Differences Between Employee Surveys and Employee Engagement

This article was originally published on HR Gazette.

Gallup recently reported that 66% of employees are not engaged at work, a slight increase above the 70% reported in 2017. While it’s great to see more companies recognizing the importance of employee engagement, these numbers are still less than impressive.

One of the reasons employee engagement is so low is because companies are still relying on outdated practices and annual surveys for “engagement.” It’s true that employee surveys can provide great insights into employee satisfaction and engagement levels, along with valuable feedback on company operations. However, employee surveys are NOT employee engagement.

Employee surveys can be used to help understand how employees feel about their work environment and how engaged and committed they are to their company.

Employee engagement is “the connection and commitment employees exhibit toward an organization, leading to higher levels of productive work behaviors” (SHRM).

While surveys often serve as an excellent first step in executing a solid engagement strategy, they do not actually engage employees. But if surveys aren’t the solution to the engagement problem, then how can companies engage their employees?

Employee Engagement Starts at the Executive Level

Contrary to popular belief, employee engagement should not fall solely on the shoulders of human resources. To be successful, employee engagement needs to be a strategic company-wide initiative that is driven by the c-suite, championed by HR, and supported by management. Employees from every department need to come together to create a team focused on driving engagement in their company:

  • C-Suite: Executives need to hold all department leaders responsible for employee engagement, and make it clear that engagement is not a responsibility of one department or the other. Instead, it’s a collective effort.
  • Human Resources: HR needs to champion the execution of the employee engagement strategy. They need to make sure the employee engagement team meets regularly to discuss what’s working, what’s not, and talk about ideas for improvement.
  • Department Leaders: Leaders from all departments, like marketing, customer support, and sales oversee the team members who will be responsible for executing the engagement strategy, so they are responsible for holding their team accountable.
  • Employee Engagement Team: This is the team is responsible for the actual execution of your engagement strategy.

With a great team in place, here are some ways your team can boost employee engagement levels in your company.

5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

  1. Employee Recognition – Encourage employees to recognize their co-workers who are great team players, and always working to improve and grow the company.
  2. Company Feedback – Ask employees for their suggestions on how to improve the company. Whether it be how to upgrade the break room or how to improve internal processes, your employees are the ones with the best insights.
    Share Wins – Encourage departments to share the ways their team is making a difference in the company, so that these wins can be celebrated throughout the entire organization.
  3. Employee Spotlights – Help your employees get to know each other by featuring them in employee spotlights. Share fun facts, pictures, and interview questions that help employees build relationships on a more personal level.
  4. Help Each Other Out – Every team could use the help of other departments at time. Encourage teams to ask for help outside of their department. Marketing can ask for social shares, HR can ask for job referrals, sales can ask for customer referrals, etc.

While HR plays a very important role, it takes a team to implement and execute a successful employee engagement strategy. With an engagement team backed by leadership, a solid strategy, and a scalable employee engagement technology to help you execute, your company is sure to see engagement levels skyrocket in no time.

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