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A Number Doesn’t Equal Engagement
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There’s customer engagement and then there is employee engagement. Employee engagement is all the rage and definitely a buzzword every brand is talking about. There are surveys that go out, numbers that are discussed, and percentages to derive where the brand stands in the minds of its employees. Pretty black and white; unless, of course, brands take a deeper look and truly ask: What is this phrase “employee engagement?”

To be in the “in-crowd” most brands are relying on surveys to give them an understanding of internal engagement; the metric that describes how their employees are engaged with the brand and in turn an asset to the company. It’s also a bit of a brand pat-on-the-back. If the metric is good, engagement is high and the brand can move on to its day-to-day and focus on the customer. However, this type of approach may be completely missing exactly what brands are out to discover and there may not be a solution that works across the company.

This once-a-year survey with a bunch of standard questions is supposed to help the brand gauge how engaged employees are at that point in time. But many employees don’t need to be engaged to be an asset to the brand. IT may have no insight or understanding of the brand’s future, yet that isn’t always a bad thing. There will be employees that don’t care and don’t need all of this information to get their jobs done and done really well. These employees may still be an asset to the company and a survey isn’t going to tell the whole story.

That’s exactly what is missing from the survey: the stories. This is the item that no yearly survey can compete with. Talking to employees and hearing the stories will ultimately tell a brand how well it manages employee engagement and which employees need this information (or care about it) to do their jobs well and to support the brand. It’s this story feedback that measures employee engagement, so put down the no. 2 pencil and have a conversation — the brand might just benefit from the story an employee is about to tell.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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