Research into Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Models, There are many models on the market and each provider claims that their model is based on empirical research. For this I am sure, however for each organization that undertakes this they appear to arrive at different conclusions.
So are they all correct or are they all incorrect?
The jury is out on this. What we do know is that no two organizations are the same and that the prevailing culture makes a great deal of difference in the results.
Using normative data also takes the edge off of excellent organizations, so for instance one organization may score high in some and low in other factors; the net result is that they score x. This is then the benchmark that the research organization/ provider uses.
The important driver in Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
The key driver in measuring employee engagement and satisfaction is not necessarily a particular set of factors, but that fact that the same factors are measured repeatedly over time, and interpreted in conjunction with the current and future required culture in the organization, along with business performance measures.
Katz and Kahn
Identified three levels.
- Joining and staying in the organization. This includes recruitment into the company, low absenteeism and low turnover.
- Dependable behaviour. These indicators relate to meeting or exceeding standards of job performance.
- Innovative behaviour This level goes beyond individual roles to how people collaborate with colleagues, make suggestions to improve the organization, and work to improve the organization’s standing in the external environment.
Towers and Perrin
Have four degrees of engagement:
- Actively engaged,
- Engaged but leaving,
Gallup Q12 – Employee Engagement
No page on the net looking at Employee engagement would be complete without looking at the Gallup Q12.
Gallup began creating a measurement and feedback system for employers that would identify elements of employee engagement closely linked to the bottom line. Factors such as:
- Customer loyalty
- Productivity and
After extensive research including hundreds of focus groups and thousands of interviews with employees in a variety of industries Gallup came up with the Q12, a 12-question survey that identifies strong feelings of employee engagement. Results from the survey appear to show a strong correlation between high scores and superior job performance.
The Three Types of Employees identified by Gallup are:
- Not Engaged
- Actively Disengaged
For reasons of copyright the questions are not listed here although a simple internet search will list them.
To help identify common factors in employee engagement the CIPD commissioned Kingston University and Ipsos/MORI to undertake a survey of employee attitudes. From this research they determined that Engagement can be said to have three dimensions:
- Emotional engagement – being very involved emotionally with one’s work
- Cognitive engagement – focusing very hard whilst at work
- Physical engagement – being willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for your employer.
From BSI consulting
In a white paper looking at Employee Engagement they identify the following scales:
- Performance & Motivation
- Commitment & Engagement
- Skills and Workload
- Commitment (Normative & Continuance)
- Engagement (emotional)
- Identification (rational)
- Team Orientation
- Motivation Compatibility
Critical Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Drivers and Impacts
Corporate Appeal — Engagement
Leadership — Identification
Belonging — Team Orientation
Job Design — Motivation
Working Conditions — Compatibility
The RapidBI Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey (EESS)
The EESS looks at the following scales:
- Effective Management
- Equal Opportunities
- Health and Safety
- HR Policy
- Personal Growth
- Team Spirit
Employee Engagement Index – EEI
The Employee Engagement Index is the average of the three scales:
- Organisational Commitment.
- Job Satisfaction.
- Intention To Stay.
Kenexa Employee Engagement Index – EEI
According to a survey by Kenexa, you can summarise employee engagement with these four primary principles, or drivers, that show that workers are engaged by:
- Leaders who inspire confidence in the future.
- Managers who respect and appreciate their employees.
- Exciting work that employees know how to do.
- Employers who display a genuine responsibility to employees and communities.
Kenexa has also come up with the Kenexa Employee Engagement Index, which comprises four key components:
- Advocacy and
Components of Index (Insight now)
Have an instrument called the Employee Engagement Index in which the index is broken down into the following segments:
- Employee attitude towards their customers.
- Employee attitude towards their company.
- Employee attitude towards the products or services they are providing.
- Employee attitude towards their immediate management, motivation, recognition and control structures.
- Employee attitude towards their role, contribution and development.
- Employee loyalty to their contact centre.
Burke company Employee Engagement Index – EEI
Burke takes a different approach and look at populations and target audiences and how they answer key questions.
- Work Group
- Career/ Profession
- Customer/ Client
They believe that there is a significant link between employee engagement, customer loyalty, and profitability.
BCWI Employee Engagement Index – EEI
This organisation uses a simple three scale approach:
This data is collected from BCWI’s 15 item scale of employee engagement includes items assessing employees’ sense of their own growth in and fit with an organization as well as their beliefs about how much impact employees have on the organization and its leaders.
Mercer – Employee Engagement
Mercer’s research “What’s Working?” surveys have gathered data from a cross-section of industries. These surveys had questions grouped into 13 dimensions:
- Work processes
- Quality and customer focus
- Work/life balance
- Job security and career growth
- Teamwork and cooperation
- Ethics and integrity
- Immediate manager
- Performance management
- Leadership and direction
- Training and development
From these dimensions Mercer Identified four global drivers:
- The work itself, including opportunities for development
- Confidence and trust in leadership engagement
- Recognition and rewards
- Organizational communication
Then using further data from this research they developed Mercer’s Employee Engagement Model©:
- Satisfied –> Motivated –> Committed –> Advocate
Employee Engagement – people or leadership?
How can leaders engage heads, hearts, and hands of their people? An article in Ivey Business Journal believes that by starting to apply the following 10 C’s of employee engagement:
- Connect: Leaders must show that they value employees. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the immediate boss.
- Career: Leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things in their job.
- Clarity: Leaders must communicate a clear vision. Success in life and organizations is, to a great extent, determined by how clear individuals are about their goals and what they really want to achieve.
- Convey: Leaders clarify their expectations about employees and provide feedback on their functioning in the organization.
- Congratulate: Exceptional leaders give recognition, and they do so a lot; they coach and convey.
- Contribute: People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organization’s success in a meaningful way.
- Control: Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control.
- Collaborate: Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships.
- Credibility: Leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards.
- Confidence: Good leaders help create confidence in a company by being exemplars of high ethical and performance standards.
Looking at the above list it seems that many of the characteristics are about practising effective leadership.
Employee engagement is not about the employees, it’s about effective leadership.
Blessing White – Employee Engagement
According to Blessing White:
“the most successful organizations make engagement an ongoing priority, not a once-a-year event. They take a multi-faceted approach to address problem areas and improve engagement scores organization wide.”
The best practices include:
- Maximise managers – they are the main connection in the employee engagement equation.
- Align, align, align – clarify strategy and organizational goals.
- Redefine career – employees need line-of-sight on their future to be truly engaged.
- Pay attention to culture – culture and employee motivation go hand-in-hand.
- Survey less, act more – don’t rely purely on an employee engagement survey to drive your strategy
In many of their Employee Engagement Surveys and research this organization use the following criteria:
- Disengaged –> Crash & Burn –>
- & Hamsters –> Almost Engaged –> Fully Engaged
In one report they also use the scale:
Disengaged –> Crash & Burn –> Honeymooners & Hamsters –> Almost Engaged –> Fully Engaged
For more information and research visit the Blessing White site.
Factors of Employee Engagement
Many organizational factors influence employee engagement and retention such as:
- A culture of respect where outstanding work is valued
- Clear job expectations
- Adequate tools to complete work responsibilities
- High levels of motivation
- Availability of constructive feedback and mentoring
- Opportunity for advancement and professional development
- Fair and appropriate reward, recognition and incentive systems
- Availability of effective leadership
Many other factors exist that might apply to your particular organization and the importance of these factors will also vary within your organization.
Employee Engagement Index – EEI and copyright
Interestingly as you travel your way around the internet many organisations have the phrase Employee Engagement Index (EEI)” and claim copyright or trade mark – well interestingly only one company can claim a single phrase as a TM or copyright. Ah this is a generic phrase I suspect that no company will be able to defend protection of EEI as a copyright – and only one (the first) can claim it as a trade mark – but who was that? who would win the battle?
One thing for sure is that the EESS IS copyright RapidBI and is a trademark. Internet searches for the phrase EESS and “staff survey” only show RapidBI driven content – and this is before the public launch of the product in September 2008. The EESS has been in development under that name since 2006.
View a slide show on Employee Engagement