Measuring Employee Engagement

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 means a lot of different things to different people. Top Workplaces defines employee engagement as:

“A positive psychological state where an employee feels an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals.”

Companies with higher employee engagement have better productivity, performance, and happier, healthier employees.

Engaged employees give more energy because they want to — this is known as discretionary effort. They go above and beyond for your company.  They want to do more.

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. One of the greatest benefits of employee engagement surveys is that they enable leaders to learn what matters most to employees. 

Asking employees for confidential 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. Employee engagement 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 offers a safe dialogue environment.
  • Focus groups: Assemble a diverse group of employees to participate in a guided discussion.  

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, heard, and connected. All of these things help to improve employee engagement

Learn more: How to Interpret and Analyze Employee Engagement Surveys


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