Measuring Employee Engagement: 7 Key Metrics

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So you want to measure employee engagement, and you’ve identified surveying as the best way to do that. But since you can’t just ask your people if they’re engaged, which metrics should you focus on?

It’s difficult to know what to ask, since employee engagement doesn’t really have an ironclad definition or recipe; it’s different from organisation to organisation. So first of all, you should take some time to figure out what makes for an engaged employee at your organisation. 

That should give you a good basis to work out the components that you’re looking to measure, but if you still need a little nudge in the right direction, here are seven questions that cover some of the key measures of employee engagement and employee experience:

Employee engagement metrics to measure

1. Advocacy

Question 1 eNPS

The classic employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) question, where the percentage of detractors—those who respond with a 6 or below—is subtracted from the percentage of promoters—those who respond with a 9 or 10—to reveal your eNPS. Like so:

eNPS calculation

This is a really powerful metric for measuring employee engagement, because a promoter is someone who not only believes your organisation is a good place to work, but is also confident enough in its future to recommend it to their friends and family.

As a rule of thumb, an eNPS of…

  • Over +40 = outstanding
  • +20 to +40 = very good
  • -10 to +20 = average
  • Below -10 = concerning

2. Pride

Question 2 Pride

These days, work is so much more than transactional; for many of us, it really matters that we also believe in our organisation’s purpose, mission, values, culture and reputation. That stuff is a motivator for people to get out of bed on a cold Monday morning, to go the extra mile for a deadline, or even to apply for the job in the first place.

Those who believe in the work they do, the way they’re expected to do it and who they do it for are more productive, higher-performing and less likely to leave—making pride a great metric for measuring employee engagement.

3. Loyalty

Question 3 loyalty

At one end of the spectrum, there are the people who are always on the lookout for their next challenge. At the other, there are those who are terrified of the unknown and stepping outside of their comfort zones. And then there’s the majority of us who sit somewhere in the middle; we’re happy to remain where we are, but only as long as:

  • it suits us
  • we’re content
  • the grass doesn’t seem too much greener elsewhere.

This metric highlights the flight risks among your people, and is a strong indicator of attrition. But remember—when using this metric to measure employee engagement, high attrition does not always mean low engagement; aside from the predispositions already mentioned, attrition can be affected by a number of factors, like the industry, the current working climate and personal circumstances, so make sure to look below the surface of your results on this one.

4. Relationship with management

Question 4 management

Time to wheel out the old favourite again: “People leave managers, not companies”. Okay, so that might not be 100% true, but an employee’s manager has an unparalleled influence over things like their autonomy, development and, ultimately, job satisfaction.

So it makes a lot of sense to keep an eye on how well your managers manage when measuring employee engagement, because even if everything else is spot on, a bad manager relationship is a huge engagement blocker.

5. Feedback quality

Question 5 feedback quality

Employee voice is what we do at Hive, so we know exactly how important it is when it comes to employee engagement. When people know they can speak up, they feel empowered. When they know they’re listened to, they feel cared for and valued. And when they know their voice influences decisions, they feel included and that they belong. 

That’s why you should build a culture around employee voice, where people have psychological safety to provide open and honest feedback. But to do that you’ll need to keep on top of perceptions within the organisation—which is where this employee engagement metric comes in.

6. Employee recognition

Question 6 recognition

Acknowledging good work with positive feedback—even with just a simple “thank you”—can be a hugely powerful tool when it comes to employee engagement; we all crave validation and appreciation. And the inverse also applies, that a lack of recognition can be very damaging to engagement levels; how did you feel the last time you held the door open for someone and they didn’t thank you?

Recognition also happens to be one of the cheapest employee engagement strategies out there, so any organisations who don’t measure and encourage it are missing a great opportunity at an easy win.

👉 Check out Hive Fives—our peer-to-peer recognition tool.

7. Personal growth

Question 7 growth

“Dead-end job” is not a phrase that is often preceded by “I love my…”. 

We tend to be ambitious creatures, so making sure people know where they can progress to and how they can get there is a vital component of employee engagement. But even if you put a bunch of stuff in place for people to move up, some might not think it’s enough—and some might not have even gotten the memo. So you need to check in with them to make sure the development opportunities available to employees are sufficient and understood.

Measuring employee engagement—and backing it with science

There you go—some nice pre-baked employee engagement metrics for you to tuck into. But keep in mind that every organisation, organisational culture and workforce is different. So if you really want to nail how you’re measuring employee engagement, let us know and we’ll put our People Science team on the case! Hive’s People Scientists can help with:

  • Tailored survey development to measure employee engagement metrics that matter to your organisation
  • Analysing and dissecting results in easy-to-digest reports that uncover the real drivers of employee engagement
  • Creating action plans off the back of your results to help drive positive change and boost levels of engagement.

And, of course, our People Scientists have roots in occupational psychology—so you’re in the safest of hands. Book a chat to get started!

Free EBook

Creating Employee Surveys that Work for Your Organisation

Covering everything from getting leaders on board and designing a strategy, to writing good questions and getting started with results, this ebook will give you a jumpstart on all things employee feedback and get you well-prepared for your timely new survey launch!

Creating Employee Surveys that Work for Your Organisation