According to a recent Harvard Business Review Article, “Where Employee Surveys on Burnout and Engagement Go Wrong,” engagement surveys often don’t tell the full story. Indeed, asking employees how well they like their job typically results in an exaggerated response as employees seek to maintain harmony between themselves and their employer. Rather than outright asking employees whether they are engaged in their current position, employers can observe more indirect indicators such as the following:
- Feedback: What types of unsolicited feedback does your employee provide? Does it have a positive tone or is it more negative in nature?
- Recognition: When is the last time you publicly recognized your employee for a job well done? Recognition can go a long way to feed general engagement.
- Relationship with peers: Does your employee have a good relationship with their peers? Do they participate in group outings or conversations? This shows they are invested in their teammates and enjoy those they work with.
- Relationship with managers: Is your employee responsive to management requests or does he or she delay or miss the mark? A respect for upper management indicates an alignment of vision and values and is a good indicator of employee engagement.
- Personal Growth: While certain temperaments are more excited by growth than others, typically all types of employees agree that a job full of repetition leads to boredom. Offer your employee some chances to grow and see how enthusiastic they are to the offer.
People are complex, and positive sentiments ebb and flow. Yet, employee engagement is something that goes deeper than a reactive response to today’s fires. Continue to stay tuned into each employee on the five dimensions above, in order to better understand how engaged they are.