Frontline employees are the foundation of many successful organisations, making up to 70% of the world’s workforce. But, it is these frontline employees who, more often than not, are left behind when it comes to employee engagement.
For example, according to research by Gallup, manufacturing employees are the least engaged, to the extent that 75% of this sector’s workforce are actively disengaged.
So, how much do actively engaged frontline employees contribute to an organisation?
Research shows that engaged employees are more likely to buy into their company’s vision and work harder to make this vision a reality.
Let’s look at the numbers. The 2020 Meta-Analysis report by Gallup indicates that:
“The business/work units in the top half of employee engagement have a 94% higher success rate in their own organisation and a 145% higher success rate across business/work units in all the companies that were studied.”
The table below suggests that “business/work units with high employee engagement nearly double their odds of above-average performance in their own organisations and increase their odds for above-average success across business/work units in all organisations by 2.45 times.”
It is evident that employee engagement is highly desirable but can be hard to achieve. The Meta-Analysis suggests that:
“Business/work units at the highest level of employee engagement across all business/work units in Gallup’s database have an 83% chance of having high (above average) composite performance. This compares with a 17% chance for those with the lowest level of employee engagement.”
In this article, we explore how to improve frontline employee engagement and some helpful KPIs that can be used to measure employee engagement.
Solving the engagement challenge
Traditionally, employee communication methods such as email have proved impractical for frontline employees who have limited access to laptops or desktops; paper newsletters often go unread and physical notice boards on site are not updated frequently.
One effective way to overcome this is to provide employees with direct access to information via their mobile devices.
Using mobile devices as an employee communication tool means that employees receive relevant information directly to their phones. Management teams also have an overview of what tasks have been completed, and in the case of an emergency or where critical communication needs to go out to employees, immediate action can be taken.
Digitising organisational processes is not just about communication and the sharing of information. Essential HR functions that were previously paper-based, such as payslips and leave processing, as well as vital health and safety measures like COVID-19 screenings, can now be automated, making them far more efficient and easy to track.
Digitisation also enables companies to track the engagement levels of their workforce. Using essential employee engagement KPIs, organisations have a quantifiable means to improve operational efficiency, employee productivity, and reduce operational drag due to high safety incidents, poor quality outputs, employee turnover, or high levels of absenteeism.
What are the Top Five KPIs used to Measure Your Employee Engagement?
1. The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
The eNPS is a metric that was developed off the back of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which was initially created back in 1993 by Fred Reichheld and later adapted by Bain & Company. It was developed as a way of measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty by asking how likely your customer would be to recommend your product or service to a friend or colleague.
The eNPS is used to measure how employees feel about the company for which they work. An eNPS is measured by asking one question:
“How likely is it that you would recommend working at our company to a friend or colleague?”
Employees are asked to provide a scaled rating from 0 (not very likely) – 10 (highly likely).
The responses received are then allocated to three different categories to ultimately determine the eNPS:
- Promoters: These responses fall between 9 – 10. These are employees who are motivated and satisfied.
- Passives: These responses fall between 7 – 8. These are employees who are satisfied with their jobs but are not fully committed to the business.
- Detractors: These responses fall between 0 – 6. These are unhappy employees who are not satisfied or engaged with their jobs.
The eNPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of promoters from the percentage of detractors.
The eNPS is a quick method of garnering insight into employee engagement. Coupling eNPS with deeper survey insights will help highlight areas you can address to improve the employee experience.
2. Calculating Employee Turnover Rate
Employee turnover is calculated by measuring the number of employees who leave a business within a certain period divided by the total number of people employed at the same time. This can be calculated monthly, quarterly, or annually to get a holistic view of employee turnover metrics. This calculation can also be used in each department or division of a business to highlight critical areas of concern.
To calculate the employee turnover rate, you will need the following metrics:
- Number of employees who left your business in a given period (Number of separations)
- The average number of employees for the given period
The average number of employees can be calculated using the following equation:
- The average number of employees = (Number of employees at the start of the period + number of employees at the end of the period) / 2
Once you have both numbers, you can go ahead and calculate the employee turnover rate:
- Employee turnover rate = (Number of separations / Average number of employees) x 100
3. Successful Hires After a Trial Period
This KPI is used to identify how successful (or not) the hiring and onboarding processes are in a business. If a high number of employees decide to leave a company in the first 3 to 6 months, this highlights that the hiring and onboarding processes need some attention.
This can be calculated as follows:
- Successful hires after trial period = (Number of employees who stay on after trial/ Number of new hires) x 100
4. Internal Promotion Rate
The internal promotion rate is a crucial engagement metric because providing employees with an opportunity to grow helps increase levels of engagement. Improving your company’s ability to retain, build and grow internal talent not only helps boost staff morale but also contributes to enhancing business performance.
To calculate the internal promotion rate:
- Internal promotion rate = (Number of promotions/ Number of employees) x 100
The result is the percentage of employees who have been promoted.
5. The Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)
The ESI is a measurement used to determine how satisfied employees are at their place of work. Numerous studies have proven the link between happy employees and increased revenue. The most recent of which, Gallup’s 10th employee engagement meta-analysis, reveals the effect of engaged teams on key business outcomes, including employee productivity, turnover, and profitability.
The ESI coupled with more in-depth employee engagement surveys can uncover critical areas of business focus.
The ESI is a bi-annual employee survey that is comprised of three questions:
- How satisfied are you with your current workplace?
- How well does your current workplace meet your expectations?
- How close is your current workplace to the ideal one?
The answers are measured on a scale of 1 (Extremely unsatisfied) – 10 (Extremely satisfied).
This is how you can calculate your ESI:
- ESI = (Total score / Maximum score) x 100
An actively engaged frontline employee is the cornerstone of any successful company.
By delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, giving a voice to frontline workers to better understand their employee experience, tracking employee engagement KPIs, and taking measurable steps to address the emerging issues, you can significantly increase engagement amongst frontline employees.
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