Why correctly evaluating the effects of your engagement program is essential in realizing its true potential and actual value to your company.
An engaged workforce is great—there’s no one doubting that a team that works on important tasks rather than their Minesweeper top score is more beneficial for the organization as a whole. But why, exactly? What are the tangible benefits of employee engagement for companies competing within various manufacturing industries?
- Reduction in turnover saves money by keeping training costs to a minimum
- When your employees execute your business plan, you’ll see improved business performance—engaged employees deliver results
- Engaged employees also create better customer satisfaction, driving customer experience
Why Measure Employee Engagement Programs?
Your employee engagement program can only be optimized—and the ultimate benefits can only be reached—if you’re measuring it along the way.
As the old carpenter’s idiom says, “measure twice, cut once.” Taking the time to carefully vet data before jumping to conclusions is crucial to long-term success (and furniture that isn’t lopsided). More specifically, for your employee engagement programs, measurement is important for two crucial reasons:
- You can maximize the value of your program spend. Don’t just be aware of your ROI—have an understanding of your ROI. When you get a grasp of the initiatives or tactics that drive the best results, it’s the most efficient way to maximize ROI.
- You understand employee perspectives. Is your employee engagement program not resonating with your people? Try to see it through their eyes. When you verify understanding of and alignment with core company objectives and values through employee engagement program participation, you’ll get a better grasp on what you can do to improve your initiative.
How Do You Measure Employee Engagement Programs?
Largely, measuring these programs within your respective industry depends on the kind of employee engagement program you have. A years-of-service program would involve different goals and tactics than a sales performance program, for example.
Still, there’s a common thread between all employee engagement programs in terms of measurement.
In this example, we’ll look at how an employee volunteer program is devised and measured:
- Define your goals. Start by identifying the goals of your program. What do you want to accomplish in your program? Be specific and quantify what you want to achieve.
- Participation — What level of participation would be satisfactory for you? (e.g. 80%)
- Reach — How many organizations do you want to help, or how many hours do you want to offer? (e.g. 10 agencies or 1,500 annual hours of support)
- Effectiveness — What level of satisfaction do employees have with the program offering? (e.g. 90% satisfaction via survey results)
- Impact — How many of your team members feel that the program improves their overall satisfaction with the organization and/or overall engagement? (e.g. 80%)
- Track your goals. Develop a measurement plan that supports the objectives and ensures effective administration. Consistently evaluate the program over various metrics:
- Management — Are you effectively executing the program? Ensure there are not operational roadblocks that might be impacting your ability to achieve your program goals.
- Engagement — Are your employees connecting to the program? Make sure there is adequate awareness of and enthusiasm for your program offering.
- Behavior — Are employees demonstrating the behavior you are looking to drive (signing up, showing up and fully participating)? To what extent?
- Impact — How and where is your program impacting your organization and the organizations it serves?
- Determine value. ROI is often not as tangible in a volunteer program, but there’s still VOI (value on investment). To determine what was earned from your program:
- Compare what was spent to implement the program (communications, t-shirts, etc.) against what was gained (increased employee satisfaction or engagement, what was achieved in the community, etc.). Your program may have cost $10,000, but these efforts got 100 positive social media posts, helped improve literacy and cleaned up the environment.
- Act on what you’ve learned. If it’s working—great! If not, identify actions to take based on what the data is telling you.
The Power of One
Employee initiatives, when executed correctly, are a great way of building passion and engagement in your people. But combining these initiatives together can get sticky if you don’t have the right tool.
You’ll lose hard-fought engagement if you don’t let participants combine points earned in a sales campaign and from volunteering, for instance.
Look for a tool that provides the ability to integrate multiple employee engagement initiatives onto one platform. Not only does this allow companies to cut back on administrative overhead required to manage those initiatives, but it can provide incredible cost savings.
For the past 15 years, Angie Jackson has helped clients execute and analyze initiatives. As manager of the analytics and decision support team at ITA Group (www.itagroup.com), Angie helps develop meaningful strategies and provides insight into the impact of customer engagement and incentives.