The Key HR Employee Engagement Metrics Every Organization Should Measure

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Key HR Employee Engagement Metrics Every Organization Should Measure

Employee engagement metrics are important for employers and business leaders to measure, because engaged employees mean a more productive team and higher retention rates. This is because employees who feel connected to a business and its company culture are motivated to work harder, stay longer, and encourage other team members to do the same.

Employee engagement is an integral part of the entire employee experience. It will impact every aspect of your organization including team stability, business revenues, profitability, efficiency, employee turnover rate, and the customer experience. If you want to make strategic gains in the organization, it's important to invest in systems for nurturing employees who are engaged and committed.


What is employee engagement?

‍ Employee engagement does not simply mean employee happiness or fondness for work. If this is how a business has arranged its engagement strategy, it is most likely not going to work. Employee engagement metrics measure so much more than happiness. After all, there are many employees who are happy with their work environment that may not necessarily be productive or hit their target KPIs (Key Performance Indicators.)

True engagement is how an employee is mentally and emotionally connected to their team, their work, and the organization. It's a commitment that an employee makes to helping the organization and everyone in it succeed. They do this because engaged employees care about the organization and its goals and are invested in achieving them.

What is not employee engagement? ‍

If employee engagement is about an employee's emotional connection and commitment to the organization, then what is not considered employee engagement metrics? This is a trickier question to answer because many similar considerations may seem like engagement. Though these may be part of employee engagement metrics, they should not be used on their own as a way of measuring employee engagement.

1. Employee Satisfaction

‍ Employee satisfaction may seem similar to employee engagement but employee satisfaction is usually just surface level. Employees who express job satisfaction may not necessarily be deeply engaged or committed to their employer. They will do their jobs, but will most likely not go the extra mile.

2. Employee Happiness ‍

While employee happiness is certainly important, this is not considered engagement. Employee happiness is fleeting and changing and can be something as simple as being happy about work-life balance programs but then disengaging again.

Happiness is not one of the performance indicators of engagement. Nor is it one of the indicative metrics of how hard an employee works for the company or the ways in which they go above and beyond.

3. Employee Wellbeing ‍

Employee wellbeing is part of measuring employee engagement but it's focused more on employee resilience and how they are coping with stress and pressure at work. Companies that invest in employee wellbeing may see an increase in engagement for employees but this is just one of several metrics where engagement can be boosted.

Measuring Employee Engagement: How Do You Do It

Whether your team has 10 members or 200 team members the key employee engagement metrics remain the same. It's not about the number of employees you have but about how you are ensuring these employees are appropriately challenged, given opportunities, trained, and more.

Understanding how engaged your employees are is an essential aspect of all businesses and business leaders should make it standard practice to invest time and effort into bolstering engagement and understanding employee engagement KPIs.

This has become a bit more difficult due to the global health crisis. With staff around the world suddenly being forced to work remotely, many companies are worried about how engaged their employees are and how to retain and boost engagement for a distance.

Surprisingly, research shows that people are more engaged when working from home, with a recent Gallup poll [1] showing remote engagement rates raising as much as 11%. This doesn't happen by itself. Companies still need to have a plan in place to keep employees and teams motivated and address concerns they may have. To set a baseline and gauge the progress of this strategy, there are several factors you can measure to get a general feel for your employee engagement score:

1. Employee Absenteeism ‍And Employee Disengagement

Absences happen, but it is widely proven that disengaged employees have more absenteeism. A 2019 study [2] found that 37% of disengaged employees have higher absenteeism rates than their more engaged counterparts. Some employees simply don't feel like coming into work, while others are looking for different jobs. Look at employees with high absence rates and you'll most likely find a disengaged employee.

The average absence rate for any given day in most companies hovers around 2.8% [3]. That means if a company has 100 employees, three will likely be absent each day. If absence rates are higher than this, you likely have issues with employee engagement that requires your attention.

2. Measure Engagement Through Employee Feedback ‍And Pulse Surveys

Who better to ask about employee engagement than employees themselves? While employee engagement surveys used to be taken with pen and paper forms, many employee surveys are now conducted digitally.

These surveys will have questions about your employees' experience such as “The people I work with treat me respectfully” and “My supervisor is approachable and easy to talk to” with answers on a ranging scale. Companies find these surveys the best tool to measure employee engagement levels.

3. Employee NPS ‍(eNPS)

When providing employees with a survey, an Employee NPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) asks employees a variant of one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend your workplace to someone else?” Employees generally answer the question on a scale from 0-10. Those who answer with a score of 0-6 are considered detractors, a score of 7-8 are passive, and a score of 9-10 are promoters. Data shows that employees with high engagement are more likely to be promoters or passive, while those with low engagement levels are likely to become detractors.

4. Reduce Employee Turnover

‍ High turnover rates usually go hand-in-hand with low employee engagement. So, what turnover kpis should your business aim for? Roughly 10% turnover [2]. Metrics with percentages under that are likely to reflect high employee engagement while high turnover rates can signal low engagement. A great way to help you analyse why you have high turnover rates is by hosting an exit interview.


‍Benefits of Having An Engaged Workforce

Before we jump into the benefits of having engaged employees, we do have to make it clear that having highly engaged employees does not ensure immediate success for your company. However, having a productive workforce can help your organization achieve business goals much easier.

Much Safer Workplace

When a company works to improve employee engagement, they are also encouraging workers to become more aware of their surroundings. Research showed that an engaged employee is 70% less likely to report safety incidents.

When employees feel safe in their working environment, they are less likely to spend time worrying about professional development or professional growth, which means they can focus on the task at hand instead.

Healthier Employees

According to a 2013 study, actively engaged employees are less likely to be:

  • Obese
  • Suffer from chronic medical conditions
  • Eat unhealthy food
  • Skip exercise


Most engaged employees who participated in the study said workplaces that respected their needs increased employees' willingness to care for their health too.

One effective engagement strategy that drives engagement is giving employees flexible schedules. Other policies that HR professionals can also promote other policies, such as fresh fruits and produce in the break room and company-sponsored races and activities.

Happy Employees

Organizations that use peer pressure or other high-stress behaviours to motivate their workers to work harder are more likely only going to create a toxic working environment, which results in disengagement.

While employees may be considered as business units, they are also humans. Like most humans, employees have feelings. When their bosses observe positive reinforcement and understand the importance of two way communication, employees are more likely to be happy with the job they are doing.

Happy employees work better and can serve your company's clients more effectively. In short, happy workers equals happy customers.

Better Retention Rate

When your current employees don't feel challenged enough or are not given opportunities to utilize their strengths, they may begin to feel stagnant and stuck in a loop.

Engaged employees who are given opportunities to excel on a frequent basis are more likely to perform better and stay in the company. That's because they won't find any reason to leave. In some cases, your employees would also participate in finding new hires for your company, significantly decreasing the work your HR needs to do to find new employees for open positions.

In summary, disengaged staff bear a high cost to companies, so it pays off to invest in tools that consistently and continuously gauge employee engagement metrics. While it can be a challenging metric to measure, Qualee is here to help.

Try the Starter Plan today or contact us to discuss employee experience solutions for improving your organization's metrics and employee engagement rates. Qualee will be able to help your human resources managers align the process for your team, gather data, deliver actionable insights and set you up for success - we are ready for the challenge!

[1] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/327569/emotional-state-remote-workers-complicated.aspx
[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2019/05/02/how-much-are-your-disengaged-employees-costing-you/?sh=5d29e1bd3437
[3] https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat47.htm
[4] 26 Exit Interview Questions For An Effective Offboarding Experience

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