10 Employee engagement metrics for HR

In 2021, employee engagement in a hybrid working world was the number one priority for HR professionals. Progressive business leaders are becoming increasingly aware that an organization’s growth and performance depend on its people – and if those people aren’t engaged, they won’t perform at their best. Progressive HR and business leaders need to measure and use key employee engagement metrics to shape employee engagement strategies.


Engaged employees act differently, going above and beyond to surpass expectations, and that gives their organizations a competitive advantage. – Gallup

Employee engagement is an important function of HR that impacts performance, retention, and an organization’s bottom line. As remote and hybrid work becomes the norm, measuring employee engagement will be key in better understanding and looking after your people.

Key Takeaway

Employee turnover rate = (# of employees who have left ÷ total # of employees) x 100

Gone are the days of the annual traditional employee engagement surveys. Instead, we recommend using HR software solutions to monitor multiple touchpoints for a clearer picture of how engaged your employees really are.

Here are the top ten employee engagement metrics to consider adding to your HR toolkit:

RELATED: Read more HR metrics and benchmark your organization with the intelliHR 2022 State of HR report

Top 10 employee engagement metrics

1. Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS)

Engagement and culture

Simply put, eNPS is a measurement of your employee’s loyalty towards your organization. eNPS differs from employee satisfaction. While employee satisfaction measures an individual employee’s happiness in their role on a micro level, eNPS measures employee engagement on a macro level with a standardized scale across the business.

Unlike employee satisfaction (which can be a more fluid measurement based on an employee’s current workload or challenges), eNPS is a steadier metric that provides an overarching view of how your people feel in their roles and whether they feel like they are being looked after well. We recommended running a quarterly eNPS in order to check in with your people on a frequent basis, without adding too much noise and fluctuation to your data.

WATCH: Learn more about eNPS

2. Continuous feedback

Creating a culture of continuous feedback is critical for the health of your organization. Continuous feedback goes beyond evaluation sessions between a manager and direct report – it makes room for open communication, builds trust, and helps drive strategic alignment and growth. By adopting continuous feedback, you can identify who is highly engaged and who isn’t, and what you can do to help them.

Employees who receive daily feedback from their manager are 3 times more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less. – Gallup

One method of facilitating continuous feedback is using your HR software to send out short pulse surveys. Like a heartbeat, pulses should be regular – they could be sent every week, fortnight, or monthly. Pulse surveys allow staff to share how they are progressing on their goals, whether they need additional support, or what blockers they may be facing. These answers can then help to shed light on particular factors that may be increasing or decreasing engagement.

Now that you have all the data, let’s dive into the analytics tools that are critical to people management.

3. Happiness analytics

intelliHR’s Happiness analytics tool lets you process, break down and analyze all of the responses collected from the continuous feedback forms and quantify the happiness rating over a period of time.

When you ask your staff to rate their happiness on a scale of 1-10 in their feedback pulses, you can track their responses in the happiness analytics dashboard in intelliHR. The tool lets you better visualize the responses by displaying them as charts and diagrams, as well as breaking down the scores based on various factors (locations, pay grades, departments, etc.).

Employee Check-In | HR Automation | intelliHR

Employee Satisfaction Analytics, Trends and Insights | intelliHR

The peaks and dips in the charts indicate your staff’s feelings and wellbeing at certain points in time. Keep an eye out for relationships to business changes – do the decreases correspond with certain events or factors within your organization? It doesn’t end there though – make sure you follow through by checking in with your employees and addressing any concerns or support required.

4. Happiness keywords

So you have the quantitative insights… What about all the qualitative ones? Fortunately, there is another layer to the happiness analytics tool – happiness keywords. The happiness keywords tool uses AI to analyze responses to open-ended questions on your continuous feedback forms and displays them in a word cloud – highlighting significant words or phrases that are key influencers of happiness in your company.

By identifying the most common words or phrases throughout the responses, you can get to the bottom of what’s working or what issues need to be addressed.

5. Leave balance

At first glance, this metric may not seem as insightful as some of the others. However, it’s important to note that employees with a healthy work-life balance are much more likely to be happy and engaged at work. After all, the last thing you would want to deal with is employee burnout.

67% of workers believe burnout has worsened during the pandemic. – Indeed

Often, employees may not take time off for multiple reasons – they have too much to do, they don’t have anyone to cover for them, or they may even just feel uncomfortable with taking a break. As an HR professional, you want to ensure that vacations or holidays aren’t the exceptions by promoting a culture of health and wellbeing.

By encouraging your coworkers to have some much-needed R&R, you’re letting them know that you put their wellbeing first and foremost. You can certainly expect happier and more engaged employees upon their return.

Bear in mind that leave balance could also indicate disengagement in the form of absenteeism. According to Gallup, actively disengaged employees have a 37% higher rate of absenteeism. So if you’re noticing a particular employee not showing up and engaging as much, it might be worth setting up a 1:1 to discuss what’s going on.

6. Attrition

Attrition refers to the departure of employees from an organization – both voluntarily and involuntarily. While employees leave for various reasons, there are instances where their departure can be tied back to low levels of engagement.

Conducting an attrition analysis can provide valuable insights into what may have pushed an employee to leave, what’s working, what isn’t, and whether or not there are any major red flags to address. For example, high employee turnover rates among your new starters could indicate the need to review your onboarding approach. Attrition analysis can also indicate if there are specific departments, teams, or managers experiencing high turnover rates – allowing you to dig deep and tackle the root cause of the problem.

Attrition Analysis | Offboarding Feedback | intellyHR

To analyze attrition costs in your organization, check out our free employee turnover cost calculator.

7. Goal setting, progress and completion

When you’re measuring goals, getting the first step right is key. Setting SMART and flexible goals that align with your organization and the employee’s individual goals will engage them to work towards something of value to them.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Goal setting worksheet for SMART and flexible goals

Once those goals are set, track your team members to see how they’re faring. Goal progress and goal completion are strong indicators of positive employee engagement. If an employee is kicking goals left and right, they are showing high levels of engagement. On the other hand, if an employee’s rate of progress is declining or stationary, they may be becoming disengaged or facing some hurdles.

intelliHR gives you automatic access to analytics dashboards and breaks down goal performance across teams, locations, managers, and more. While you can look into the continuous feedback responses to understand what is impacting an employee’s goal progression, you can also view comments against each goal to view updates. By using this space wisely, you can improve communication, support your staff in the best way possible and re-engage them.

Employee Goal Progress Tracking and Feedback

8. Employee sentiment

Thanks to technology, intelliHR’s Sentiment Analysis tool now uses AI to detect the emotional tone behind all qualitative responses. This feature differs from Happiness Keywords as it includes qualitative responses from not only the check-in forms, but all sources on the platform. This includes continuous feedback, goal comments, diary notes, and all other form responses on the system.

By using sentiment analysis for data visualization, HR professionals and business leaders can better understand their employees’ thoughts and feelings towards their business over a period of time. This information can then be used to inform all better decision-making around employee engagement strategies, performance management, business objectives, and more.

For example, if a company with negative employee sentiment makes data-driven decisions to take corrective actions, it reassures its people that their opinions matter. It also encourages transparency and open communication, which in turn can lead to higher employee engagement.

9. Task completion

Now that you’ve captured the data and provided feedback, how do you know if your employees have taken it on board? How do you know that they actively listened and implemented your feedback?

The Task Completion analytic shows the average response time for various check-ins issued online, along with what’s not being completed. Similar to the happiness analytics and sentiment analysis tools, you can segment the data based on departments, teams, locations, pay grades, etc. If your staff’s average response time is short, then they are likely to be well engaged. However, if they are taking longer than anticipated to complete tasks, you can investigate the cause behind this further, and use this opportunity to develop trustworthy relationships and let them have their say.

10. Customer satisfaction

This key metric is most relevant to your customer-facing team members. The logic here is simple: happy employees = happy customers.

To understand if one is affecting the other, measure your Customer Net Promoter Score and compare it with your employee’s happiness score. Are there similar trends? Did one trigger the other? If both scores are low, could it be driven by staff disengagement?

Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work and more likely to go above and beyond. They take ownership of their work, they strive to deliver high quality work, and they care about keeping their customers happy. Engaged employees will represent your organization to customers with pride, and they will most certainly benefit your bottom line.

Now that you know how to measure employee engagement, you might also want to start thinking about employee experience. Learn more on this Insights blog.