Employee engagement in the workplace has long been held as something you “feel” rather than measure. An especially productive worker doesn’t necessarily love their job, and an especially unproductive worker doesn’t necessarily hate it.
Ultimately, there’s only one way to determine whether your team is engaged: using an employee engagement software to develop an employee engagement score.
What’s an engagement score?
An engagement score isn’t some sort of cumulative number of engagement activities or quantitative production – it’s usually illustrated as a percentage. The score in question is, mainly, “What percent of my team is engaged with their work?”
You can measure this in a couple ways, both using employee engagement software. For a number that pertains to measurable actions, you could track how often your team members sign in to the software itself, which gives you a picture of how invested they are in it and the ROI it’s giving you.
A better method of assessing employee engagement is by consulting your employees themselves! While you could ask about their level of satisfaction with their work in a one-on-one meeting, you can’t quite get an employee engagement score anecdotally. For that, we’ll want to use surveys.
A great employee engagement software will include a customizable survey feature that lets you ask your team about whatever you want in any format, multiple choice or open-ended, anonymous or named. You’ll receive more truthful responses and you’ll be able to tabulate the data based on industry benchmarks.
Speaking of which, what are the industry benchmarks for employee engagement scores?
National Employee Engagement Statistics
When it comes to surveying U.S. workers on employee engagement, Gallup is king. In publications like their State of the American Workplace, they survey tens of thousands of workers and businesses to get an accurate representation of retention, engagement, and hybrid work sentiments from across the country. We’ll be using them as our engagement benchmark – and you should too.
Fortunately, Gallup released new engagement statistics as recently as April 2022, so we’ll be able to ensure the surveys we give our teams are measured against something current. Their special formula is their “12 Questions of Employee Engagement” survey that asks a dozen questions on a 1-5 Likert scale. These questions are:
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Once each question is answered on a 1-5 scale, you’ll have a total score and a mean per question.
What is a good employee engagement score?
Strictly quantitatively, a good engagement score is one that beats the average benchmark. The average mean for Gallup’s 12 Question Survey is about 4.02, so if your total score is above 48, it’s considered a good score. Of course, the higher your score the better, so shoot to blow past it!
In a broader sense, Gallup also concluded only 34% of employees are actively engaged in Q2 2022, while 17% are actively DISengaged. Asking your team anonymously whether they feel actively engaged or disengaged could be a quick measure, but you can never truly count on an accurate self-assessment with a broad question like that.
While looking at these statistics is certainly helpful, a score of 52 on Gallup’s Q12 test doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Look at your teams’ survey answers individually – what are most of them saying works, and what are most saying doesn’t? A high score will be an empty victory if a handful of them are saying they don’t feel like they’re cared for as people, or that they don’t have growth opportunities.
It’s absolutely a good thing to aim for a 52+ score on Gallup’s Q12 survey, but it’s an even better driver of employee engagement to ensure no one’s specific concerns are getting left behind.
To learn more about Gallup’s 12 Questions, check out our article about it here! We have a lot more on the subject of engagement and retention as well – take a look at our e-book on Mastering the Employee Experience, or our 10 HR Strategies For the Retention Crisis piece, as told by experts from many of the industries we discussed above. All of our resources can be found in our Library – check them out here! To see HelloTeam, the employee retention platform, in action, click here — and to book a demo with us, go here!