Director of Employee Engagement

Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for an HR manager who is responsible for an organization's employee engagement strategy. Healthy engagement levels have been linked to turnover reduction and increased productivity, which has resulted in rising interest in employee engagement efforts.

A director of engagement, or engagement manager, will have responsibility for developing strategies to improve engagement, and may manage programs designed to foster it, such as employee recognition programs, wellness programs and other activities aimed at creating a positive workplace environment. An engagement manager may also have responsibilities in internal employee communications and shaping corporate culture.

The increase interest in having a dedicated engagement manager may be associated with a shift in how employee engagement is measured. Organizations that replace annual surveys often turn to more frequent employee pulse surveys and other methods for measuring engagement.

For many years, engagement measures have been primarily based on annual surveys, usually of 100 questions and analyzed by outside consultants. In 2015, about 90% of all organizations were still using these annual surveys. But that number is expected to drop to just over 60% in 2020, according to Gartner.

Roles and responsibilities for this high-energy job

The job titles range from the straightforward to the exotic. Besides the common titles, "Director of Employee Engagement" and "Employee Engagement Manager," other titles include "Senior Manager of Culture, Inclusion, and Engagement" and "Director, Employee Engagement and Culture."

How Fulton County, Ga., addressed employee

The job ads for engagement managers or directors of employee engagement are sometimes sprinkled with phrases and words designed to let candidates know that this is a high-energy job. Employers are seeking someone who can "create a culture of impact," and "foster a high-performance culture," as well as "drive culture."

An engagement manager might be asked to work with staff involved in talent acquisition, recruiting and onboarding. Engagement analysis data may be used to help inform recruiting. The behaviors of highly engaged, productive workers may help identify ideal job candidates. Engagement managers are usually experienced HR professionals.

Engagement analysis is increasing in complexity

Analytical, communication and presentation skills, such as proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint, are usually core capabilities for engagement managers. They also need an understanding of talent management, how to conduct strategic planning and are keen to collaborate. They have to be comfortable with a leadership role.

Engagement management is increasing in complexity, thanks in part to HR's growing use of analytics and other technology. Engagement surveys are just one measure.

Some organizations have begun to track employee movement through employee monitoring systems. Building systems and ID badges may record the locations of employees. If workers are arriving late for work, leaving earlier and taking longer breaks, it may indicate declining engagement. Some firms are also scrapping Microsoft Outlook calendars to see how engaged employees are with their fellow workers. Employees who tend to isolate themselves may be less engaged. Email may be monitored for similar engagement clues.

Some firms examine employee behavior on social media sites. Employees that update LinkedIn profiles, for instance, may be signaling interest in changing jobs.

The director of engagement management may be tasked with using these metrics to identify risks and developing ways to mitigate them.

PayScale puts the average salary for a mid-career engagement manager at $86,600.

This was last updated in December 2018

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