How to Manage Employee Engagement

how to manage employee engagement

Firstly, to understand how to manage employee engagement, we must first understand what employee engagement means. In a broad sense, employee engagement can refer to the perception of the relationship between employee and company.

Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees


These above definitions, although valid, do not paint a full picture of it’s meaning. There are a wide range of criteria that can make up employee engagement such as happiness and commitments to goals. There are no single elements that can make up employee satisfaction. For example, a worker may be happy at work but may lack in other areas such as having the ability to improve within the company. Vice versa, an employee might hate their job yet receive plenty of feedback and support.

That being said, here are a range of factors that can make up employee engagement:

  • Level of feedback
  • recognition for an employees work
  • relationships with other employees
  • growth
  • wellness
  • ambassadorship – How likely an employee is likely to recommend the business to their peers.

Why is it important to measure employee engagement?

Firstly measuring employee engagement, with the use of surveys and questionnaires help businesses gain honest feedback that can help them develop and grow. In addition, for businesses to take interest in employee engagement shows to workers that their opinions matter.

Here are a few statistics that highlight the importance of employee engagement:

  • Organisations with high levels of employee engagement outperform ones with low engagement by 202% – statistics by Dale Carnegie .
  • Companies with higher levels of engagement are 21% more profitable than those with low engagement.
  • 37% of UK employees report they feel overskilled for their job. Statistics like this from CIPD are important as factors like this can lead to a lack of retention of employees.

How to Manage Employee Engagement – Methods

The most common way of measuring employee engagement is with the use of surveys. These are good because they allow for greater honesty than is often easy to receive through face to face conversations and phone calls. In addition, they are useful in that they can produce reliable results when completed multiple times by different employees. This is because the results can easily be comparable to other surveys which can help identify trends.

Another valuable tool when managing employee engagement is stay and exit interviews. Exit interviews when an employee leaves a company can produce really valuable and honest data. This is because as employees leave a company, there is less pressure to reserve negative opinions on how the company can improve.

Typical questions that might arise as part of surveys and exit interviews might include:

  • How do you find your relationship with your peers/manager?
  • What do you dislike most about this role?
  • Would you recommend (company) as a good place to work?
  • Why do you want to leave the company? (exit interviews)
  • Do you feel you are recognised for your work?

For more information regarding how to conduct productive exit interviews, read this article.

In addition, 1 on 1 interviews face to face can also be a beneficial way of retrieving data. A benefit of obtaining data in this way is that it can help provide more detailed responses than you would obtain from a survey or questionnaire. This is especially true where conversations are less formalised and employees don’t feel pressured to answer in particular ways. Some might consider having these conversations over the phone, as some employees may be hesitant to criticise the company and it’s management face to face.

Reviewing employee engagement

It is of utmost importance that employee engagement surveys are reviewed. This does not necessarily need to be done every week but on a monthly/ annual basis can be very beneficial. Reflecting on employee engagement data can show to employees that management will consider their concerns in a genuine way.

One useful tip when analysing employee engagement is to look at cross sections. By looking at particular cross sections, you can begin to understand more specifically where problems arise. For example, overall employee satisfaction might be good but by looking at different cross sections of employees, you might discover that some departments are happier than others. Knowledge obtained in this way can help the company gain clear insights of how to progress moving forward.

Secondly, it is good practice to try and contextualise the data obtained. Doing so can help companies understand why the data is the way it is. For example, If many workers feel stressed at work you can contextualise this by looking at recent events that may have caused them to report this. Perhaps, there have been multiple redundancies and workers are stressed about their job security? Or maybe the workload placed on particular workers is too high and that’s why they are reporting feeling stressed.

Lastly, it is important for companies to repeat these surveys and interviews. In doing so companies can observe where they have improved since prior employee engagement enquiries. In addition, doing so will help provide more longitudinal data which can help companies better understand how their practices affect employees overtime. This can also be useful to understand any pitfalls in employee retention.

For more information on how to manage employee engagement or for more HR support, contact us.