Engagement: much more than a two-dimensional exercise

A recent HR Magazine article highlights the findings of a new report that suggests engagement surveys don’t deliver an accurate picture of employee engagement. It’s an interesting piece of research which reflects our own conclusions from our work with all types and sizes of organisation – engagement is not a two-dimensional exercise.

 

While the report highlights the many grey areas of engagement and provides us with useful insight into the limitations of simplistic engagement measurement, we’d argue that this is nothing new. Getting a true insight of employee engagement across an organisation requires a multi-dimensional approach.

 

There are many segments of engagement, all of which have different drivers, and all of which can be measured in separate and distinct ways: engagement with the vision and direction of the business; engagement with the customer and brand proposition; engagement with your own contribution to the organisation and with those around you, to name just a few.

 

Only by bringing the assessment of these segments together can we start to build an accurate picture of not only how engaged employees are, but what factors affect levels of engagement, and what causes engagement to fluctuate over time.

 

As the article suggests, leadership also plays a vital role in engagement – yet leadership itself is very rarely measured and analysed by organisations wanting to drive up engagement scores. If we want to get an accurate insight into the many different segments of engagement, effective leadership is a pre-requisite for the sustainability of the business, and for the long-term engagement of employees with culture, brand and direction.

 

For us, real engagement only exists when all dimensions are in place – if you want a true measure that really impacts business performance, ultimately engagement is all-or-nothing. Our work shows that it’s only by integrating the analysis of all data points within the employee eco-system that we can gather the evidence necessary to make the right, data-driven decisions for continual improvement.

 

By Dr Andy Brown
CEO & ENGAGE Leadership Practice Head