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How to Gauge Employees to Increase Productivity

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/14/2011

How well do your employees enjoy their jobs? Are they happy or unhappy? Do they complain and cause dissension among co-workers? A simple way to analyze your workforce is analyzing their attachment to the job at hand. Find out how to conduct this analysis with two free templates.

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    Until Death Do Us Part

    Engaged Employees Every business owner wants to ensure their employees are content. Gallup, Inc. has developed what they call a Q12 or twelve questions to survey your workers. This example of an employee engagement survey is one of many and while Gallup, Inc. feels only twelve questions will do, often the number of questions depends upon what you want to find out to determine the level of engagement or disengagement.

    So what is employee engagement? Basically surveys can be utilized to determine job contentment which has been proven to gauge workplace productivity. Why is this so important? If your employees don’t feel appreciated, happy with assigned tasks and job duties, co-workers and supervisors the chances are you’ll have a lot of downtime, complaining and end up playing referee all day long.

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    Purpose

    Happy Employees Engaged employees are those who excel in areas of customer service, company goals, vision and mission statements, and comply with office policies. Those who are disengaged tend to lack in production, resist new ideas or change within the company and make it their goal each day (knowingly or unknowingly) to disrupt the workplace.

    Business owners can utilize surveys to determine the level of engagement via a ratio to learn where each employee fits on the engagement scale.

    According to Gallup, “The proportion of engaged to actively disengaged employees in a world class organization is 9.57:1 and for average organizations the ratio is 1.83:1." Gallup suggests for companies to be productive and healthy, they should aim for an 8:1 ratio. That’s a very achievable ratio if the right questions are asked and analyzed—and of course changes made based on the analysis and defined ratio.

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    Survey Examples

    Survey Here, we offer two examples of employee engagement surveys—the Q12 format from Gallup (link in reference section) and a survey you can download from our Media Gallery for free.

    Gallup’s Q12

    The Q12 survey developed by Gallup focuses on twelve questions to determine job satisfaction. In the free brochure from Gallup, you’ll find the questions asked fall along the lines of understanding work expectations and if the employee feels they have the right tools for the job. Employees are also asked about recent recognition and if they feel supervisors or co-workers care about them or dismiss them. Do they feel encouraged to offer ideas and do they agree with the company’s vision?

    Employees are also asked about co-workers' attitudes, if they are closer to one co-worker more than another and whether the company offers room for advancement or training.

    From these questions, not only can ratios be determined but also job turnover rates, productivity levels, absenteeism levels, workplace safety concerns and product or service defects within the organization. The survey analysis seeks to improve weak areas for overall profitability.

    Free Media Gallery Download

    The survey found in our Media Gallery is lengthier and involves 100 questions which are rated on a scale of one to five—five being the highest rating of strongly agree. Because this survey is in a Microsoft Word format, it can be modified to fit your organizational needs. It also includes demographic questions that are optional to answer such as education experience, salary level, etc.

    Again, this survey, although longer, includes categories about the job itself, how the employee feels about co-workers or supervisors, training and advancement opportunities. Trust, goals and the ability to make decisions are also included. Finally, the survey analyzes job satisfaction as it relates to certain areas such as work/life balance, the important of the job and upper management support.

    The survey also offers instructions on how to score each respondent and tally data to determine your company’s engagement ratio.

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    Importance

    Gauge Your Employees Using employee engagement questionnaires along with proper analysis helps to cut down on turnover and increase not only productivity but profitability. According to Gallup, 300 million is spent each year on training new employees and downtime of unhappy workers.

    In addition, consider the cost to your customers when they must deal with new employees on a constant basis never gaining trust from a dedicated representative.

    Both survey examples provided here, once analyzed, will involve change—not all your employees are happy even if you think they are. An important process in using the results is to implement a change process to aid those who face resistance to change and show them the reasons for various to certain tasks or processes to improve the workplace for everyone—not just them.

    While understanding how employees feel connected to their job is certainly an important issue, the true purpose of these engagement surveys is to keep the business running smoothly to ensure profitability, however, these surveys are definitely an essential human resources tool.

    Please be sure to check out the other tips and strategies found in Bright Hub's HR Guide for Recruiting and Retaining Employees.

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    References

    Gallup, Inc. – Employee Engagement retrieved at http://www.gallup.com/consulting/52/employee-engagement.aspx

    Workforce Management – 12 Questions to Measure Employee Engagement retrieved at http://www.workforce.com/section/hr-management/article/12-questions-measure-employee-engagement.html

    Gallup, Inc. What’s Your Employee Engagement Ratio .PDF Brochure download - http://www.gallup.com/consulting/121535/Employee-Engagement-Overview-Brochure.aspx

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