Departments - May/June 2012

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Employee Engagement Levels Up

By Deborah L. Vence

Any reason for employees to become disengaged likely would have to do with a "Lack of resources to do the work is one of the big causes or disengagement. When employees don't have enough coworkers or lack the equipment and supplies they need, it can make them feel helpless to make a difference," Philippe said.

And, for those employees who remain actively engaged, "one of the big reasons for engagement we found in our data has to do with ensuring that there is a good fit between employee skill/talent and their job. The idea that if you are able to do what you do well, it makes the work personally rewarding," he added.

Of course, to measure employee engagement, companies need to use surveys to assess employees' level of commitment. HR Solutions uses three different surveys.

For example, the Sweet 16 is HR Solutions' most popular survey and consists of 16 survey items and measures four key aspects of employee engagement designed to assess an individual's loyalty, likelihood of giving extra discretionary effort, and personal commitment to the organization. The Sweet 16 also has two open-ended comments and enables those taking the survey to choose an additional 20 customized survey items. The Sweet 16 takes about 15 minutes to complete. Topics measured are: organizational effectiveness; recognition/career advancement; supervision/management; and co-worker performance/cooperation.

The second employee engagement survey the company uses is called the Short-Form Engagement/Satisfaction Survey. This survey is designed to measure how content employees are with 10 key aspects of the workplace to provide a more complete view of the areas that influence employee satisfaction. The survey is composed of 40 questions with two open-ended comments, and an additional 40 customized survey items can be selected. The Short-Form takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, with such topics measured as: overall job satisfaction, pay satisfaction and benefits satisfaction, just to name a few.

Finally, the third survey is called the Comprehensive Engagement/Satisfaction Survey, which covers a broad range of topics and is designed to measure how content employees are with 19 aspects of the workplace. It takes about 40 minutes to complete.

The survey is composed of 80 questions with two open-ended comments, and can include an additional 60 customized survey items. This particular survey is ideal for organizations that wish to capture the largest amount of information to prioritize strategic initiatives. Most organizations use this survey if they have never done a survey before, or have not conducted a survey in a long time to establish a baseline and then move to a shorter instrument for future surveys.