05 May 2022
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05 May 2022
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It's become common knowledge that employee engagement makes or breaks success at every level of an organization.
But frontline employees in industries like retail, hospitality , manufacturing and logistics tend to be left behind by the employee engagement parade, despite being just as crucial to a company's success as their office-based peers.
It's time to turn that around.
Frontline employees are the crucial players in the strategy of any business that claims to provide good customer service. They are the people delivering the experience of your brand to customers every day.
When frontline employees feel disengaged, the quality of their work inevitably suffers, which then damages the company's bottom line.
And unfortunately, lack of engagement is still the status quo for frontline employees in most industries.
Measuring the engagement levels of frontline employees isn't as easy as pushing out an employee engagement survey or seeing how many people turn up to your weekly Zoom happy hour.
And therein lies the issue: it's not easy to measure how engaged frontline employees are without the right approach.
The problem isn't that organizations are blind to the importance of employee engagement: 80% of senior business leaders believe that employee engagement is critical for achieving company goals.
Rather, the issue is a lack of awareness into precisely how engaged or disengaged frontline staff are feeling, and a lack of understanding about what frontline staff need to feel engaged.
And that brings us to our main point .
You should be quantitatively measuring employee engagement.
Quantitative measurement takes employee engagement from an HR buzzword that generates a few eye rolls to a concrete, measurable and actionable employee engagement strategy that supercharges company-wide improvement and growth.
Here are 7 employee engagement metrics that every company with frontline employees should be tracking.
How employees interact with content you share internally through your company intranet (or better yet, a company newsfeed) reveals a lot about how engaged they are.
That's because employees who feel their voices are heard are more likely to read and respond to internal comms content, and 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.
Frontline employees are left out of the loop when it comes to internal communications, because they typically don't have a company email address and may never meet some of their peers in-person.
And that's why measuring if and how they interact with internal content is so vital.
Do employees think company news and updates are relevant to them?
Do they think it's worth their while to comment, ask questions, like and share?
Measuring internal communications metrics can answer these questions. Here are a few to get your started:
Employee NPS measures how many employees are promoters, passives or detractors by asking your workforce how likely they'd be to recommend your company as a great place to work.
To calculate your employee NPS score, subtract the percent of detractors from the percent of promoters.
Employee NPS is a great engagement metric to start with, since your engaged employees are most likely to recommend the company as a great place to work.
Calculate and compare your eNPS scores for different teams, locations and regions for the most insightful data.
And don't forget to compare scores over time to help you track the progress of employee engagement initiatives.
Broaden the scope of the questions you ask employees beyond the standard eNPS questions. A few good ones are:
YOOBIC customers with predominantly Gen Z and millennial workforces are big fans of the Moodscale eNPS feature, where employees pick an emoji that represents how they're feeling about everything work-related.
Engaged employees enjoy going above and beyond every day.
This attitude is bound to rub off on customers: even more so when employees are on the frontlines with them.
Closely monitor your customer NPS scores to spot any changes that could be tied to employee engagement.
Interactions with staff are what make or break a customer's experience. Customers aren't shy about shouting this from the rooftops on review sites and in surveys.
This opens up a goldmine of data.
Here are a few metrics to help you tap into that goldmine:
Take these metrics even further by correlating them with the other 6 metrics here, as well as operational KPIs like compliance scores.
YOOBIC's reputation dashboard consolidates reviews from Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook Pages, giving you an instant overview of customer feedback - and your brand’s reputation - across your entire network.
What does employee engagement have to do with adopting new tech?
When we look a little deeper, they're closely linked.
If you were given a tool that might help you do your job more efficiently and less painfully, would you use it?
You would if you were motivated to go above and beyond in your role.
You probably wouldn't use the new tool if going above and beyond wasn't your thing, which also indicates a lack of engagement.
So when a new tool or platform is rolled out, a high adoption rate signals that employees are engaged in their roles and understand the value the new tool will bring: to themselves as individuals, to the rest of their team and to the entire company.
When adoption rates are low, it could mean that the company hasn't done a stellar job of showing employees and values and benefits of using it.
Even so, a low adoption rate likely means that employees are not engaged, so the same old way of doing things is good enough for them.
Engaged employees are more productive.
That's because engaged employees find meaning in the work they do and understand how it contributes to the bigger picture.
Whatever they do and whatever industry they work in, engaged employees have quantitatively higher outputs than their unengaged peers.
Here are a few of the best productivity metrics to start measuring:
Everyone needs a day off every now and then, and even the most engaged employee might move on for a new job opportunity.
But as a rule, engaged employees will avoid no shows or taking days off (unless they really need to) because they care about and enjoy their work.
For the same reason, engaged employees aren't as likely to voluntarily leave their jobs and will have a lower turnover rate.
Industries employing frontline employees - especially retail and hospitality - have some of the highest rates of absenteeism and turnover out there, as well as some of the lowest levels of engagement.
Coincidence? Probably not.
Companies with high engagement levels have 41% less absenteeism.
Absenteeism and turnover rates aren't just a measure of employee engagement.
They're also a measure of productivity, expertise, and revenue lost to costly rehiring and retraining.
This is what it all comes down to at the end of the day.
Engaged employees are more successful, which makes the entire company more profitable.
Studies have proven this over and over again.
One stipulation, however: employee engagement initiatives won't skyrocket your profitability metrics overnight.
That's the reason why we've left this metric until the end. It takes time to start noticing meaningful change in business outcomes here.
Even so, the work frontline employees do - like helping customers and manufacturing products - can make or break your business' profits.
So it's important to start monitoring profitability metrics on a granular level (e.g. per store, restaurant, field team, warehouse) ASAP, so you have a baseline to compare your findings with once you ramp up your employee engagement initiatives.
A few examples are:
And at a higher level:
Monitoring and comparing profitability metrics for both individual business units and the entire company gives you complete visibility into potential causes of increases or decreases.
Remember, correlation is not the same thing as causation.
Tracking these 7 metrics is only the first step. It's what your business does with them afterwards that really makes a difference.
There's no one-size-fits-all employee engagement model - especially for the wide range of work frontline employees do.
Each business and employee base is different. One employee engagement initiative may work wonders for one group of employees but have zero impact for another.
That's why measuring employee engagement is so crucial. It shows you what's working and what's not so you can make data-driven decisions that serve and support your employees.
Engage and empower your frontline, wherever they are, with YOOBIC's engagement and internal communications platform.
It's never been easier for frontline employees to chat, collaborate and stay in the loop with company news - all from an app that's as as fun and easy to use as social media.
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