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Happiness KPIs: Best Tools to Track Employee Engagement

Lex Brinkman - Mar 29 2021, 12:20:05 PM

Statistics taking into account the impact of remote work on employee happiness say that likely a third of your employees are looking for a different job right now. Plus, about 81% of employees would consider leaving their job for the right offer, even if they are not actively looking.

What employees want from a company is rapidly changing — it’s not simply a matter of more pay anymore. 71% of employees under 35 would consider leaving their current job and taking a pay cut if they received an offer from their ideal company or “dream job.” Employers interested in retention need to put employee ideals and happiness at the forefront.

We already know employee engagement outside of retention impacts productivity and, in turn, profitability. But, without even speaking to the business-specific losses of low productivity, a conservative estimate of the cost to replace an employee is a third of that person’s salary. That’s a sizable hit to your operating budget, which, if avoided, will result in a healthier, stronger, more covetable work environment.

First, the bad news: Your general annual employee survey isn’t effective. Why? For one thing, by the time your team administers, takes, reviews, and publishes the information, your survey will be woefully out of date. Even a speedy employee survey takes on average three months to complete. What’s more, if you’re only doing this once a year, you’re missing out on valuable insights the other 260 working days each year.

The factors that contribute to employee engagement are directly in line with metrics you can track to measure employee happiness. Some helpful metrics every company can track quarterly without additional cost or investment in third parties are manager score, employee churn rate, and employee mobility.

If you already do annual reviews, why not review up by asking employees to rate or score their experiences with their managers? Not only is this helpful to assessing team dynamics, but it will also provide an equitable distribution of power. Alongside this, you should have a pulse on the rate of mobility within your company. Are employees making sensible lateral moves that increase cross-team collaboration? At what rate are employees being promoted? Tracking mobility can help you see in real-time if your team is stagnant, and you can see how you measure up to mobility expectations in your industry.

The same thing goes for your turnover rate. You track customer churn rates, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your employees? Keeping tabs on who’s leaving and how fast they exit is a simple way to let you know, year over year, if your engagement and retention tactics are working. Additionally, a short exit interview is highly recommended. Create a concise list of questions, and you’re likely to get more frank answers. 

Employee feedback is crucial, but rather than make it a singular time-consuming event, like an annual survey, you can quickly measure how they feel by tracking employee net promoter score (eNPS), specifically asking if the employee would recommend the company to a friend looking for employment opportunities. The key to effective eNPS is the frequent cadence of a simple question. Ask this question at random throughout the year or as often as once a month so it’s only a single click employees have to complete.

Take this a step further by utilizing AI employee satisfaction software. Instead of a written review, employees are video recorded about their work experience and happiness. Then, language and facial recognition technology can assess their genuine enthusiasm for the role, as well as the level of passion and engagement with the team. Although costly, this service can be a singular software provider for an HR department to measure the productivity and effectiveness of management in a way that utilizes sentiment cues that a written review obscures. Plus, interviews are each done in real time, saving time in the long run.

One thing to consider while shopping around is the potential bias artificial intelligence (AI) logic may carry and how that could impact the analytics you pay for. For example, if the facial expressions or lingual idioms used to score engagement are overwhelmingly from one single demographic, say cis-gendered white men over 35, then you’re essentially holding all employees to a standard set by one group. Asking your software provider about where they glean their AI insights from and if they’re paying attention to racial, language, and gender bias is crucial.

A less-invasive process that is a step up from basic metrics would be a culture audit led by a third party. A team of HR professionals could point out glaring holes in your employee retention strategies and areas of improvement needed to establish a cooperative and exciting company culture. If you’re interested in leading third-party employee engagement metric software, consider companies such as LatticeMedalliaPeakOnChoose People, and Glint

Above all, the value of virtual employee engagement ideas cannot be overstated. However, finding virtual employee engagement ideas that work for a remote-based team can be challenging, especially if you have a larger team you need to accommodate. At the end of the day, finding one that fits your values will only help you increase engagement and foster connections. 

Originally published at Mar 29 2021, 12:20:05 PM. Updated on Sep 27 2022.

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