Measuring Employee Engagement

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe ways to measure employee engagement

Engagement is a challenge to measure. Unlike sales numbers, which are clear and straightforward, employee engagement has a number of factors that contribute to it making it a challenge to accurately gauge. For example, if an employer asked you to rate your job on a scale of 1–10 and you rate your job a 6, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean you enjoy going to work 60% of the time? Or are there four main things you dislike about your job, leading you to remove four points off the ten total? A general scale question like this incorporates too many emotional aspects to be an effective measurement of how someone feels about their job. However, there are certain indicators of employee engagement that are more measurable. It is important to track engagement in more empirical ways in order to paint a clear picture of a company’s employee engagement.

Components of Employee Engagement

Prior to measuring employee engagement, it is important to understand the components that work together to determine it. In the last section, we discussed the key players in engagement. There are measurable attributes each of these players can use to determine engagement.


Relationships, for example, are a key component of engagement. This includes relationships between managers and employees as well as relationships between coworkers. The amount of feedback and recognition given at work is another measurable indicator of employee engagement. Feedback and recognition are both strong forms of communication. Feedback provides valuable information to an employee so they know what they should continue doing and what they need to improve upon. Recognition is a great way to praise an employee for doing their job well and motivate them to continue to perform at a high level. When an employee feels valued, they are more likely to be actively engaged at work.


Illustration of a checkbox survey. There are three emoticons illustration happiness, indifference, and sadness.A person’s happiness also plays an important role in their overall engagement. When a person is happy at work, they are more productive[1] and bring a positive attitude to the work environment, making it more enjoyable for everyone.

Health and Wellbeing

Employee health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, also influences their engagement at work. Employees who feel challenged and supported to advance in their career field are more likely to perform well and embody the company brand in all they do.

All of these things influence an employee’s engagement as well as their overall job satisfaction. Employees who are highly engaged and satisfied with their jobs are less likely to seek out new employment opportunities, even for greater pay. They say you can’t buy happiness, and employees who are truly happy with their careers understand this and choose to stay because of it.

Measuring Employee Engagement


Illustration of two people sitting across a desk from one another.A common way to measure attributes of employee engagement is through one-on-ones and interviews. For example, exit interviews are a great way to gain honest insight into employee engagement and job satisfaction, or lack thereof. Exit interviews are commonly used by companies to determine how to improve employee engagement. While exit interviews can provide useful information, they are conducted after an employee decides to leave an organization. Other ways to gain information, prior to an employee deciding to leave the organization, is through one-on-ones or walking chats. These types of employee interactions are essentially miniature interviews where managers, or the human resource team, conduct a short and sweet conversation with an employee with the intention of building relationships and providing and gaining feedback.[2] These in-person conversations help build rapport, and when they occur regularly, can help measure engagement and address any issues or concerns before they become a larger problem.

Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are another quick and easy way to gather data on employee engagement. Pulse surveys are designed to take a quick pulse of the organization by asking a small number of questions to measure engagement and job satisfaction. These surveys should be quick and easy to complete and widely distributed throughout the organization. Pulse surveys can be effective but impersonal at times. Collecting data and feedback is most effective when multiple forms of data collection are utilized (for example, using pulse surveys and walking chats). An employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is another survey that some companies use to determine engagement. To determine the eNPS, employers need to ask a simple question: would you recommend working for your company or using the product/services they provide? Some companies argue that the answer to this question is the biggest indicator as to whether or not their employees are engaged. Other companies believe that the information is good to have, but do not believe it is a strong indicator of true engagement.

PRactice Question

Using Engagement Data

Measuring engagement does not stop here. Collecting the data is important, but equally as important is actually doing something with the information collected. First and foremost, a company should review the data, analyze the information, and look for patterns and trends. After exploring all the information, the company needs to determine how they want to use the information to make improvements. One strategy is to hone in on a few key themes and create an action plan to effectively change and improve any large areas of opportunities identified during the data review process. Taking the time to collect the data, but not taking the time to do something with the data, is a waste of time and resources.

Building Engagement in a Dissatisfied Workforce

Let’s take a look at SewCool, which is suffering from high turnover and see what they can do to

While direct actions will vary based on company needs, your goal will be to improve the three components of employee engagement: relationships, happiness, and health and well being. Engagement efforts will be continuous; as your workforce and business environment change so will your employee needs.


Davies, Jack. “Is Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS) a Good Measure of Engagement?” Qualtrics, October 9, 2018.

Robins, Alison. “Employee Engagement: Seeing The Bigger Picture.” Officevibe. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Robins, Alison. “How To Properly Measure Employee Engagement.” Officevibe, July 3, 2017.