Measuring employee engagement has been seen as a challenge in the past because it’s largely subjective. Today, however, more companies are leveraging intranet software in the quest to analyze and boost employee engagement because evidence of engagement (or the lack thereof) can be clearly seen in internal communications. When you have measurable data showing how, when, and why workers are interacting with one another and with your business objectives, it is possible to see which of your engagement efforts are succeeding and where you need to shift your engagement strategy.
Blink’s workforce analytics can help you measure, monitor, and improve employee engagement by giving you deep insights into your company’s internal communications, coworker relationships, and overall employee sentiment. As a result, you’ll have a distinct edge over your competition.
Read on to learn why keeping on top of engagement is so important, what you might be doing wrong now, and how an employee communication app like Blink can change the way your employees feel about your company and their careers for the better.
What Exactly Is Employee Engagement?
One of the big reasons that the statistics surrounding employee engagement haven’t changed much over a decade (studies show 68% of all employees are disengaged) is that it’s not entirely clear what engagement actually is.
We know that employee engagement can have a major impact on performance and productivity—engaged workers contribute 202% more—but we also know that employee engagement is about more than worker happiness, streamlined internal communications, and how pay and benefits stack up. In other words, you can’t solve engagement problems by simply launching a company intranet, buying pizzas on Friday, and giving everyone a raise.
That’s because what makes employees more engaged is not necessarily happiness or even satisfaction, but rather the knowledge that they have an important role to play in your organization. They can see how their contribution fits in, they feel they have a voice, and they are recognized for what they accomplish. That may sound obvious, but consider that monitoring these types of sentiments has been notably difficult in the past, even with robust company intranet software.
Why Employee Engagement Is So Important
Engaged employees stick around. Because they feel valuable, these employees have an easier time handling big challenges and coping with setbacks. They’re less likely to be swayed by offers from other companies. And they’re excited to come to work each day.
The fact that engaged employees are loyal employees is huge because companies spend thousands of dollars each time they need to replace a worker. In some cases, employers spend as much as 213% of an annual salary for highly educated executive positions just to find, train, and onboard a new hire.
Engaged employees also make fewer mistakes because they’re focused on the work in front of them, give better customer service, and have fewer workplace accidents. In industries like healthcare or transportation, employee engagement is vital because it can literally mean the difference between life and death.
And finally, according to the Workplace Research Foundation, engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity and even a small increase in engagement can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year. That’s big!
Why Surveys Aren’t the Best Tool for Monitoring Engagement
When asked to think about the challenges inherent in engagement, your internal communications team may have suggested sending out an annual or quarterly survey. It’s a great idea in theory, but the problem is that these surveys tend to measure employee satisfaction, not engagement, and the results you’ll get likely won’t reveal any action plans for improving engagement (or even morale). You’ll have an idea of how your workforce feels about your company’s processes and the state of your organizational communication, but what then? Employee engagement surveys on their own don’t point to solutions.
The Benefits of Measuring Employee Engagement
The only way to improve employee engagement is to measure and monitor it. Here’s what that accomplishes:
You can solve small problems before they turn into big ones
An employee who is mildly disengaged now can become a totally disengaged employee later if the issue isn’t addressed. Tracking engagement lets you solve small issues related to internal communications, growth frustrations, coworker disconnect, and collaboration roadblocks.
You can clearly see when people are and aren’t collaborating
Ideally, your employees are using all of the resources available to them—including human ones. When you track engagement via a company intranet software like Blink, you can clearly see positive and negative team relationships so you can encourage the right people to connect.
You know when employees need answers, feedback, or praise
When organizational communication is a two-way street, you’ll know when employees are seeking answers, sharing their frustrations, or doing more than is asked of them. That gives you a jumping off point from which you can eliminate employee pain points or give a great employee a boost.
You can see who is taking advantage of growth opportunities
Scheduling events and tracking RSVPs via your company intranet software lets you see at a glance which employees are eager to learn new skills and to connect with those who aren’t to find out why.
You have a platform that lets you keep the positivity flowing
Above, we stress that employee sentiment is not employee engagement, but they are connected. When you’re monitoring the tone of your internal communications via your company intranet software, you can get a feel for how employees are feeling and experiment with new employee engagement strategies.
Tracking Employee Engagement With Blink
Pew Research found that digital tools can have a huge impact on how work gets done, but one of the big problems with traditional intranet platforms is that the built-in analytics mainly measured how engaged employees were with the intranet—not with the company. When you use an employee communication app like Blink, on the other hand, you have a range of analytics options available that let you track everything from communications flow to trending topics.
Here are some of the ways you can monitor employee engagement using the app and use the data you generate to boost engagement at your business.
1. Track Usage
Monitoring use of your company intranet doesn’t paint a perfect picture of employee engagement, but it is a good first step. Don’t just look at whether employees log into Blink, but also whether they’re consuming content, which content has the most engagement, and whether users are creating content without being told to. Disengaged employees probably aren’t doing much (if anything at all) on your intranet, so if you have a lot of people interacting with your internet, chances are your engagement is solid.
2. Track IRL Participation
When you compare your intranet engagement against real-world engagement in events, meetings, and other face-to-face interactions, you may see patterns emerge that help you see which internal communications strategies and engagement initiatives are working and which need to be tweaked.
3. Track Feedback
The problem with many workplace surveys is that they aren’t anonymous. Employees downplay their frustrations out of fear they won’t be seen as team players. In Blink, you can easily create completely anonymous polls and surveys that make identifying and creating solutions to engagement-sapping employee pain points easier.
4. Track Overwork
You might not think to look at intranet analytics to identify who might be using your employee communication app too much, but doing so can help you identify employees headed toward burnout. When you notice that one or more employees seem to be on the company intranet 24/7, consider whether they might be worried that they’ll be penalized for relaxing outside of work hours.
5. Track Sharing
Employees who feel like they have a voice at your company are naturally more engaged, which means that those who share most often are probably your most engaged employees. Look at who isn’t sharing, and then find ways to help them feel comfortable adding their input.
How to Measure Engagement for Maximum Change
A lot of intranet software doesn’t do much to monitor user behavior beyond tracking usage, but as noted above, usage metrics can only tell you so much. Here are some tips to help you measure and monitor employee engagement using your company intranet the right way.
Always be monitoring - Looking at metrics just once, whether you’re tracking usage or employee sentiment, will only give you a limited snapshot of engagement. Instead of tracking how people are using your intranet right now, monitor continuously so you can compare engagement before and after big changes at your company, engagement with your old intranet versus engagement with Blink, or collaboration during a specific project.
Have an internal comms specialist - Your managers should be managing, not spending time on internal communications. Make sure your workforce includes a dedicated intranet or comms specialist or even an entire team whose job it is to measure and respond to your intranet analytics.
Keep your eyes open for trends - When you keep going back into your analytics for more data points, you’ll get a more complete view of how people at your company are commuting and trends will begin to emerge that can help you boost engagement.
Mix it up - Don’t rely on one metric when you’re monitoring engagement. Maybe intranet use is an indicator of engagement for some employees, while other employees demonstrate their engagement by showing appreciation for their colleagues. For some, engagement might look like contributing wild ideas for project enhancement. Look at all of the data available to you whether it’s quantitative or qualitative.
Map analytics to engagement - Identifying trends in your intranet usage is only the first step. You have to determine how the communications trends you’re seeing in your intranet analytics correlate to employee engagement and your business outcomes to determine which engagement strategies are effective and which need to be adjusted or shelved.
Commit to change - To boost engagement over the long term you have to act on the feedback you receive from employees and the issues you identify when monitoring the company intranet, even when you don’t like what you see. Workers who perceive that you’re making an effort to improve the employee experience will almost always be more engaged.
The bottom line is that when your company monitors employee behavior and sentiment with an effective and robust intranet like Blink, you’ll end up with a richer understanding of the relative engagement level across departments and ideas for boosting engagement in the future. Ultimately, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of reduced employee turnover, less money lost, increased performance, higher morale, and greater productivity, now and in the future.
Blink is the intranet app that does more than just streamline internal communications. Try it out today! Request a Demo