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How to measure your team’s engagement using the Gallup Q12 Survey

Employee engagement needs to be a high priority for your organization because it can have polarizing effects on its success.

Disengaged employees can create a catastrophe. Research has found that they cost companies an additional $3,400 for every $10,000 in salary. This is troubling when you consider that 85 per cent of employees are either unengaged or actively disengaged at work. 

On the other hand, highly engaged employees can have the opposite effect: they’re 87 per cent less likely to leave their jobs, and companies with the highest rates of employee engagement are 21 per cent more profitable. 

While employee engagement isn’t always easy to quantify, there are tools available to provide you with actionable insights—including Gallup’s Q12 Engagement Survey.

Here’s how you can use this poll to get real, actionable insights about employee engagement within your organization.

What is Gallup’s Q12 Engagement Survey?

The Gallup Q12 Engagement Survey is a widely used employee engagement measurement tool crafted to capture insights about key elements without an organization that influence employee engagement, including: 

  • Job satisfaction
  • Managerial support
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Opportunities for growth

The survey features 12 questions that help shine a light on the level of engagement among employees in your organization:

  1. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
  2. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
  3. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  4. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
  5. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  6. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
  7. Does the mission or purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
  8. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
  9. Do you have a best friend at work?
  10. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
  11. In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
  12. At work, have you had the opportunity to work and learn from someone who is a great leader?

These questions are answered on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree, and the responses help organizations assess their team’s engagement and identify areas where action may be needed.

How to interpret your results from Gallup’s Q12 Engagement Survey

Your team’s responses to Gallup’s Q12 poll can help you take meaningful action to improve engagement within your organization, but it all starts with understanding how to make sense of the data.

Review overall engagement level

Calculate the overall engagement level by aggregating the responses to each question. They are delivered in three categories: engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged. 

Identify areas of strength

Look for questions where the majority of employees responded positively, such as “strongly agree” or “agree.” These areas of strength may be able to offer insights into how to improve engagement in areas of opportunity. 

Identify areas for improvement

Identify questions where the majority of employees responded neutrally or negatively, such as “neither agree nor disagree,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” and give consideration to potential underlying reasons behind them.

Analyze patterns and themes

Look for patterns and themes within the responses. Group similar comments or trends together to identify common issues or challenges that may be impacting engagement.

Consider qualitative feedback

If the survey included open-ended questions or comment sections, review the qualitative feedback provided by employees. These comments can offer valuable insights and provide context to the quantitative responses.

Benchmark against internal data

Consider benchmarking your results against previous engagement data to gain context about your organization’s engagement levels over time.

Once you’ve analyzed the results of your survey, the most essential step is to use this data to create an action plan for how to improve employee engagement within your organization.

How to create meaningful employee engagement improvements

While each organization will have different opportunities for improvement when it comes to employee engagement, there are a few essential steps to follow to turn employee engagement insights into meaningful improvements. 

Prioritize actionable areas

Based on the analysis of your survey results, prioritize areas for improvement. Focus on areas where the impact of your improvement efforts is likely to be the highest or where addressing the issues can have the most significant positive influence on employee engagement. Rather than trying to tackle too much and spreading your resources too thin, focus on the most essential areas first.

Set clear goals

Establish specific and measurable goals for improving employee engagement based on the insights you got from the survey. Ensure that these goals align with your organization’s overall objectives and values.

Communicate results and next steps

Share your survey findings with all employees to create transparency and awareness about the current engagement levels. Explain the purpose of the survey and emphasize the importance of employee feedback, and then provide details about the steps your organization will be taking to create improvements.

Create opportunities for in-person connection

While remote work can offer benefits such as flexibility, autonomy, and reduced commuting stress, it can also present challenges that can impact engagement, like limited social interaction, isolation, difficulty in maintaining work-life balance, and communication barriers. 

Providing a centralized workspace, such as a flexible office space, can be a cost-effective solution to improve employee morale. It allows your team to spend time together, when and how they wish, while also feeling they’re immersed in the organization’s culture.

Measure and track progress

Regularly assess and measure your company’s employee engagement levels using Gallup’s Q12 or other relevant surveys. Track progress against the goals you’ve established over time. 

Commit to continuous improvement

Improving employee engagement isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. Instead, commit to continuously evaluating and refining your employee engagement initiatives based on feedback, evolving needs, and changing circumstances. Stay updated with best practices and industry trends to ensure the effectiveness of the action plan.

At iQ Offices, we have implemented strategies to enhance employee engagement, and our experience can provide valuable insights. For instance, we conducted an exercise where we shared the results of the Q12 survey with all of our employees. By identifying areas of weakness, we focused on three primary areas of improvement. To tackle these deficiencies, we organized break-out sessions, where employees split into groups of five and collaboratively determined the top three initiatives to address each weakness. Subsequently, we implemented many of these suggestions, which significantly improved our Q12 rankings.

Now more than ever, employee engagement is pivotal to the success of organizations of all sizes. But maintaining high levels of employee engagement requires real insights that inform educated action.

If you’re in search of a serviced flexible workspace that supports employee engagement within your organization, book a tour of your local iQ Offices location today.  

Kane Willmott is the co-founder and CEO of iQ Offices, the largest independent Canadian- owned co-working operator with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. iQ Offices provides beautiful office spaces with safety, service, privacy and design at the forefront.