David Niu | Emergenetics Featured Guest Blogger | Founder and CEO of TinyPulse

David Niu | Emergenetics Featured Guest Blogger | Founder and CEO of TINYpulse

What is employee engagement, anyway? It’s a complex idea that includes everything from an employee’s happiness to their motivation to their compatibility with the company’s mission.

But that doesn’t actually mean that increasing engagement in your company has to be hard.

Your first step is figuring out how your employees feel. An engagement survey is a great way to check in with your workforce and see what they have to say. Here are five great questions that get right to the heart of the issues that affect employee engagement.

1. Do you feel that management is transparent?

TINYpulse’s recent employee engagement study found that management transparency is the number one factor in determining employee happiness. Surprised? If you don’t know what’s going, after all, how are you going to feel like an important member of the team?

So if you don’t get positive answers from this question, that’s a red flag that you need to start sharing more with your employees. Clarify company goals and performance, and keep the workforce up to date on changes that are coming down the pike.

2. How well do you know the company’s mission, vision, and values? 

Our engagement study also revealed that only 42% of employees know these things. In other words, over half of the workforce doesn’t know what the overall direction of their company is.

You can’t expect employees to be engaged with their work if they don’t know what it’s building toward. Make your organizational values and mission a regular part of the company conversation. If employees know the road map, they’ll be more invested in the journey.

3. How would you rate your relationship with your manager?

According to Gallup, the quality of interaction between employees and their managers has a huge effect on engagement. Consider what they found when they asked employees if they agreed with the statement, “I feel I can approach my manager with any type of question”:

  • 54% of employees who strongly agreed are engaged
  • Only 2% of employees who strongly disagreed are engaged

Make sure your employees know how to communicate with you — and that they feel comfortable with that communication. This can mean scheduling regular 1-on-1 meetings, or you can try holding open office hours when employees can come to you about any issue. You should also have an avenue for your team to safely give you candid feedback, such as an anonymous survey.

4. What is your relationship with your coworkers?

According to Globoforce, 69% of employees with 25 or more friends at work are engaged. And another TINYpulse report found that coworkers are the number one thing that motivates employees to go the extra mile at work. People want their team to inspire them and make them happy — and when that’s the case, they’ll step up for each other.

So when you look to hire new employees, evaluate how well they’ll fit in with the existing people and culture. Building a strong and supportive team is the way to get that team engaged.

5. How would you rate your opportunity for professional growth at this company? 

Engagement isn’t just about what an employee is doing in their job today. They also want to know where they’re going (and hopefully that’s within your company). Gallup found that having the opportunity to continually develop makes someone twice as likely to say they will spend their career with their company, when compared to people on the other end of the scale.

Giving employees the chance to reach their full potential with you will boost their investment in your company. Invest in training, mentoring programs, and other professional development initiatives.

The answers to these five questions will give you vital information on the state of employee engagement at your company. They’ll give you an action plan for improving the workplace for both you and your team.

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David Niu is the Founder and CEO of TINYpulse, an employee engagement survey solution that empowers leaders with actionable feedback to make positive changes in their workplaces. David is a serial entrepreneur, having founded and successfully sold two prior businesses, NetConversions and BuddyTV. He is also the author of Careercation: Trading Briefcase for Suitcase to Find Entrepreneurial Happiness.