The employee engagement survey is an invaluable tool for assessing and increasing the engagement of all employee levels of an organization. However, to use this tool properly, the survey must be both set up, and then later, interpreted in the most advantageous manner. The key is understanding employee engagement survey benchmarks.
Let’s start with a good working definition of employee engagement survey benchmarks. This phrase is often used by human resource departments, employee survey providers and others to explain how survey results can be used to assess employee engagement. It turns out that employee engagement survey benchmarks can be constructed with two different metrics: internal benchmarks and external benchmarks.
External benchmarks refer to employee engagement survey benchmarks that can be used as a comparison against other similar organizations. On the other hand, Internal benchmarking is all about internally generated data to track trends within an organization, over time. Interestingly, Human Resources (HR) professionals are split about 60 – 40. That is, about 58% of HR professionals would choose external employee engagement survey benchmarks whereas close to 42% would choose internal benchmarks.
The best employee engagement survey benchmarks may in fact be a combination of both. Using External employee engagement survey benchmarks enables you to set a standard for your organization compared to other similar such companies. This allows you to set a “normal” range for the responses you get. Note that one fact you should be aware of with external employee engagement survey benchmarks is that the data or the scores you are using to compare your organization with are, in fact, averages. While this suggests that it may not be the best policy to use an external employee engagement survey benchmark as a company standard or target goal, this same external benchmark may be perfectly suited to give you an overall assessment of how the organization compares to others.
Next, add in the data from your own internal benchmarks and you will have a more complete picture. Once you have conducted at least one employee engagement survey, you then have data you can use to create internal benchmarks going forward.
Getting the most value out of employee surveys requires a good understanding of employee engagement survey benchmarks and also knowing which benchmarks are the best fit for your organization.
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