What's Evolving

Evolve Performance Group Blog

I’m Just the "Employee Engagement Monitor"

I’m Just the "Employee Engagement Monitor"

Many of us have seen the LifeLock commercials depicting different scenarios of “monitoring” of an activity.  For instance, the Bank Security Guard that takes no action during a bank robbery and says that he is simply a “Security Monitor.”  Or the dentist in a LifeLock commercial that finds a cavity and says that he’s just the “Dental Monitor.”  In either case, the “monitor” takes no action.

There’s two issues to address in the Employee Engagement world.  The first – Is your engagement survey provider an “Engagement Monitor?” There are a number of organizations that gather their version of employee engagement data then do nothing to help improve engagement year over year.   They monitor, then leave.  There many things to consider when partnering with an engagement provider, so that you don’t end up with a “monitor.” 

Does their survey scientifically link to business performance metrics? There are many players in the industry that quote anecdotal evidence of performance gains made through engagement.  The question is - Do they have hard, scientific data of their own? Not fancy well worded white papers loosely connecting their work to engagement, but rather hard data that links unequivocally to engagement. 

Does your provider give you a false positive within their scoring system?  Here’s an example. Some “Engagement Monitors” measure on a 5-point scale. They then combine the 4’s and 5’s together and report that as “percent favorable” on a given item. Depending on the strength and wording of an item, a 4 could denote something drastically different than a 5. If 4’s and 5’s make up the “top box” scores, then why have a 5 at all?

Really dissect the items themselves. One survey that I saw had a question that was worded as follows; At work, I receive recognition that is good for me. This is a weak item.  The word “good”, does not create enough range of performance in gathering data. Here’s an alternative; At work, I receive recognition that is perfect for me. If you had to answer those two items on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, would you give them both the same score? Likely not. So, if “Good” is easier than “Perfect” and we lump the 4’s and 5’s together for a percent favorable rating, then you can see how you would get a false positive.  

Are the employee engagement survey items actionable? Can these items be discussed by teams and ultimately lead to increases in workplace performance, not just increases in engagement scores?

Lastly, reporting levels matter. Our research shows that by getting scorecards down to the lowest possible level, you can actually have more impact on building engaged work teams. We have found that we can drop down to teams as low as 4 respondents without damaging confidentiality, participation rates or creating positive biases in scoring.

Here’s the other strategic consideration – Are you turning your engagement partner into the “Engagement Monitor?”  When you’re thinking about your budget and resources, don’t just budget for the survey. A good engagement partner will have consulting and educational resources that can accelerate your path to improve employee engagement and business performance. I’ve come across a lot of companies that try to do the post survey activities on their own. This is where many engagement initiatives fail.  At least for the first year, use the resources and advice that your engagement partner brings to the table. In our case, it’s what we do. Your increase in performance is also how we measure the effectiveness of our offerings. It matters to us. Many times, I think the success of our clients matter more to us than it does to them. 

Moral of the story, if you just gather data with a partner, then kick them out, you’ve likely short-changed your initiative.  If your provider cannot offer post-survey support, then I might suggest you look elsewhere for a partner firm.

Evolve Performance Group offers numerous employee engagement resources online including eLearning, articles and infographs. For more information about employee engagement contact us today.





Get In Touch

Contact Evolve Performance Group using the form below.
* Required