Employee Engagement is like Motherhood and Apple Pie

How to maximize participation to see how engaged employees really are

There are a few potential origins of the idiom, “motherhood and apple pie”.

One common usage roots back to WWII when soldiers leaving for war were asked by journalists why they were going to war and they responded with “for mom and apple pie”. Later, when asked what they missed most about being away from home, there was a similar response of “mom and apple pie”.

No one belittles motherhood and who doesn’t like apple pie?

The idiom refers to then, basic principles or vales for which everyone agrees. Since everyone agrees that employee engagement is a good thing, it could be said it is like motherhood and apple pie.

Research indicates that engaged employees (not just satisfied employees) are 87% less likely to leave an organization and they perform 20% higher. But why then do some companies not measure engagement?

And if a company measures engagement, but isn’t getting a very high response rate, then it is impossible to get a clear picture of how engaged the employees really are. A low participation rate in employee engagement surveys likely indicates that there is a larger issue in the organization.

Here are three best practices to maximize participation when performing employee or “Voice of the Associate” surveys:

1. Communication

Before the survey is sent out, ensure there is executive level (CEO is best) communication. Include the purpose and goal of the survey, let them know it is anonymous and individual responses are completely confidential, and request 100% participation (i.e. we would like to hear from each and every one of you, our goal is 100% participation).