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How to Use Data to Stimulate Employee Engagement

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Employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges every organization faces. Everyone knows that highly engaged teams perform better. In fact, companies with high employee engagement are known to be 21 per cent more profitable.

Many people conflate engagement with happiness, and while yes, you do want your employees to be happy, engagement includes employees feeling a certain level of satisfaction, enthusiasm and commitment to their work.

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The challenging nature of engagement is due in part to the fact that it’s difficult to find ways to engage a wide range of people. There’s no one-size fits all format for engagement, but there are ways to find solutions to engagement problems. The most certain is to use data to assess and stimulate employee engagement. To do this you need to collect the data and then assess it to find solutions, let’s explore how.

Start with an Engagement Survey

Surveys are one of the most widely used scientific research methods. And for good reason. Surveys provide high representativeness, particularly of a large population or group. They’re also convenient for gathering data and cost effective.

Before you can use data to stimulate your employees’ level of engagement, you must first collect it and evaluate it. An employee engagement survey is the best way to do this.

An engagement survey allows you to collect data directly from the source—in this case, your employees. It’s one of the surest ways to collect usable data on employee engagement.

Collect More Data: Conduct Stay Interviews

Along with your employee engagement survey, you can collect more data on employee engagement by employing stay interviews. Think of them like the opposite of an exit interview. Rather than question an employee as to why they’re leaving your organization, a stay interview is used to determine what keeps an employee around.

Depending on the outcome of your engagement survey, you may want to choose employees who fall on both ends of the engagement balance (i.e. highly engaged and actively disengaged) this can provide insight into both type of employees’ mindset.

Use Employee Assessments to Gather Insights

Want to know what qualities make up a highly engaged employee? Collect and assess data from employee assessments, performance reviews and self-evaluations. These assessments, along with the data collected from employee engagement surveys can help you determine the work and processes that your employees who rated themselves as highly engaged, are doing and using.

Once you’ve identified the top qualities, skills and processes your most engaged employees possesses, you can take that information and put it to use within your recruitment strategy. Specifically, you can measure that information against your talent assessments when conducting preliminary recruiting processes. You can further use data for predictive analyses and personality assessments.

Find Solutions Using Your Data

Once you’ve gleaned as much data as possible from your employees, and evaluated their various levels of engagement, you’ll need to determine what solutions you can implement to best support employees on both ends of the engagement scale.

Consider the feedback provided by your employees—what have they rated as most important to their satisfaction at work? Have they emphasized a need for more guidance? More one-on-one time? Do they feel management isn’t providing enough attention, or that their skills aren’t being used to the best of their abilities?

The answers to these questions can help you determine where different teams are struggling and the gaps that may be making engagement more difficult.

Flexible schedules, professional development and employee recognition are all proven ways to improve employee engagement.

Picking the right managers and providing them with the necessary training will also improve engagement. In a study done by Gallup in 2016, they found that there’s a direct correlation between employee engagement levels and their respective managers. Good management is the key to engagement.

Data Drives Solutions

Data is the indisputable king when it comes to finding solutions that work in business. Data supports the HR function in many ways, including recruitment and employee engagement. When companies use data, they make better, more informed decisions. In the case of employee engagement, data helps HR and management find solutions that fit the various work styles of a wide-ranging workforce.


Mario Malatesta

Mario Malatesta

With experience in the financial services industry and the group benefits industry, Mario Malatesta founded GroupQuest Benefits Resources Inc with just his business partner. Today, GroupQuest is a leading Group MGA in Canada with about $150M of group insurance premium in force and a support team of over 35 staff members including: renewal, marketing, sales, and service support teams. GroupQuest has offices in Vancouver, BC and Calgary, AB, as well as a head office in Mississauga, ON.   Mario is married with two children (twins). He enjoys many different sports and travelling with his family.

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