As a purpose-driven business, we know that keeping folks aligned with our core purpose is key to success. For our leadership team, that means engaging our employees, giving them the autonomy to succeed, and coaching them through successes and failures. As we scale and build leadership layers into the agency, we recognize the need to support our employee’s goals. Through this, we’re able to bring the Mad Fish vision of elevated experiences for employees, clients, and customers to life. 

We thought we’d share a few of the questions we use to help engage employees and why employee engagement is crucial for agencies like ours where our brand, our services and our goals all center around our employees and their talent.

What is employee engagement? 

Employee engagement is different at every company, but for Mad Fish, it’s about empowering our team to succeed and engage at every level. It helps us measure how motivated folks are to go the extra mile, as well as their intentions for staying with the company for years, not months. Employee engagement is the result of actions that we take as leaders, managers, and producers. Whether you’re looking internally or for a vendor, knowing that you are working with highly engaged employees is a game-changer. 

Employee engagement metrics

Why is employee engagement important? 

Here are a few reasons you should prioritize employee engagement in your business.

Businesses with high employee engagement experienced: 

  • 21% higher profitability
  • 24% less turnover 
  • 17% higher productivity
  • 10% higher customer ratings
  • 20% higher sales

The key takeaway? Employee engagement is good for business, inside and out. Whether it’s the experience you deliver to your customers, sales volume, or the profitability and productivity increases in your workforce, it comes back to taking that first step with your team. When you drive employee engagement and build loyalty, your culture improves and your teams become more committed to your brand message and business goals. Inspire your teams with the vision, live up to your promises, and listen to them to make sure you’re aligned on where you’re going. Finally, you’ll build an agency culture that turns your employees into promoters and ensure you have the full energy of your teams behind you. 

When you work with businesses that prioritize employee engagement, you get all of the above benefits. Instead of a rotating door of account managers or a lack of focus, you have an engaged team committed to your success. 

How can I boost employee engagement? 

So, you understand why employee engagement is important, but you’re not sure how to get started. Here’s how you can begin the process of measuring, understanding, and improving your employee engagement in a creative agency. 

Ask your team. 

Using a service for pulse surveys, like OfficeVibe or Culture Amp will give you a quick snapshot of how your employees are doing. They’ll also make sure you know your eNPS (Employee Net Promoter score) so you can improve it. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. However, be cautious of overusing this tool, or using it alone as a way of measuring engagement. It’s just one piece of the employee engagement puzzle. 

Create opportunities for growth. 

The best performers want to grow and evolve. By supporting them with the right professional development opportunities they’ll stay fresh on trends and industry changes.

Recognizing great work.

Everyone wants to feel like their work has an impact. By putting in place ways of celebrating wins and recognizing teammates in front of others, you’ll combat the feeling of irrelevance and anonymity that can take a toll on employees. 

Provide ways for measuring impact. 

Team members need to see how they’re improving and helping the business. By providing measurable KPIs and progress updates, however, they’ll have clarity about if they’re succeeding in their roles. You can do this through job scorecards, dashboards, and performance reviews. 

Employee Engagement Questions

Using 1:1s as a tool to engage employees is crucial. Regular meetings to align on goals and experience will help you anticipate problems, enrich their experience, and help them grow. Here are just a few of the questions we ask that help keep our employees highly engaged at work:

Long-term: career/professional development questions

  • What are your short-term (~6 months) long-term (2-5 years) career goals?
  • Tell me about your core skills or strengths?
  • What skills or strengths do you want to develop?
  • Where do you see yourself making the biggest impact in your department or in the company?
  • What types of experiences, coaching, and/or learning do you need to fulfill your aspirations?

Short-term: value and resource questions

  • Are you seeing the value of your work?
  • What steps or actions can we take to make you feel the utmost confidence in your work?
  • Tell me about the aspects of your role you enjoy the most, why? What would you like to do less of, why?
  • What business trends or skills do you need to learn more about to remain relevant?
  • Do you have a specific career move that you want to make? (Specialist to Strategist, Lead to Manager, cross-team, etc.)

Over to you

It’s time to put these ideas into practice. Take the time this month to start asking engagement questions, or, if you’re not a manager, answering them and bringing your answers to your leadership team. If you’re looking for a vendor, or are curious if your current vendor has engaged employees to be sure to ask about it. Knowing about the corporate culture of the vendors you work with can improve your relationships and identify if they are the right fit for your business moving forward. 

If you’re curious about Mad Fish’s team culture, you can check out our about us section and learn about how we build engagement—from our B Corp status to our pro bono program and unlimited time off (that folks actually use).