How to Measure Employee Engagement The Right Way

Pulse Survey

How to Measure Employee Engagement The Right Way

20 Sep, 2019

Measuring employee engagement is an elusive concept for many organizations. In this article, we’ll get into why this is and how to measure employee engagement the right way. 


Read on to learn about effective employee measurement tools, how to create effective surveys measuring employee engagement, questions to ask about measuring employee engagement, and more.


Measuring Employee Engagement is Hard

If one thing is for sure, it’s that measuring employee engagement is not easy. On top of that, there is no straightforward formula that equates to employee engagement. Employers measure employee engagement differently; some may say engagement means happiness, others appreciation, and some say work output.


Many different things need to happen for an employee to feel engaged. While there’s currently a lack of a unified definition when it comes to employee engagement, many can agree that engagement means an emotional commitment to an organization.


According to Harvard Business Review, these are some of the metrics found to be the most valuable in measuring employee engagement:

Management quality and time investment:

  • Time spent in one-on-ones
  • Exposure to higher-level leadership
  • The network quality of a manager
  • Percent of manager’s time spent with the team


Influence from colleagues (because engagement is infectious):

  • The ratio of highly engaged employees vs. low on a team


  • The number of strong, intimate tie connections
  • The number of weak tie connections
  • How much the network of an individual fluctuates over time

  Work Schedule:

  • Hours spent in large group meetings (engagement decreases with this)
  • The number of breaks in between meetings and events


While it takes effort and time, it’s certainly possible to find ways for measuring the success of employee engagement.


Why do you need to measure Employee Engagement? 


According to Gallup, only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, which means that companies are missing out on 68% of employee potential—that’s a lot! When employees are engaged, their output will be greater, which in turn means greater profitability and growth for companies. 


Engaged employees will invest themselves more in a company if they feel they are genuinely cared about. Most employees want to feel not only that their opinion matters but that their feedback is used to make improvements in the workplace. 


Employee engagement measurement tools/techniques/strategies/KPIs

Here are some important employee engagement measurement tools and techniques:


One of the most common ways of measuring employee engagement is with surveys, but bear in mind, they are just one aspect of the entire process. 


Try formulating regular short surveys to take the temperature of satisfaction levels within your organization. We have a full library of templates you can begin with here if you need some help getting started. 

1-on-1 talks

Having regular 1 to 1 talks is an informal way of measuring individual employee engagement regularly. These meetings help bring:


  • Greater trust between managers, employees, and coworkers
  • Better alignment of individual and mutual objectives
  • Useful feedback about the organization
  • More insight into the career goals of the individual employees


Exit & stay interviews

Exit interviews are commonplace in many organizations, but something that can be used more often by organizations is the “stay” interview. The stay interview allows companies to get useful information before an employee leaves the company. The goal of these types of interviews should be to learn:


  • What makes employees want to stay
  • What makes employees want to leave
  • What could have been done better
  • What you’re already doing well
  • How relationships with managers are/were
  • What a great day at work looks like


There are many types of questions you can ask to get answers to these points. If we can offer one word of advice, it’s to try and conduct as many “stay” interviews as you can before they become exit interviews.


Employee Net Promoter Scores (ENPS) are a method of measurement that was introduced to try and measure employee engagement. It has recently taken off in the business world with many organizations.


The way it works is employees are asked how likely they would be to recommend working at the company to another colleague or friend, and the surveyed person answers on a scale of 0 to 10. 


  • Raters giving 0 to 6 are “detractors”
  • Raters giving 7-8 are “passives” 
  • Raters giving 9-10 are “promoters”


The aim of ENPS is not to single out the detractors from the promoters and vice versa. Rather, employers should take the cumulative feedback to look at how things can be improved if overall ratings are low and optimized if overall ratings are good. You can learn more about this method here

Read about our new Heartpace Pulse feature to measure eNPS


Top factors of successful Surveys

Now that you have an idea of what strategies to implement in measuring employee engagement, let’s go back to surveys to learn about how effective surveys measure employee engagement.

Anonymous or Not

To anonymous or not to anonymous? This is an important question to ask before you begin collecting data from a survey. With surveys, it depends on what you are hoping to get from them. There are three main types:


This is a survey where the employee is not identified. The benefit is that you will likely get much more straightforward, honest feedback with an anonymous survey, however, you won’t be able to take the results and individually target the people reporting the biggest issues.

Open (non-anonymous)

This survey identifies the people being surveyed, which means you can assign feedback to a specific person and/or team. On the flip side, respondents might not feel comfortable at being identified and will, therefore, be much less forthcoming in their feedback.


This is the type of survey where specific teams and employees are identified, but instead of management and leadership handling the results, it is carried out by a third-party organization.


You can learn more about these survey types and which one is the best for your organization’s goals in this article here.


You need to be consistent in employee surveys whether it’s monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually. An idea is you can even send bigger surveys annually but smaller surveys quarterly. Whatever method you choose, it must be routine and consistent so that the data is as reliable as possible.


Clear, nice templates with right questions

We have a full library of clean, well-researched survey templates that ask all of the right questions. These surveys can take a huge part of the load off your hands for engagement surveys, and best of all, they’re free! You can choose from:



A follow up with a team or individual talks

Once you’ve gathered data after measuring employee engagement from surveys, a best practice is to follow up on the results. This can be a company-wide meeting to address improvements that are going to be made from the surveys, 1 to 1 talks in smaller teams, and follow-up surveys after changes are made.


If you’re interested in taking employee engagement to a new level of efficiency, our performance management software has all the tools you need to automate the process and make it easier than it’s ever been in your organization. Contact us here to learn more.

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