Measuring Employee Engagement Programs to Prove ROI

By: Anna Boggs
bar graph with a line trending up
An engaged workforce is great—there’s no one doubting that a team that works on important tasks rather than their Minesweeper top score is more beneficial for the organization as a whole.
But why, exactly? What are the tangible benefits of employee engagement?
  • Reducing turnover saves money by keeping training costs to a minimum
  • When your employees execute your business plan, you’ll see improved business performance—engaged employees deliver results
  • Engaged employees also create better customer satisfaction, driving customer experience

How Do You Measure Employee Engagement Programs?

Largely, measuring these programs depends on the kind of employee engagement program you have. A years-of-service program would involve different goals and tactics than a sales performance program, for example.
Still, there’s a common thread between all employee engagement programs in terms of measurement.
In this example, we’ll look at how an employee volunteer program is devised and measured:
  • Define your objectives. Start by identifying the key objectives of your program. What do you want to accomplish in your program? Be specific and quantify what you want to achieve.
    • Participation — What level of participation would be satisfactory for you? (e.g. 80%)
    • Reach — How many organizations do you want to help, or how many hours do you want to offer? (e.g. 10 agencies or 1,500 annual hours of support)
    • Effectiveness — What level of satisfaction do employees have with the program offering? (e.g. 90% satisfaction via survey results)
    • Impact — How many of your team members feel that the program improves their overall satisfaction with the organization and/or overall engagement? (e.g. 80%)
  • Track your goals. Develop a measurement plan that supports the objectives and ensures effective administration. Consistently evaluate the program over various metrics:
    • Management — Are you effectively executing the program? Ensure there are not operational roadblocks that might be impacting your ability to achieve your program goals.
    • Engagement — Are your employees connecting to the program? Make sure there is adequate awareness of and enthusiasm for your program offering.
    • Behavior — Are employees demonstrating the behavior you are looking to drive (signing up, showing up and fully participating)? To what extent?
    • Impact — How and where is your program impacting your organization and the organizations it serves?
  • Determine value. ROI is often not as tangible in a volunteer program, but there’s still VOI (value on investment). To determine what was earned from your program:
    • Compare what was spent to implement the program (communications, t-shirts, etc.) against what was gained (increased employee satisfaction or engagement, what was achieved in the community, etc.). Your program may have cost $10,000, but these efforts got 100 positive social media posts, helped improve literacy and cleaned up the environment.
  • Act on what you’ve learned. If it’s working—great! If not, identify actions to take based on what the data is telling you.
  • Keep an ongoing pulse on engagement. Data visualization capabilities and technology create at-a-glance access to solution data and offer ongoing insight into the engagement and behavior trends your solution is designed to drive. Visual reporting solutions bring your data to life and allow you to view, slice and dice your data in order to monitor outputs, draw more rapid conclusions, and/or take steps to optimize overall solution results.
    • Effective data visualizations empower your leaders to act on data in real-time. If one of your key objectives is to hit program participation of 80% in your organization – a visualization showing who is participating is great. Even better, though? A reverse leaderboard showing who isn’t participating. Are there any trends on those who aren’t engaged? Would an email from their direct supervisor make an impact on their engagement?

Be the Reason Solution Engagement dashboard

The Power of One

Employee initiatives, when executed correctly, are a great way of building passion and engagement in your people. But combining these initiatives together can get tricky if you don’t have the right tool.
You’ll lose hard-fought engagement if you don’t let participants combine points earned in a sales campaign and from volunteering, for instance.
Look for a tool that provides the ability to integrate multiple employee engagement initiatives onto one holistic experience. Not only does this allow companies to cut back on administrative overhead required to manage those initiatives, but it can provide incredible cost savings.
Anna Boggs
Anna Boggs

Anna graduated from Purdue and has 13 years of experience in the industry. Eight of those years have been with ITA Group split between the Event Operations and Analytics and Decision Support teams. Solving puzzles with data is her jam, using the lens of operations and industry knowledge as a guide. She’s passionate about creating new things—currently making homemade bread and quilts from her home in Minneapolis are top of the list.