The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt by businesses around the world. Leaders are expected to navigate a broad range of interrelated issues that compound, rather than replace, the challenges they already confronted in keeping their employees safe, healthy, and productive.
To grow and perform, businesses will need to be ‘future-proofed’ and able to adapt to the upcoming changes we face in technology, consumer expectations, and ways of working. Whilst transformation can be daunting and difficult, it also represents a huge opportunity for businesses to focus on employee engagement—and employee engagement KPIs (key performance indicators)—to help them fully engage their workforce and unlock its full potential.
Now, more than ever, it is important to check in with employees to understand how they are feeling, what’s working well, and what can be improved. (Tweet this!) In this article, we will examine the employee engagement metrics business leaders should consider monitoring as they find their way through the global crisis.
5 Important Employee Engagement Metrics For Navigating The COVID-19 Pandemic
To understand employee perceptions about the pandemic and new ways of working, these are the important topics to consider for your surveys:
Employee engagement: Engagement is consistently shown as something given by the employee which can benefit the organization through their advocacy, dedication, discretionary effort, using their skills to the fullest, and supporting the organization’s goals and values. There are a variety of measures of engagement available; our model of employee engagement is discussed in this article. Whichever model you use, it is important to track engagement.
eNPS: The Employee Net Promoter Score has gained popularity because it can provide a reliable indicator of engagement levels with just two questions, making it fast to administer and easy to interpret (more details are provided here). Whilst it does not fully replace a more comprehensive Engagement Index, you can use eNPS in a pulse scenario and for comparisons across groups or different points in time.
Enablement: Whilst engagement (or eNPS) is likely to remain “top of mind” among HR professionals conducting employee opinion surveys, we need to be mindful of our current situation and ask meaningful questions for today’s working environment. Cover, at least, the basics: Do your employees have the technology and resources they need to be working at home? Do your on-site employees feel safe at work?
Also consider the broader perspective of our new ways of working: What caregiving or personal responsibilities are people juggling alongside their work commitments? What flexible working arrangements would your employees most value? What formats for online training and development would be most effective? How are you helping your employees to support your customers? To what extent do people feel supported by managers, connected to their team, and included in decision making? Are people clear on the team’s priorities? Do people feel supported by their manager? Have work relationships improved or suffered?
We know the positive impact engaged employees can have, but their impact will be lessened if they are wading through treacle to get things done. Using surveys to monitor employee enablement and taking immediate action to reduce the barriers to high performance will allow your engaged employees to fulfil their full potential.
Employee Wellbeing: Imagine your wellbeing as a reservoir behind a dam. Right now, there are many possible “cracks in the dam” that will be draining the levels of wellbeing for your employees (e.g. job insecurity, work overload, poor working relationships). As we navigate the pandemic, you can use short surveys to regularly check in with your workforce to identify and understand your hotpots. You are more likely to make good decisions about wellbeing if you know where wellbeing is low, where stress is high, where people have concerns for their personal safety or are experiencing a lack of support to balance work and personal responsibilities.
Employee resilience: Resilience (or resiliency) is our ability to adjust, adapt, remain effective, and move on from difficult situations. Resilience is not a fixed state; our resilience depends on the demands of the situation, our familiarity or training with the situation, as well as our underlying personality or “resilience profile”. We know that employees have adapted in many ways to a changing working environment in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You can help monitor and build employee resilience via more systematic support to help people understand their resilience profile or teaching people core skills and techniques that help them to build their personal resilience.
Many of the items for measuring these dimensions of employee engagement can be rated on a five-point Likert scale, while others will garner richer information through open-ended questions.
Want to know how your people are doing during this unprecedented time?
Perceptyx has created several free, short pulse surveys specific to the pandemic. These surveys include the ability to measure your people’s needs over time and compare to external benchmarks as they become available, and will allow access to real-time insights related to shifts in needs across their organization.
What We’ve Learned About Engagement During The Pandemic
Perceptyx has been providing complimentary COVID-19 corporate response, remote working, and supporting people managers pulse surveys to our clients, comprising an employee engagement scale. Engagement has not fallen off a cliff. A crisis doesn’t necessarily kill engagement; organizations can maintain high levels of engagement and even improve on them during this difficult time.
One of our key findings is that “Feeling supported by managers in making decisions about health and well-being” is a top differentiator for employees—and when hourly employees are extremely satisfied with communications about the company’s response to coronavirus, favorability on “Health and safety are a top priority for the organization” increases by more than 30 points (from 62% to 96%). These are the types of insights that are very useful to organizations for maintaining engagement during crisis situations.
The key question is, what does your organization most need to know? Once you’ve identified your most critical knowledge gap, you can define the most important metrics you need to measure and track. Even in these times, surveys are not one-size-fits-all. No matter what is most relevant to your organization, we can design items to help you find the answers to your most pressing issues.
Seeing The Way Forward
The Perceptyx platform gives you the flexibility to adapt your listening strategy to rapidly changing real-time events. Combined with support from our analytics experts, our platform can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your people’s needs, so you can provide the support they need during these uncertain times. Get in touch to see how we can help your organization navigate successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic.