Manual measurement of employee engagement - beginners perspective
This journey begins with an interesting phone call: "Do you want to participate in measuring employee engagement?"

As someone who generally contemplates, which is amplified before answering a question, I was surprised at how quickly I agreed. The opportunity to learn something new was appealing and in this case crucial to my decision. Needless to say, I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time.

What is employee engagement? How is it measured? What dimensions does it measure?

These questions brought me to a familiar address, always a loyal friend, the Google Scholar platform. After reading a few articles on the aforementioned topic, I still had more questions than answers. But the challenges didn’t stop there. I’ve learned that I would enter the measured data into Excel spreadsheets. Although I stated in my CV that I handle the mentioned tool very well, my skill begins and ends with making graphic representations. Maybe now is the perfect opportunity to apologize to all the employers who received my resume. In a situation like this, a great mentor is worth everything. If you have no experience and you are a beginner in the field, it is extremely worthwhile to find a person who will selflessly share their knowledge and experience. Then, you’ll have a fresh source of information, a different perspective and someone you can rely on.

Working space

Back to the topic and question at hand: “How to deal with your own shortcomings?”. I found my answer on YouTube. So many tutorials related only to Excel, from beginner to intermediate and advanced levels… Well, I was ready to become a real expert in a very short period of time. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love the autofill option in Excel. Especially since I only have to enter data now. Only…

I don’t know why, but I lived in the belief that my data entry career ended in college after two surveys were conducted for my final and graduate thesis. Believe me, I gladly retired. But sometimes situations develop in unexpected ways. My mitigating circumstance is that I did not have to go through the process of testing, organizing and completing the questionnaires (which was taken over by my mentor). I received the already completed questionnaires.

“And so I found myself face to face with two boxes full of data. Data that needed to be entered carefully, organized by departments, in addition with half-open and open questions.”

I’m still not sure if I like those questions or not. On one hand, they give valuable information, but on the other hand, deciphering the handwriting of 150 different employees is no easy task. At that moment, I knew that the headache would be my faithful companion.

Staring at data

And so, with instrumental, preferably cinematic background music, the next part begins. This becomes more interesting because it includes an analysis of data obtained in the manual measurement of employee engagement. I got to the very core of the organization, I discovered the processes, the ways of functioning, all positives and negatives from the perspective of one employee. This is where the psychologist in me begins to enjoy. From motivation to interpersonal relationships, from what I learned in college to brand new constructs. There was so much information and so much potential in front of me.

“However, analyzing and organizing the answers to all the questions is not so easy nor fun. With the constant reminder that even the slightest mistake means doing everything from scratch, the level of curiosity declined slightly.”

First an overview of the whole company, through all the dimensions and all those answers to open questions, and then each department individually. Presentations should be professional and simple, tables should be efficiently organized, and graphs should be clear. These are all little things that seem irrelevant but affect the overall impression. And they also affect the amount of work I had to deal with.

Analyzing data

A monotonous week of data entry. As soon as you get up in the morning, you sit at the computer and stare at the table, you move the envelopes from the pile “in process” to the pile “done” and wonder if there is an end to it. Then two more weeks of data processing, table editing and graphs. Only thing remaining was to check everything once again, from statistics to spelling to complete the process. I hope no one asks me how many times I’ve thought about giving up, or how many times I’ve wanted someone else to do it for me. I have to admit I was relieved when I finished it all and I felt energetic. Not just because it was over, but because I learned something new and realized what all I can overcome and achieve only if I step out of my safe zone.

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Measuring employee engagement is only the first step. What you do after the measurement is equally important.
Sandra Jovović, Regional Director for the Rijeka region at Generali osiguranje, knows how to motivate different personalities within the team, remaining consistent with the company's goals and values.