6 Metrics to Measure Employee Engagement: The Employers Guide

employee engagement metrics

As businesses strive for higher productivity, better retention rates, and a more harmonious workplace culture, the role of employee engagement metrics becomes increasingly crucial. 

For HR managers and employers, understanding and effectively utilizing these metrics is key to fostering a workforce that is not only productive but also satisfied and aligned with the company's goals.

From identifying trends in employee turnover to understanding the nuances of employee satisfaction, these metrics offer a window into the very core of an organization's human resource dynamics. In this blogpost we'll explore six key metrics while providing practical ways to track and leverage them for organizational growth and stability.

Importance of Employee Engagement Metrics

Statistics show that organizations with a highly engaged workforce have a 22% higher profitability rate, a 20% higher productivity rate, 28% less employee turnover rates, and 37% higher customer satisfaction rates. Additionally, organizations with low employee engagement experience almost three times the amount of absenteeism and two-thirds more errors and defects. 

These figures make clear the importance of employee engagement metrics and demonstrate why companies must prioritize and increase employee engagement. Companies that invest in understanding their hr employee engagement metrics, and act to improve them, will be rewarded with greater profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee resilience and retention.

Metrics to Measure Employee Engagement

In the following section we look at 6 key metrics to consider when measuring employee engagement for professional development:

Employee Retention rate

Employee retention rate measures the percentage of employees who stay with a company over a certain period. It is essentially the flip side of employee turnover, focusing on the percentage of employees that remain with the company. High retention rates are often indicative of a positive work environment, effective management, and strong employee engagement, which are key factors in a company’s long-term success.

How to calculate employee retention rate

To calculate the retention rate, the following formula can be used:

Employee retention rate formula by Shiftbase

Retention Rate = (Total # of employees  - # of employees who left the company in a specific period / Total # of employees) * 100

To measure employee engagement using retention rate, you can follow these steps:

  • Define the period for the calculation: for example, a year, six months, or a quarter.
  • Determine the total number of employees at the start of the period: for example, the total headcount of your company.
  • Count the number of employees who leave the company during the period: this can be done by reviewing HR records, exit interviews, or other data sources.
  • Calculate the retention rate: divide the number of employees who remained with the company at the end of the period by the total number of employees at the start of the period and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
  • Compare the calculated rate to industry benchmarks and your company's past results to determine if it's high or low.

Here, the number of employees leaving is the total number of employees who left the organization during a specific time frame (usually a year), and the average number of employees is the average workforce size during that period. This formula gives a percentage that reflects the turnover rate.

For example, if 100 employees left the company in a year and the average number of employees over that year was 1000, the turnover rate would be 10%:

  • Turnover Rate = (100 / 1000) * 100 = 10%

It's important to note that this calculation should be done consistently over time to track changes in the turnover rate and to identify trends or patterns in employee engagement and turnover.

Voluntary Employee Turnover

Voluntary employee turnover refers to the scenario where employees choose to leave an organization on their own accord, as opposed to being dismissed or laid off. This type of turnover is particularly significant for HR managers and employers, as it often reflects on the workplace environment, employee satisfaction, and the overall attractiveness of the organization as an employer.

Understanding voluntary turnover is crucial because it sheds light on the employees' perception of their roles, management, career growth opportunities, and work-life balance. High levels of voluntary turnover can be indicative of systemic issues such as inadequate compensation, lack of career advancement opportunities, poor management practices, or an unsatisfactory work environment. Addressing the causes of voluntary turnover is vital for maintaining a motivated, engaged, and productive workforce, which in turn contributes to the long-term success and stability of the organization.

How to Measure Voluntary Turnover

To measure voluntary turnover, HR managers can use a specific formula that focuses solely on the employees who leave by choice:

Voluntary turnover rate formula by Shiftbase

Voluntary Turnover Rate = ( # of voluntary departures in a specific period) / # employees in that same period) ×100

This formula calculates the percentage of employees who have voluntarily left the company over a specific time frame, usually a year, out of the average total number of employees during that period. Tracking this rate over time helps in identifying trends and patterns, which can be crucial for formulating retention strategies.

Absenteeism

Absenteeism refers to the habitual non-presence of an employee at their job. It is typically measured by the number of days or shifts an employee misses compared to the total number of working days or shifts. Absenteeism goes beyond the occasional necessary absence due to illness or personal matters; it is a persistent pattern that can significantly disrupt workplace operations.

The impact of absenteeism in the workplace can be profound. It not only affects productivity but also puts additional pressure on other team members who may need to cover for the absent employee. Consistent absenteeism can lead to lowered employee morale, as it may create an uneven distribution of work and a sense of unfairness among employees who are regularly present. Financially, it can increase costs due to overtime payments or the need for temporary staff. Furthermore, high rates of absenteeism can be a symptom of deeper issues within the workplace, such as poor job satisfaction, workplace stress, or inadequate health and wellness policies.

How to calculate absenteeism rate

Calculating and monitoring absenteeism rates is crucial for addressing and mitigating its impacts. The absenteeism rate can be calculated using the following formula:

Absenteeism rate formula by Shiftbase

Absenteeism Rate = ( Total Absence Days / Total Available Work Days ) × 100 

Here, 'Total Absence Days' is the total number of workdays an employee or a group of employees has been absent over a certain period, and 'Total Available Work Days' refers to the total number of workdays that the employee or employees were supposed to be present in the same period.

By regularly calculating this rate, organizations can track trends in absenteeism and identify specific times or situations where absenteeism spikes. This data is invaluable in understanding the causes of absenteeism and taking proactive steps to reduce it.

Absenteeism should be monitored not just at the individual level but also across departments and the organization as a whole. This broader view can reveal patterns and issues that might not be evident when looking at individual cases. For instance, a department may have a higher rate of absenteeism, which could indicate managerial issues, poor team dynamics, or excessive workload in that particular department.


Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is an increasingly popular metric used by organizations to gauge employee loyalty and overall satisfaction. eNPS is significant because it provides a quick and straightforward way to measure how likely employees are to recommend their workplace to friends and acquaintances. A high eNPS score indicates a positive, healthy work environment and can be a strong predictor of high employee engagement and retention. Conversely, a low eNPS can signal underlying issues in the organization's culture, management practices, or working conditions that need to be addressed.

How to calculate Employee Net Promoter Score

Calculating the eNPS involves a simple survey where employees are asked one key question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our organization as a place to work?” Based on their responses, employees are categorized into three groups:

  1. Promoters (score 9-10): These are highly satisfied employees who are likely to actively promote the organization.
  2. Passives (score 7-8): Satisfied but not enthusiastically so, these employees are unlikely to actively promote the workplace.
  3. Detractors (score 0-6): Dissatisfied employees who might not recommend the organization and could potentially damage its reputation through negative word-of-mouth.

The eNPS is then calculated using the following formula:

Employee net promoter score formula by Shiftbase

eNPS= ( Percentage of Promoters − Percentage of Detractors) × 100 

This calculation gives a score ranging from -100 (if every employee is a detractor) to +100 (if every employee is a promoter). A positive eNPS score is generally good, and a score above 50 is considered excellent, indicating a very healthy and positive workplace environment.

Regularly measuring eNPS can help organizations quickly identify shifts in employee sentiment, enabling them to respond proactively. It also provides a benchmark to measure the impact of any changes or initiatives introduced to improve the workplace environment.

Useful Read: The Great Place to Work Certification: The Employers Guide


Employee Performance

Performance metrics not only help in assessing an individual's productivity and efficiency but also provide insights into their skills, strengths, and areas for improvement. In the broader context, these metrics are crucial for strategic planning, employee development, and ensuring the alignment of individual efforts with the organization's objectives.

Measuring employee performance is critical for several reasons. Firstly, it enables managers to identify top performers who may be suitable for leadership roles or more challenging projects. Secondly, it can reveal gaps in skills or training needs across the workforce. Lastly, performance metrics are often tied to reward systems like bonuses, promotions, and career progression, making them a key driver of employee motivation and engagement.

Useful Read: The 6 top Employee Performance Management Trends of 2024

Techniques for Measuring Performance

  1. Goal Setting and Achievement: One of the most straightforward methods is to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for employees and then assess their performance based on the achievement of these goals. This method aligns individual performance with organizational objectives and provides clear benchmarks for assessment.

  2. 360-Degree Feedback: This comprehensive approach involves gathering feedback from all individuals who work closely with the employee, including managers, peers, subordinates, and even customers. This method provides a well-rounded view of an employee's performance and highlights how their behavior and work ethic affect others in the organization.

  3. Self-Assessment: Employees evaluate their performance based on predefined criteria. This technique encourages self-reflection and personal accountability, allowing employees to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.

  4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): These are quantifiable measures that gauge an employee's performance against specific objectives or business goals. KPIs can vary depending on the role and might include metrics like sales targets, customer satisfaction scores, project completion times, and quality of work.

    Useful Read: How to Create Productivity KPI's: A Guide + Real World Examples
  5. Regular Performance Reviews: Conducting regular performance reviews (monthly, quarterly, or annually) helps in continuously assessing and providing feedback on an employee’s work. This ongoing process ensures that performance is not just a one-time assessment but a continuous conversation, fostering a culture of growth and development.

By employing these techniques, organizations can effectively measure employee performance, which is pivotal for individual growth, team efficiency, and overall organizational success.


Employee satisfaction

The relevance of this metric lies in its direct impact on various aspects of organizational performance. Satisfied employees are typically more engaged, loyal, and motivated, leading to higher productivity and better quality of work. They are also more likely to stay with the organization, reducing the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover. Additionally, employee satisfaction contributes to a positive company culture, which can enhance the organization's reputation and attractiveness to potential hires.

Approaches to Gauge Employee Satisfaction

  1. Surveys and Questionnaires: Regularly conducting anonymous surveys or questionnaires is a common and effective method to measure employee satisfaction. These surveys can include questions about various aspects of the job, such as work-life balance, compensation, management, career development opportunities, and workplace culture.

  2. One-on-One Meetings: Personal meetings between employees and their managers can provide insights into individual satisfaction levels and concerns that might not be captured in surveys.

  3. Focus Groups: Organizing focus group discussions with employees from different departments can provide diverse perspectives on what affects their satisfaction and how it can be improved.

  4. Exit Interviews: Conducting exit interviews with departing employees can reveal valuable information about the reasons behind their dissatisfaction and decision to leave.


Conclusion

Key engagement metrics are essential tools for any organization's success and should be measured and improved regularly. Companies should invest in understanding their employee engagement levels and take active steps to improve them to reap the rewards of increased productivity, lower turnover, and improved financial outcomes. 

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