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Derek Bishop

Culture Consultancy


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Evaluating Engagement


Is employee engagement worth it?  It’s a simple enough question and the answer is unquestionably yes!  We could stop there and make this one of the shortest articles ever to grace the pages of Training Zone but for those who may have concerns that employee engagement is a fluffy nice to have rather than a business imperative, perhaps we better expand a little.

Let’s start then with a few quotes gleaned at random from the internet.

·         ACAS - “Happy and productive people equals growth”

·         AON – “Engaged employees deliver greater productivity, better customer service, superior quality products and services, and more innovative solutions.

·         Open University – “In economies increasingly dominated by service industries, good customer relations – built by engaged employees – are central to success.

We could go on but the fact is that survey after survey and study after study have shown that engaged employees benefit organisations, their customers and their long term prosperity.  If you want cold figures then as a starter we’ll simply point to the Aon survey in 2014 which commented that every disengaged employee can cost an organisation more than £5000 in annual profits.

This then begs the question, how do you evaluate employee engagement levels?  Do you just decide that because water cooler chatter is happy employees must be engaged?  Well sorry but happy employees are not the same as engaged employees.  True, you are unlikely to have engaged employees who are unhappy but the converse is not true.  And whilst the ACAS quote above implies that happiness equals growth, it goes on to list the ingredients for a happy workforce including vision, empowerment and trust.

How about an annual survey; would that help evaluation.  Well the trouble with annual surveys is that they only provide a snapshot of one day out of 365 days and who knows what is happening the rest of the time.  Yes one-off surveys do have their place but they are generally most effective when used as one element of an exercise which looks towards an ongoing improvement in engagement practices. 

So what is the answer?  Well, let’s start by turning the viewpoint around.  Why should it be the business who surveys the employees’ levels of engagement?  Would it not be preferable for employees to take control, to work individually and collectively to monitor and improve their own engagement levels?  When people are empowered to drive the process via online engagement tools then they take charge of their own destiny.  That doesn’t abrogate leadership responsibility but it does mean that employees are empowered and trusted to identify the training or support which they need to further develop, two of the key elements of engagement.

If you want to align people with business strategy, if you want your employees to work proactively to boost profitability, customer service and reputation then giving them the tools to plan, to self-measure and to develop is key to success.  Why guess, why leave it to once a year chance when you can have ongoing evaluation and boost engagement in the process.

If you would like to explore online self-managed engagement tools or general employee engagement issues further  feel free to email Derek at [email protected] or visit

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Derek Bishop


Read more from Derek Bishop

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