How to Measure Employee Engagement with the Right Tips and Tech

By: Rhiân Davies on January 3, 2020

Asking people to quantify a feeling is difficult to do—that’s why knowing how to measure employee engagement is the best way that you can gauge where you need to invest time.

There are a ton of methods to measure employee engagement, but the best ways are insightful enough to uncover issues you didn’t even know were there. This is why we recommend that you use a data-driven approach that leverages both the scalability of software to measure employee engagement, and one-on-one conversations that can uncover a deeper level of detail.

Stay with us as we talk you through the benefits of running employee engagement surveys alongside employee “stay” interviews. We’ve also included a free download of three popular employee engagement tools to help you assess and choose the best system for your needs.

Most companies don’t leverage tech to measure employee engagement

While they’re not a new means of gauging the general feeling across organizations, annual employee engagement surveys still reveal crucial indicators of the specific factors driving both employee engagement and disengagement.

Employee engagement surveys give your employees a voice and are a vehicle for soliciting genuine feedback on the factors that drive and discourage employees at work. The results also give leadership a chance to evaluate whether expectations are being managed on both sides.

Despite this, our own research reveals that over half of organizations still aren’t using technology to deliver engagement surveys. This was discovered in a recent survey of over 200 full-time employees regarding whether their workplaces use software to gauge employee engagement in their workplace.

When asked, “Does your company use software to help gauge employee engagement?” the results revealed that 56% of workplaces don’t use software to measure employee engagement.


Organizations that aren’t using software to collect engagement feedback are missing out on a huge opportunity to retain talent and a chance to make growth-based decisions and investments. Employees no longer job hop just to find higher salaries, but also to seek better management, training, and more challenging work.

Best practices for employee engagement surveys

  1. The shorter, the better. Try your best to be as concise as possible when formulating engagement surveys, especially if the survey includes open-ended questions and responses. Surveys take time to complete, and you’re likely to see a higher response rate the more succinct you can be.

  2. Ask a blend of open and closed-ended questions. The best way to separate these questions is by asking yourself what needs to be answered on a quantitative scale versus a qualitative one. For example, how employees feel about recommending your company to others should be measured over time, while what they think about the organization’s biggest strengths should be open-ended to allow room for individual input.

  3. Make sure the questions mean the same to every respondent. All respondents should be able to interpret the questions in the same way. Avoid jargon, and keep straight to the point, or else risk skewed results.

Why is this effective for measuring employee engagement? Launching a survey with software is a relatively low-effort way to gather a large sample of data quickly so you can easily spot trends in responses across your organization.

Employee insights are just as important as data—here’s how to collect them

Want to know what’s making your employees stay? Stay interviews are the opposite of exit interviews and are designed to ask your current employees questions about why they continue to work for your company.

Stay interviews are conducted in an effort to collect information on how organizations can improve the workplace even further, in an effort to retain engaged employees, and re-engage disengaged employees.

These interviews are a proactive way of having honest one-on-one conversations with your employees, which can not only reveal actionable insights but are also a great follow-up or addition to employee engagement surveys. The chance to ask clarifying questions is valuable to helping you measure employee engagement.

Some examples of stay interview question themes:

  • What factors motivate/demotivate employees in the workplace

  • What development/training opportunities they’ve taken advantage of/want to take advantage of

  • What challenges they have taken on/would like to take on in the future

  • What their sense of purpose is in their role

  • What makes them feel recognized by their manager/leadership teams.


Top Tip: Don’t catch your employees off guard with stay interviews, inform them in advance what their purpose is. Not only does this give employees a chance to provide thoughtful answers, but without context, these kinds of questions can be intimidating.

Best practices for conducting stay interviews:

  1. Have your questions ready before going into the interview. Don’t wing these questions! Know exactly what questions you’re going to ask, and more importantly, why you’re asking those questions.

  2. If you’ve got results from a recent employee survey, use them to guide the interview questions. You can draw on the bigger themes from the engagement survey that you’d like more context for.

  3. Standardize questions for each employee, but let employees express themselves freely. Make sure you ask all of your questions, but also give the employee ample space to share their thoughts. It’s also likely that they’ll be able to add more themes to your existing questions.

Why is this effective for measuring employee engagement? Stay interviews can help you pick up on signs of disengagement/engagement that can’t be measured through a computer screen, such as nuances in tone and nonverbal cues.

Next: Check out the tools that can help you measure employee engagement

At Software Advice, we know that there are a ton of tools out there that can help you measure employee engagement levels in your organization. To give you an idea of the different types of tools on the market, we’ve created a handy guide to three popular employee engagement systems. In this guide, we include:

  • A product overview

  • Pricing info

  • Support info

  • An overview of how our reviewers have rated each product.


Find the Right Tools

Download this PDF to help you measure employee engagement across your organization.

Download Here