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What Does Healthy Employee Engagement Look Like?

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Your employees can tell you a lot about your organization. The people on your team interact with customers, drive your operation, and affect financial performance. Exceptional organizations stay on the pulse of their employees’ experiences and respond to ideas and concerns.

The problem is, how do you measure employee engagement and what does “healthy” employee engagement look like? Let’s answer those questions!

Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement

We should first understand what employee engagement is and the difference between “engagement” and “satisfaction.”

Employee satisfaction: A satisfied employee enjoys their daily tasks, benefits, salary, and feels satisfied with the job itself.

Employee engagement: A fully engaged employee feels this same satisfaction, plus an elevated drive to contribute to the company’s success.

Employee engagement considers a wider range of metrics than simple “happiness” or “satisfaction” scores.

Why is it important to measure employee engagement?

An engaged employee is more likely to stay with your company longer. They tend to be more productive, and in turn, make your customers happier and more engaged. By measuring engagement, you get insights into what you’re doing well and what areas you need to improve.

Measuring employee engagement also forces you to find out what really matters to your team.

Engagement is ever-changing. Is your team rooting for the brand to thrive? Are they retracting from the mission? When you keep a pulse on what causes your team to lean in or back away, you’ll be able to steer your initiatives in the right direction.

Read more: “Daily Solutions for Creating a Culture of Engagement.”

How is customer satisfaction related to employee engagement?

The two measures are closely related. Low customer satisfaction scores may be attributable to specific causes, like wait times. When that is not the case, low customer satisfaction scores are almost always a result of employee engagement issues.

High customer satisfaction and recommendation scores are indicators of healthy employee engagement. An even stronger signal? When a customer is willing to give detailed commentary in addition to strong survey scores, it means the customer had an experience worth telling. Our Engage program uses text analytics, so we can analyze customer survey responses and search out positive phrases as evidence of your associates going above and beyond.

Learn More about Engage: Customer feedback & employee engagement surveys.

What are key employee engagement metrics?

It’s necessary to establish a holistic system to measure employee engagement and identify key metrics, like:

Likeliness to recommend: Brands need to ask employees this fundamental question: How likely are you to recommend the workplace to family or friends, on a scale of 0-10? If there is a litany of answers below 7, then there is a workplace problem that needs a solution.

Career: Many factors go into determining how happy your employees are with their careers; that’s why it’s critical to define your metrics and ask the right questions. Job satisfaction may involve everything from compensation and benefits to roles and responsibilities, to the relationship between employees and managers (and other teammates).

Community: Do your employees feel like they belong and they’re part of a connected community? People want to feel respected and know that they matter.

Pride: Do your employees care about the work they do each day? You can determine if they are proud of their work and proud to be part of your company by asking employees directly. In addition, you’ll be able to see pride reflected in your customer experience surveys.

Purpose: Engaged employees feel a sense of purpose within the company, now and in the future. Employees who connect to the company’s mission and vision feel a sense of purpose within the brand. Are your employees able to state the mission, core values, and vision of the company? Does your company have a cause that employees rally behind?

Case Study: learn how we helped Whole Foods evaluate operational and service elements and enhance the in-store experience for customers.

What are the signs of Healthy Employee Engagement?

As we said earlier, it’s essential to identify key metrics and establish a holistic system to measure employee engagement. With that in mind, there are obvious examples of positive employee engagement, such as:

  • Employees are happy and genuinely connected with your brand.
  • Customers give high satisfaction and recommendation scores.
  • Employees are proactive and willing to go the extra mile for customers.
  • Employees are motivated by company culture, mission, and purpose, and feel like they are an integral part of it.
  • Managers are engaged and have a trickle-down effect on their employees.


How can you recognize signs of negative employee engagement?

Know how to spot the red flags. What are some signs that may be pointing to negative employee engagement?

  • You have a high turnover rate.
  • Employees are late or absent.
  • Your Net Promoter Score is low.

When we dig deeper into customer experience (CX), we’ve noticed that some organizations can execute a strong experience across all trained procedures; however, their Net Promoter Score remains comparatively low or unchanged. This could indicate an employee engagement issue.

Once you have the data you need, what can you do?

Use actionable insights to create a plan. Maintain and improve upon strengths and prioritize weaknesses.
Share with everyone on your team, and we do mean everyone. Communication about how engaged you are is engaging in itself.
Be sure to resurvey. As engagement evolves, you should continue to identify the actions that build positive momentum.

Ready to take the next step? Our Engage program uses proven survey methods that capture customer sentiment across every touchpoint, translating it into actionable insights, so you can respond effectively and leverage your customer’s voice to create more joyful experiences.

Our integrated services work together under one roof to ensure data integrity, quality assurance, and quick scalability (even if clients need to transition away from existing legacy systems). With full control over our services and abilities, we can respond and react in real-time to our clients’ shifting needs and priorities — something that’s worth it for our clients’ peace of mind.

We’ll ask the right questions. And help you find the stories in the answers.

Talk to an Expert