How do you know if they are engaged? | Customer Experience IS Team Member Experience

This is the third post in a series titled “Customer Experience IS Team Member Experience.”

As promised, this week we will look at how to best measure attitudinal and behavioral elements of employee engagement or EE. In his research summary on EE, Professor Robert Frank addresses measurement by noting:

“The most popular and most widely researched EE assessment is the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). It is based on the vigor, dedication, & absorption definition of EE. In a scan of the Business Source Complete database…the UWES was used in more than 370 research studies. The UWES has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of EE in multiple countries and in many different organizations across a variety of organizational levels and jobs. It is available in 19 languages…

There are three other scales that measure EE at a macro level that have been reported in the research literature that are worth noting: 1) The Job Engagement Scale – another well- developed, but less widely used EE assessment measure. Its 18 items measure the physical, emotional, and cognitive components of EE; 2) The 9-item Intellectual, Social, and Affective (ISA) Engagement Scale and 3) The Productive Energy Measure (PEM), a 14-item survey that measures the affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of workplace energy.”

While many commercially available employee engagement metrics exist, I am a fan of the Gallup Q12. Q12 questions are outlined, with the permission of Gallup, in my book The New Gold Standard. In that book about the Ritz-Carlton Hotel company, I wrote that:

“The items on the Gallup Q12 address issues that either strengthen or weaken the emotional connection between an employee and employer. Some of the areas assessed on this instrument include the degree to which employees have the materials they need to do their job and whether expectations placed on them are clear; whether their supervisor takes an interest in them; whether their opinions matter; and whether they are offered opportunities to learn and grow on the job… 

This instrument, which has strong empirical validity, asks employees to answer 12 questions to determine whether they fall into the engaged, nonengaged, or actively disengaged categories. Gallup consultants view these three categories as somewhat equivalent to distinctions between owners, renters, and squatters. In essence, engaged employees (the owners) show considerably greater personal investment in the success and growth of a business when compared to their lesser-invested counterparts.”

Next week, we’ll look at employee engagement outcomes. For now, here are three challenge questions:

  • Do you measure the engagement of your workforce? 
  • If so, how are you using what you learn to craft action plans that decrease the “squatters and renters” while increasing the “owners?”
  • If you don’t measure workplace engagement, when are you going to start?

This week, I hope you’ll schedule a time to talk about employee engagement and your internal customer experience. Until next time, let’s measure and drive employee engagement as a precursor to external customer engagement.

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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