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Employee Engagement is a term used to describe an employees’ emotional and intellectual commitment to their organisation and its success.  It refers to the extent to which people in an organisation know what they have to do and their willingness to give extra effort to achieve that. It is the difference between people coming to work and doing an adequate job, and people coming to work and really giving their best, displaying creativity and using their initiative.

Job satisfaction and happiness are not synonymous with employee engagement. A person can be happy at work or satisfied with their job and not actually do any meaningful work. Job satisfaction and happiness do not in themselves create high performance.

It should be no surprise then that employee engagement, or lack thereof, is a critical factor in an organization’s overall financial success.


The benefits of engaged employees

Engaged employees produce more, make more money for the company, and create emotional engagement and loyal customers

They contribute to good working environments where people are productive, ethical and accountable.

They stay with the organization longer and are more committed to quality and growth than disengaged workers.


The risks of disengaged employees

Employees who feel disconnected emotionally from their co-workers and supervisor do not feel committed to their work

They hang back and do the minimum because they don’t believe anyone cares

These employees lower the bar for themselves by doing the least amount of work necessary


Conducting an Employee Engagement Survey

In an Employee Engagement Survey, three elements are measured: Say, Stay and Strive. Employees are engaged when they:

  • Speak positively about the organisation to co-workers, potential employees and customers
  • Have an intense desire to be a member of the organization
  • Exert extra effort and are dedicated to doing the very best job possible to contribute to the organization’s business success
  • Communication
  • Work tasks
  • Management and Leadership
  • Opportunities
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Performance and Strategy
  • Quality of life
  • Change Management
  • Relationship with Co-workers
  • People focus
  • Team work
  • Job security

Employee Engagement Surveys also measure employee satisfaction with a range of other areas which are key to driving overall engagement. These may include satisfaction with:

The opinion of employees is measured on a 6-point scale (employees rank their satisfaction level between ‘I completely disagree’ and ‘I fully agree’.) In addition to numeric results, employees have the opportunity to explain their opinion providing further useful information about their feelings and ideas

Using the results to drive employee engagement in your organisation?

Leading companies are now moving beyond just understanding the levels of their employees’ engagement, and are using surveys to understand the drivers behind it. These insights inform proactive and plan-specific interventions to improve engagement effectively and realize business results.

Companies that use an employee engagement survey as a change management tool—rather than a data source—can reduce voluntary turnover in at-risk populations exponentially and also improve discretionary effort.

There are three key steps organisations can take to maximise the value and insight they can gain from running an Employee Engagement Survey:-

1.       Align the survey closely with the business goals and objectives

For example, a company looking to grow share of wallet by improving customer loyalty would ensure that marketing, sales and market research executives partner with the survey team to ensure that results can sufficiently predict the workforce’s ability to meet this business objective. This process begins very early in the project lifecycle and is especially important to designing an effective survey.

2.       Derive business-critical insights from survey results

When survey data is analysed the right way, robust analytics can be used to link survey results with tangible business outcomes. Some examples of those outcomes include improving customer satisfaction scores or increasing revenue per employee. Organizations can address challenging business questions by strategically designing an upcoming survey or by going back to historical survey results and re-analysing them with an eye toward those outcomes.

3.       Empower line managers to drive business performance on an ongoing basis

Many survey initiatives result in data reports that just sit on the shelf and never tie specifically to improvement activities that drive business growth. Refusing to accept the status quo of static reports, leading organizations take further measures to ensure that the survey influences meaningful and measurable change.

Action plans, communication resources, and employee development tools are all critical in affecting positive change after an employee survey. These action-oriented resources can be configured by critical population, but should primarily target the development of front-line managers based on individual strengths and weaknesses.


Employee engagement plays a critical role for organizations actively looking to gain competitive advantage in both short and long-term time horizons. By following these guiding principles, an employee engagement survey can move beyond a data collection exercise and become a catalyst for growth by enabling the organization to retain more employees, driving higher levels of discretionary effort and aligning employee efforts to strategic imperatives.

For more information on running an Employee Engagement Survey please contact:

Scott Owens CMRS Dip (MRS) BA (Hons)
Robust Insight Limited
Regent's Court, Princess Street, Hull, HU2 8BA
Website: www.robust-insight.co.uk
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 01469 640558
Mob: 07825 269235
Skype ID: scott1895