When you think of important “business outcomes,” which metrics immediately come to mind?
Revenue? Costs? Conversions?
How about employee engagement?
That last one gets overlooked a lot when teams set goals and select KPIs. Which is unfortunate, since employee engagement is ultimately what drives virtually every other business outcome.
If you want to start getting faster and better results, it’s time to start focusing on employee engagement as a primary business outcome.
Why employee engagement is your most important metric
Did you know that companies with engaged employees are 22% more profitable than those without? Or that these businesses have been known to maintain operating margins 3x higher than their competitors?
Talk about a desirable business outcome.
But increased revenue isn’t the only reason to treat employee engagement as a key metric.
When you regularly measure and analyze employee engagement, you’re actually working toward much bigger goals. By identifying issues before they have a chance to become full-blown issues, you set the stage for an authentic culture built around collaboration and trust.
This, in turn, makes people comfortable taking on initiatives that help move the business forward. Instead of shying away from big ideas and grand goals, the supported employee will embrace them. Rather than getting frustrated by challenging tasks, the engaged team member will find satisfaction in overcoming them.
All because of one simple reason: They know that when things get uncomfortable or especially challenging, they can provide feedback — and rest assured leadership will act on it.
When measuring employee engagement leads to results
At this point, I should acknowledge that, on the surface, the process of measuring employee engagement might sound overly simplistic. But I promise you that prioritizing this metric can lead to some remarkable results.
By measuring engagement at regular intervals, you see how employees’ current levels of motivation and commitment impact other business drivers like retention and customer service.
- We’ve seen this play out numerous times at companies in a variety of industries. For example:
- If you gather employee feedback at regular intervals, you might discover that a small, simple investment is all you need to empower employee creativity.
- By measuring employee engagement during down times, you could uncover ways to make a difficult merger or acquisition go more smoothly.
- When you make employee engagement a top priority, increased retention is a very likely result.
Even your customers want you to take employee engagement seriously, since it means better services and experiences: When you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your customers.
They’ll be much more inclined to stick around, too. We’ve seen companies decrease turnover as much as 20% within a year as a direct result of measuring employee engagement.
How to measure employee engagement for better business outcomes
When you’re starting out, an important thing to remember is that employee engagement should be measured on the same cadence as other business KPIs. In addition, you’ll need to connect your engagement metrics to other goals. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of data — but little in the way of insight you can actually act on.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to achieve this.
We recommend starting with a quarterly confidential survey to measure and analyze employee engagement across the entire organization.
When reviewing results, be sure to segment the data based on various factors such as department or location. This will help you identify any pressing issues, so you can work on finding solutions right away.
Put simply: Solicit feedback from employees, extract any problem areas, and decide immediately how you’ll resolve them. This straightforward process can have tremendous impacts on your most important business outcomes.
Looking for more details on what it takes to measure employee engagement as a key business outcome? See how 15Five handles the process here.