12: HR's needs to be a part of the employees to establish the connect and add value to ensure the employees and then enable engagement to ensure the benefits

[23/12 18:24] Participant 10: this can not be generalised for all HR people! Answer Yes or No will vary from organisation to organization. We will have to deep dive to know people practices of the organisation to find out the answer.

[23/12 18:27] ‪Shubhajit: In fact, within an org also, it may vary. However, the leadership team (including HR) n culture will definitely exercise its influence.

[23/12 18:28] Participant 12: Agree on the diversity within the organization

[23/12 18:30] Participant 12: At any point, the org wide engagement would be as effective as the HR team's engagement effectiveness, which needs to be industry, Gen X / Y etc., specific

[23/12 18:44] Ashish: Ketan n Balaji..HR engagement is another topic like who will motivte HR...Its also seen and noticed that HR Leadership focus to engage key HR dept n ignore HR Ops n HR Shared Services Team.

[23/12 18:52] Govind Sharma: @HarvardBiz: A reading list on employee engagement:

[23/12 18:58] Participant 1: Interesting to go through so many varied feedbacks. Worth documenting all these inputs.
Appreciate the enthusiasm and openness in the group.
Keep it up.
Wish some more people contribute who are silent till now.

[23/12 19:07] Ashish: Yup...I'm sure some members storing daily discussion info...Govind...u must be doing that.

[23/12 19:08] Ashish: HR Shapers - Pioneer in Whatsapp Chat Session with Guest Speaker

HR Shaper Whatsapp Guest Speaker Chat Session Calendar
# 26 Dec - Pratik Vaidya, SME on HR and Labour Laws Compliances  and MD - Karma Mgt Consultants  - | 
# 10 Jan 2015 - Sundara Rajan, SME on Assessment Tools and Dir. - Thomas Assessments India and Market Search India -
# 2nd week of Jan 2015- Poorvi Chothani , SME on immigration | Managing Partner, (Advocate, India; Attorney, NY, USA; Solicitor, England and Wales)
# 17 Jan 2015 - Dr Saundarya Rajesh,  SME on Diversity and Inclusion and Founder – President, AVTAR Career Creators & FLEXI Careers 
# Jan / Feb 2015 - Dr TV Rao, Chairman, TVRLS

[23/12 20:35] Govind Sharma: Yes Ashish, on the basis of every day's discussion, I am creating a blog post and posting it on our Facebook page, my LinkedIn status and on twitter also mentioning your twitter handler and MTHR


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