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HR word of the day – Focal EE Approach of Identifying Employee Engagement Priorities

(Focal Employee Engagement (Focal EE) is a cloud-based employee survey solution measuring employee engagement and satisfaction.)

Employee surveys┬áare tools used by organizational leadership to gain feedback on and measure employee engagement, employee morale, and performance. Usually answered anonymously, surveys are also used to gain a holistic picture of employees’ feelings on such areas as working conditions, supervisory impact, and motivation that regular channels of communication may not. Surveys are considered effective in this regard provided they are well-designed, effectively administered, have validity, and evoke changes and improvements

Engagement is a combination of commitment to the organization and its values, plus a willingness to help out colleagues (organizational citizenship). It goes beyond job satisfaction and is not simply motivation. Engagement is something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ‘required’ as part of the employment contract. There are many individual and organizational factors that determine whether employees become engaged, and to what extent they become engaged.

If you are assessing the level of engagement or job satisfaction of your employees, you need to know exactly what matters most to them. This information is critical to understanding exactly what you need to fix. To simply know what employees are most and least satisfied with is not enough. For example, you might find that your employees are “very dissatisfied” with some aspect of their jobs, but that the thing they are unhappy with is not really that important to them or has little bearing on how engaged they are. Or you might find that your employees are moderately satisfied with some other aspect of their jobs, but you also learn that this is the most important thing to them and therefore an area to focus on improving.

Simply asking employees to tell you what is most important to them is one approach, but this approach has some serious drawbacks. Most significantly, it doubles the length of the survey, which means fewer employees will complete the survey and those that do will be more likely to either find the process more bothersome or experience “survey fatigue” as they near the end. Worst of all, this means you will probably get fewer written comments from your employees.

Focal EE uses a different approach to measure “importance”. The method we use starts with a statistically-based model of engagement that uses factor analysis to identify the key components of engagement that are common across most/all organizations.

Next, we use correlation to identify which items are the biggest drivers of engagement in a specific organization. It is important to note that correlation is not causation. Strictly speaking, we cannot establish a cause-effect relationship based solely on correlations. However, from a practical perspective, items that are highly correlated with engagement are usually a reliable indication of what is having a positive or negative impact on engagement.

Finally, we incorporate group size and standardized scores to identify the items that are the highest engagement priorities. Generally speaking, this means we look for items with high correlations and low scores.

References & Further Reading 
1. Knapp, Paul R. and Bahaudin G. Mujtaba. May 2010. “Designing, administering, and utilizing an employee attitude survey.”┬áJournal of Behavioral Studies in Business. Volume 2

2. Identifying Employee Engagement Priorities

Hv a great HR day­čśŐ

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