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5 Reasons your Employee Engagement Measurement Strategy is Failing Your Organisation and Your People

Tony Latter | 23rd August 2021

So you’re measuring your employee engagement across your organisation but you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, right? We speak to organisations daily that measure employee engagement but aren’t able to translate the data into achieving the goals they have set themselves for their people strategy. Want to know why this is? Here are the main reasons: 

1. You’re not measuring happiness 

If you’re only measuring employee engagement and not happiness, you’re missing a trick. Engagement is only one part of the puzzle. The picture won’t be complete if you don’t also know what your people are feeling. 

By measuring Happiness as well as Engagement you’ll benefit from a holistic picture of what your people are thinking and feeling. This means you’ll be able to create a data-led people strategy that speaks to the head and the heart of your organisation. 

Many companies we speak to only measure engagement, and then don’t understand why they are still struggling with retention, recruitment or diversity issues. This is due to a lack of happiness data. Simple as that!

2. You’re not measuring often enough 

Too often we see people only measuring employee engagement once a year. The issue with this is that you’re only getting a snapshot of engagement at the exact time you’re sending out your survey. The feedback you’re seeing is historical and is unlikely to be their current reality. Essentially, you may be creating action plans for things that are no longer relevant! Engagement and happiness fluctuate day to day as people’s personal and professional situations change. 

What we recommend you do instead is an always-on listening approach, supplemented with regular surveys which deep-dive into specific areas. The benefit of this is that you will be able to get ideas of patterns and trends. This means if you catch an individual, team or department on a bad day you won’t be making knee-jerk reactions. 

3. You aren’t guaranteeing anonymity

One of the most common issues we see HR teams facing is their data lacks in quantity or quality. In other words, it’s misleading. This can lead to HR teams making the wrong decisions or feeling that their teams aren’t interested in taking part in feedback surveys. We find it’s often a symptom of people not trusting that their comments are truly anonymous. Sometimes this leads to people not giving candid feedback, but equally, it can result in fewer responses. 

By using a third party – like The Happiness Index – with clear privacy protocols in place, can often make people feel more comfortable giving their honest feedback. 

4. You’re not closing the feedback loop 

Everyone has been in situations where they’ve given feedback but felt that it hasn’t been taken on board. This can also be the case with employee feedback. 

We typically see two ways that this plays out. Firstly, people don’t see the direct consequences of their feedback. This leads to people becoming disengaged from the process or the company entirely. The other issue can be that HR teams need more context or clarity around some feedback to action it. This leads to delays which are perceived as inaction.

In both cases being able to directly respond to feedback will solve the problem. We call this closing the feedback loop. Frequently presenting data and the actions that are going to be taken from them should be a key part of any engagement measurement strategy. In our platform, we include functionality that allows organisations to respond to comments without breaking confidentiality. Problem solved!

5. You don’t have a single view of your data 

The last common issue we see is that people collect a lot of data but aren’t able to process this in a way that facilitates real insight and connections. Often HR teams have disjointed and siloed data across different surveys throughout the employee lifecycle, e.g; onboarding, employee engagement and exit interviews. This means there isn’t a clear picture of overall themes which can be used to create actionable insight.

Powerful analytics features, reporting and dashboards are key features of many employee engagement platforms. However, where these can fall down is that the separate parts of the employee lifecycle aren’t taken together. This may lead to you missing out on important themes or trends. 

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of issues we see, and we’re always up for a challenge. If you think you have a problem that falls outside of the common issues we’ve outlined above we’d love to talk to you to see if we can offer a solution. 

If you want to see an overview of how our platform can help strengthen your people strategy then please download our free Ebook, The Little Book of Happiness.

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