Measuring employee engagement

This year, GuildQuality was named the 5th best place to work in Atlanta among businesses with fewer than 100 employees. I was pretty pleased with that, and also glad to still have some room for improvement.

We spend a lot of energy on our culture and our work environment. To make sure we’re investing appropriately, I’m interested in measuring our progress. If we’re losing any of the things that make us a special place to work, I want to know about it before things get out of hand.

The single best way that I’ve come across to keep my finger on our pulse is a brief, anonymous survey, conducted once per quarter. We call it our “Barometer” and use Google Forms to make it happen.

Here’s our survey:

I have a reminder on my calendar to send everyone a link to the form once per quarter. I send one reminder a few days after the first email, all the responses are anonymous, and I track the results in a Google Spreadsheet.

Things I pay attention to:

  1. Response Rate. About 90% of employees reply each time. Higher is better, and lower is a sign of disengagement.
  2. Percentage of responses that are “4”. If this percentage dips, we’ve got a problem.
  3. Comments. I find our people to be hugely generous with their comments. They express enthusiasm for the business and always share their concerns and ideas. The form keeps things anonymous, and that helps to keep the feedback genuine. There’s absolutely no brown nosing or fear of reprisals.
  4. Employee Churn. While it’s not reflected in the survey, I also pay attention to employee churn (percentage of employees who were with us a year ago who are still with us).

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