Top 5 tips to use data to measure engagement

Alex Sturge, Head of Communications, Engagement and Development at UK Power Networks provides five key tips on how you can best leverage data to measure engagement. Alex is speaking at the CIPD Employee Engagement Conference and Workshop which takes place on 30-31 January 2020 in London. Book your ticket today.



How can we make the best use of data to find out our organisation’s engagement levels? Here are my top five tips on effective measurement:

  1. Don’t over think it.

A universal remedy does not exist. I have seen many engagement specialists extol the virtues of one particular measure but if that were the case there wouldn’t be hundreds of successful survey companies in the market.

Don’t over analyse the measure, what’s more important is to ensure that you cover the right themes. Put your effort into the back end – delivering change as a result of what the data tells you!

  1. Resist tinkering!

You need comparative data – every time you change methodology or reporting you diminish the credibility of your team and the narrative you want to create. This is easier said than done as chopping and changing usually comes as a result of senior pressure, but believe in your methodology, you have researched it and you know it works for your company.

  1. Look for themes, don’t overreact to isolated and emotive data.

Although you will be privy to all the data in its rawest and most emotive form, if you want to drive real change and influence strategy, consolidate the feedback and create themes. There is nothing more interesting than seeing some raw feedback but it is distracting and steals the limelight with senior leaders looking for a soundbite, ultimately sending you down a rabbit hole. If it is one comment, treat it as such, if it is five comments it’s a theme.

  1. Keep it simple.

Employees are busy, they will probably only help you measure engagement if it is quick and clear. So phrases like ‘as a whole and in general’ are a bad start to a question! Keep it short, whatever your measurement methodology it should be five minutes max. What can you not learn about how an employee feels in five minutes of questioning? Stay focused or it is hard to prioritise.

  1. Choose the measurement that works for you not the methodology that is currently trending.

When you were at your last engagement expo, how many stall holders had a measurement solution that they didn’t think was right for you? They don’t know your employees, your culture. We are a Sunday Times Top 25 Best Company and we phone our employees. Why? Because we know our people and what they will and won’t do in the name of giving feedback!


Alex is presenting in the session titled “Panel discussion – How can we best leverage data to measure engagement?” at the CIPD Employee Engagement Conference and Workshop which takes place on 30-31 January 2020 in London. Book your ticket today.