There is No Better Time to Assess Your Company’s Employee Engagement Than Now

You may think you should avoid conducting employee engagement assessments during a pandemic, but assessing engagement during tough time is actually the best way to find the truth.

One Forbes article by Mark Murphy outlines a surprising idea that makes most executives look away: the best time to measure employee engagement is during tough times, like a pandemic.

Why? Employee engagement surveys are not about popularity—they are about discovering the truth about what’s helping or hurting your employees’ commitment to their work. If you assess employee engagement during tough times (like a pandemic), Murphy says, you can get at the root of issues.

For example, if your company times its employee engagement initiative to ensure high scores (like avoiding conducting a survey during a pandemic or conducting it right after annual bonuses are distributed), you are skewing the truth.

As it turns out, most employees are motivated, but not happy. A study titled “Employee Engagement Statistics Are Missing 2 Critical Groups of Employees” finds that 26 percent of employees are motivated at their jobs, but not satisfied doing them. Many dislike their company but are still motivated to give 100 percent effort.

No one likes to have the tough conversations. However, the benefit in identifying issues is to then learn to fix them. If employees don’t like company culture, want more flexible hours, do not feel their voices are being heard or other, there can be a solution if you seek it. A bonus or holiday party will not get rid of those issues or make employees forget them entirely.

Another study showed that not many people have “high resilience” during this pandemic. The study titled “Employee Engagement Is Less Dependent on Managers Than You Think” found that only a quarter of people have high resilience at present.

Plus, the article explains, employees with high resilience are 310 percent more likely to love their jobs than employees with low resilience. And employees with high resilience are 136 percent more likely to love their jobs than employees with even moderate resilience.

Murphy explains that if he (as an employer) conducted an employee engagement survey and found that his employees currently had low resilience, he would quickly seek ways to fix that before things got worse. He could teach managers to coach their employees, teach employees how to take charge of their own resilience and more. In fact, one recent study shows that employee recognition is a key to employee engagement and happiness.

Murphy explains that people lose sight of the fact that employee engagement assessments are not popularity contests, or a measure of good things only. Take your employee engagement perspectives past the marketing slogan, or the perception that they only need to reflect positivity. Not only would you be doing your company a disservice, but you would miss an opportunity to use this pandemic for something worthwhile.

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