How to Measure the Effectiveness of Engaging Your Remote Employees

Engaging Remote Employees

You and I both know that the traditional 8-5, in-office work environment is over. This presents a new challenge to HR and HRIS departments. The challenge is how do I engage remote employees and measure its effectiveness? Even prior to the pandemic, remote working environments was a growing trend, with a 44% rise in remote work in the last five years. So, how do you effectively manage and engage remote team members?Engaging remote employees and managing remote team members is not easy, especially when a workforce is split between the office and home, creating physical, emotional, and mental barriers. For organizations with a dynamic and mobile workforce, employee engagement can be easily overlooked, which will upset business objectives and lead to suboptimal productivity. HR departments are vital in delivering a strategy that understands the challenges, needs, and general happiness and satisfaction of employees.

What Exactly is Employee Engagement Anyway?

The term “employee engagement” has been thrown around so much that many have lost sight of what it means. The definition of employee engagement is elusive, or at least it’s not subjected to a shared meaning. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Engaged employees care about their work and about the performance of the company and feel that their efforts make a difference. So, how do you go about measuring that? How do you go about measuring if employee engagement is improving or declining?

Before we get into that, let’s first highlight factors that are sure to lead to employee disengagement:

Sloppy communication or lack of the proper channels.
What is your vision on how you want your remote employees to communicate with each other and with corporate? The best practice is to balance the tools you give to your employees with the degree and type of communication you want to foster. Before introducing new platforms or consolidating tools, consider their unique value to your remote employees and your organization. Are employees using the tools? Does your technology make it easy or hard for remote employees to communicate with each other? Does your technology help of hinder productivity? Intellective’s Employee Engagement Pack can help you bring your tools together and deliver a unified, tailored employee experience that drives engagement.

Engaging Remote Employees

Lacking investment in engagement programs.
Employee engagement is a cultural priority. Without key support from the leaders within your company, your engagement strategy is not going to be taken seriously. An engagement program is only as effective as its authors—which is a collaboration between HR, the Learning and Development (L&D) department, and key leadership figures. If those three units are not sold on the value of employee engagement, then you are dead on arrival.

A misaligned culture.
Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. If the culture is founded on professionalism and commitment, then the outcomes of work should follow high standards, too. In the absence of a structured, driven workplace, the roles and performances of employees may start to seem troubled, which will undermine business objectives.

Best Practices for Employee Engagement

Use actual metrics such as OKR.
Companies such as Google have been known to apply metrics such as OKRs (Objective Key Results) to employee engagement and create measurable outcomes. What you measure improves (the opposite is true as well). Below are some examples companies are using to measure employee engagement:

Typical OKRs:
● Ensure a response rate to employee requests up to 100%
● Reduce complaints per month from 5 to 2
● Increase the employee eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) from 6 to 7.5
● Decrease employee turnover from 20% to 5%
● Increase productivity of all team members by 50%

It is one thing to measure these, it is something entirely different to post the OKRs where everyone can see them. This is what Henry Ford did when he walked onto the manufacturing floor and wrote the number “7” on the floor in chalk. When the next shift came, they asked Mr. Ford what that number meant. He told them that is represented the number of cars the last crew produced and left the floor without saying anything else. From that point forward, the crew produced more and more cars because the team would update the number after each shift.

Pin a program to results.
eNPS, also known as employee Net Promoter Score, is a way of measuring how your employees feel about your company. It’s based on Net Promoter Score, which is a measurement of customer loyalty that was pioneered by Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld to measure customer experience. The employee Net Promoter Score is the number of promoters minus the number of detractors divided by the total number of respondents multiplied by 100. The results can range from -100 to +100.

The eNPS is measured through a survey where you ask one question: how likely are you to recommend your company to a friend? Employees respond using a scale of zero (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Calculating the eNPS score isn’t a matter of averaging scores. Based on your employee’s feedback, respondents are grouped into one of three categories: promoters, detractors, and “passives.” For an eNPS survey to work properly, it must use this scale.

Once you have your survey responses, subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters.
eNPS = % Promoters – % Detractors

Make continuous improvements based on information.
It can be easy to embark on a great employee engagement strategy and let it go stale. Business is about constantly challenging the status quo and looking for ways to improve on your success and overcome setbacks. Therefore, we advise you to review the numbers regularly and reconcile your strategy to the latest results.

In Summary

Companies that embrace and prioritize employee engagement should see an increase in productivity, a reduction in employee turnover, and an upward trend in eNPS. If employee engagement is thought of as a “necessary evil”, then you must accept lower productivity levels and higher levels of employee dissatisfaction.  Employees these days want to be supported emotionally, mentally, and professionally with the tools and communication channels they need to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and feel valued for their work. Measuring and looking for ways to constantly improve employee engagement will give you a competitive edge in attracting and keeping talent.