How to Measure Employee Engagement: 10 Key Strategies

Mariya Postelnyak


Employee Engagement

Knowing how to measure employee engagement is the first step to improving it. But that’s more easily said than done. In this post, we break down the best ways to track and measure staff engagement for a more motivated and inspired workforce. 

Engaged employees are more driven and excited about their work. They give more and get more from their roles. But getting employees to feel engaged is no small feat. It requires great leadership communication, recognition for hard work, and the right resources to support staff in their roles.

Today more than ever, employee engagement is vital to keeping staff connected and inspired in a remote workplace. But your engagement strategy has to be grounded in employee feedback and data. As such, collecting employee feedback, tracking employee communications, and measuring engagement is the cornerstone of a successful business.

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What is Employee Engagement?

Before we learn how to measure employee engagement, we have to know how to recognize it. So let’s clear up any confusion.

For one, employee engagement is not simply job satisfaction or happiness. So measuring engagement can be tough.

Happy and satisfied employees may attend every virtual game night, start work on time daily, and never complain. But the minute they’re approached by a recruiter, they bolt.

What engagement really means is that employees are personally invested in the company’s success. They feel connected to company values and want to do great work even when no one’s watching. They read your internal newsletter and are in touch with company updates.

Engagement also means they’re in it for the long run. 

As a result, employee engagement is basically synonymous with business success. And learning how to measure engagement is essential to ensuring a thriving workplace.

So with that in mind, let’s look at how we can measure employee engagement. 

Why Measure Employee Engagement?

Remember when you were in school and you had that one teacher who always made class exciting? The one that was so passionate about the subject that you couldn’t help but feel the same. Now remember how it made you feel. Were you also more active in class and inspired by the subject? Did you speak positively about the course to other students?

Chances are, yes. 

Being engaged in an organization works similarly. It means feeling empowered and inspired to do great work. And it also translates to how we speak about our workplace to others. 

If you’re thinking, “why measure employee engagement?” here are a few figures to keep in mind:

So why is employee engagement important? Because it benefits employees and businesses at the same time. When employers know how to measure employee engagement metrics, they can deliver better strategies to amplify its gains.

With ContactMonkey, you can measure and boost employee engagement through a single internal communications platform. Create, send, and track email newsletters directly from Outlook or Gmail.

Find the best time to send employee newsletters and schedule future email campaigns. Add employee engagement surveys, emoji reactions, anonymous comments, employee net promoter score, and other feedback-collecting content to easily gather and monitor employee engagement.  

Discover more ways you can use ContactMonkey and employee newsletter ideas to enhance your internal communications and boost employee engagement.

10 Ways to Measure Employee Engagement

Now that we’ve established why we should measure employee engagement, let’s talk about how to measure employee engagement. 

Measuring employee engagement can be tough because it’s not something that’s always easy to quantify. Engagement can be an emotion, a state of mind, or a subliminal sense of connection. 

Remote employee engagement brings added challenges. You might notice an employee’s apathy or dissatisfaction through body language and facial expressions in person. But virtually, it’s much harder to do so. Same goes for frontline employee engagement

Luckily, there are some great techniques and employee engagement apps to help us measure employee engagement pretty much from anywhere. 

1. Establish clear employee engagement goals

Employee engagement goals are benchmarks for distinguishing an engaged employee from a disengaged one. It’s what your engagement metrics are trying to find out. While your metrics can be both numeric and qualitative, they should always serve to show how close you are to reaching your engagement benchmarks.

Here are some examples of employee engagement benchmarks:

  1. Employees feel that their opinions matter at work.
  2. Employees see professional growth and career development opportunities at their current job.
  3. Average employee Net Promoter Score is 9 or above.
  4. Employee absenteeism is low.
  5. There is a high level of employee engagement and retention for period [x].
  6. Staff regularly open your employee newsletter and show interest in company news.

Want to generate content about employee engagement goals faster? Our new OpenAI Chat-GPT3 integration makes it easy. With a simple prompt, you can generate engaging content and suggestions to use in your emails.

Turn emails into engaging conversations

2. Track and measure internal email engagement

Don’t underestimate old-fashioned email when it comes to measuring employee engagement. In fact, internal email is the easiest and fastest way to gather hard data. Not to mention, it’s one of the top ways to measure employee engagement on a regular basis with minimal effort.

Remember, email is already the most popular internal communications to drive employee engagement. Its accessibility and ease of use means that teams big and small rely on it daily.

With employee engagement measurement tools like ContactMonkey, you can monitor engagement and help it grow at the same time.  It lets you do this by providing detailed analytics on three key metrics for employee engagement:

Open Rate: This lets you know how many people are actually curious about your company news and events. High open rates are a good sign that your employees are feeling engaged. But you can also compare past and current email campaigns to check where engagement was higher. 

Click-through Rate: Greater click-through rate is a good indicator that your employees are aware of, and interested in key company information. It allows you to see if your employee engagement ideas are actually working. Not to mention, you can see which content is most relevant and engaging. That way, you can model future content rollout on previously successful emails. 

Location: Knowing which department or company branch has the majority of opens and clicks lets you see what teams are most engaged. By tracking this metric, you can check what’s working and what’s not before adjusting your strategy accordingly. 

ContactMonkey email analytics

3. Use pulse surveys

When it comes to measuring employee engagement, employee pulse surveys are great for getting quick, consistent, and actionable insights. 

Pulse surveys are short, focused surveys oriented around a specific question. They get their name from a ‘pulse’ check, which provides an overview of employee wellbeing fast. 

Due to their short length, pulse surveys get more responses and have even been proven to drive employee engagement itself

The key is asking simple but meaningful employee engagement questions. As a rule of thumb, we recommend zeroing in on three types of staff engagement questions:

  • Satisfaction questions: Does your team inspire you to do your best work?
  • Opportunity questions: Are there enough opportunities for growth in your current team?
  • Alignment questions: Do you feel like your leadership team considers your perspective on major decisions? 

With employees relying on email even more to stay in touch during the pandemic, email-based surveys streamline the feedback process.

Using ContactMonkey’s employee pulse survey tool, you can seamlessly incorporate pulse surveys into your weekly employee newsletter. Just drag-and-drop the survey tile onto your email template, choose your survey type, and attach a question. 

Learn how to create pulse surveys quickly with our step-by-step guide.

Turn emails into engaging conversations

Gauge employee satisfaction with embedded pulse surveys in your emails.

Explore engagement features

4. Calculate your eNPS

Number crunchers love eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score). Unlike more qualitative employee engagement metrics, eNPS is great for getting a precise, numeric engagement score. 

eNPS is calculated based on the difference between your most engaged and least engaged employee. Put simply, it tells you how likely your employees are to brag about your company to others.

With ContactMonkey, learning how to measure employee engagement is easy. A built-in eNPS survey lets you gather feedback and find out your eNPS score all in one place—your employee newsletter. It’s simple: select an eNPS survey from the template builder sidebar and drag it to your desired location within the newsletter.

Frame your survey around specific topics relating to employee engagement. 

We recommend asking:

  • On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this organization as a place to work?
ContactMonkey eNPS score

For an added touch, provide an anonymous comments option. With ContactMonkey, simply turn on commenting within your email template. Your employees are instantly free to voice their honest opinions and feel safe doing so. 

5. Set up one-on-one virtual meets

One-on-ones allow for more detailed and meaningful employee feedback while letting you gauge non-verbal cues. It’s also one of the most simple and straightforward best practices for employee engagement.

In a virtual setting, making employees feel seen and heard is the key to creating a safe feedback environment. It will also lead to more meaningful answers.

Before the meeting, make sure you get rid of any distractions so you show full attention. Once you’re on your way, signal that you’re listening and understanding what’s being said by summarizing key points raised.

One-on-ones are a great opportunity to get qualitative feedback so we recommend trying some of the following questions:

  • What’s one thing about your work experience that is really positive?
  • Name one thing about your work experience that needs significant improvement?
  • What three words or phrases best describe your organization’s culture?

Step up your remote team communication with our list of fun virtual team building activities for work.

6. Set up a focus group

Used widely in market research, focus groups allow you to gauge employee likes, dislikes, and attitudes through a representative sample. This is especially useful for larger businesses where one-on-ones may be harder to arrange. 

To measure employee engagement through focus groups, create a callout for participants using your internal newsletter. Choose employees from specific departments or combine staff from across the company for a wider outlook. With a set of pre-planned questions, guide a discussion about team wins and challenges.

For engagement-focused insights, ask questions like:

  • Do you have a good sense of your role in contributing to organizational goals?
  • Is there anything that’s limiting your growth in the organization?
  • Do you agree about the way our company defines “success”?

7. Check employee retention

As we saw earlier, engaged employees are much more likely to stay with their company longer. They’re also less likely to be easily persuaded by alternative job offers. 

Knowing how to measure employee satisfaction through retention is key, but it’s not as straightforward as other metrics.

You’ll need to look at your employee turnover this year or quarter vs. last. Once you gather the data, ask yourself: If my turnover rate is higher than in the past, what did I do differently back then? Did our employee onboarding processes change?

To get even better insights, create a quick employee pulse survey dedicated to learning about employee retention. Focus your questions on exploring how employees see their future within the company. 

Ask yes/no questions like:

  • Do you see yourself still working at [company] in two years’ time?
  • Are you proud to work for [Company X]?

For surveys on sensitive topics like this, use a pulse survey tool with anonymous feedback options. That way, employees can feel safe sharing their true feelings. 

With ContactMonkey’s internal communications app, both emoji reaction and eNPS-based surveys can include anonymous comment options. Once responses are in, easily track pulse survey response rates on your analytics dashboard. 

ContactMonkey sample thank you email message with star rating

8. Look at employee productivity

We already saw that higher productivity is a key outcome of an engaged workforce. For the same reason, we can use productivity to measure employee engagement. Employee productivity is about how effectively employee inputs turn into business outputs. 

To measure productivity, divide your revenue for a specific year or quarter by the total number of employees. Compare the results across multiple departments and look for trends, patterns and improvements. 

Keep in mind, productivity alone won’t tell you exactly how to increase employee engagement. Always support your employee productivity scan with other employee engagement measurement methods and tools like email tracking software

With ContactMonkey’s segmented email stats, you can get engagement data to support your insights on productivity. Access all of your analytics in your campaign dashboard and organize stats based on department, job title, or location. When it comes time to create your engagement strategy, you’ll know exactly which areas of your company you need to prioritize. 

Internal email metrics and analytics dashboard

9. Check your employee absenteeism rate

When an employee takes a few days off every month, it’s not necessarily a sign for concern. But if you notice that absenteeism is becoming a trend among staff, it’s a red flag for employee engagement.

Analyze this staff engagement metric by looking at the rate and amount of absent employees over a given period. High absenteeism rates likely suggest high employee disengagement.

To support your insights, cross-reference your data with the responses on your employee pulse surveys. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Did absenteeism increase in the same period that your eNPS plunged? 
  • Has employee turnover increased at the same time as absenteeism? 

Answering these questions will give you a better understanding of overall staff engagement and employee experience in your company. That way, you can make well-informed changes. 

10. Use an exit survey

In an exit survey, engagement feedback is collected from employees who are already leaving your company. Ones that are less likely to feel like they’re risking their job if they speak negatively about their experience. This makes exit surveys a treasure trove of honest insights. 

Use your ContactMonkey pulse survey to send a personalized message to a departing employee and frame it with short, simple questions. Combine quantitative yes/no pulse survey questions with qualitative questions by turning commenting “on” within your email template.

For quantitative questions, we recommend asking:

  • Were you equipped to do your job well?
  • Did you receive constructive feedback to help you improve your performance?

For qualitative feedback, ask:

  • What was a key deciding factor that led you to accept a new position?
  • Name one thing you liked most and least about your role.

Whip up emails your employees want to open

Prove higher clicks and opens with newsletter templates that catch even the busiest eyes.

Act on Your Metrics

No matter what outcomes your employee engagement metrics show, it’s important to continuously seek improvement. Even if you’re seeing promising results, don’t take it as a sign that you should slacken your efforts. 

Employee engagement can easily fluctuate if you don’t properly maintain or build on your engagement strategies. Implement new employee recognition ideas, prioritize employee well being, and listen to employee feedback to keep employee engagement high. Knowing how to measure employee engagement will ensure that you can always address issues in a timely manner.

Email management software like ContactMonkey, can help you keep track of employee engagement quickly, continuously, and effectively. This way, you’ll always be able to see a problem in time and leverage opportunities right when they emerge.