How do we really measure employee engagement?

Almost 60% of large businesses which took part in an survey about employee engagement, stated that they conduct annual employee engagement surveys. There is much to be said for measuring employee engagement annually as it can provide a regular update of how people feel about work.


But what does an engagement survey actually tell the employer? If we want to measure the right thing, we need to focus engagement efforts on making the work that people do, better. We need to measure work engagement. 


Work engagement is characterised by a sense of positive wellbeing and psychological health in the workplace. Through work engagement, there is more likelihood of being motivated to fulfil tasks; employees can find a sense of purpose through the work that they do; to improve focus and resilience. However, in order for employers to affect these attributes in their teams, any effort to boost engagement needs to focus in the work itself.


The best way to measure this type of engagement is to ask this question:  “How likely are you to recommend working at (this company) to a friend (out of 10)?”. An employee scoring 9 or 10 is characterised as a “promoter”.  A “detractor” is someone whose answer falls between 0 and 5, and a “passive” would typically score 6-8.


This is question about loyalty, not engagement. It allows the employer to have honest conversations with their teams about why they feel that they cannot recommend a friend, or why they may hesitate. To affect work engagement, we need to understand how people feel and this powerful question can start an interesting conversation, leading to improved work engagement and better employee motivation and retention.


121 HR Solutions has significant experience in conducting employee engagement surveys. For further information contact

Privacy Policy



Powered by The Logic of Eight - Creative Media