What do our Engagement+ results mean?

✍️ Note: 15Five will be sunsetting our Engagement+ product in mid-2022 and replacing it fully with our new Engage feature (powered by Emplify, a 15Five brand). During this time we are no longer supporting Engagement+. If you're a new customer looking to launch an engagement survey for your organization, please click here to access information about our updated Engage feature.

Your company has completed an Engagement+ survey, or maybe surveys. Now you're wondering- what do your results mean, beyond the initial colors and numbers? And once you know what they mean, what should you do next? This article will walk you through the answers to those questions.

What do the results and scores of our Engagement+ survey mean?

First, it's important to note that a score of 100 is not the goal. The scores you see in 15Five are measurements, not targets. Measurements are a way to gauge how your people feel about a certain topic, not a target where a perfect score is the "be-all, end-all." Although the scores do indicate positive and negative responses, improving or maintaining your scores over time should be the goal. These scores are meant to give you baselines and allow you to spot trends, which helps you focus your energy on the themes that need attention.

The engagement score is calculated based on the average responses of all respondents. 15Five's score ranges are:

  • 0-20: Very negative (shown as deep red)
  • 21-40: Mostly negative (shown as lighter orangish red)
  • 41-60: Neutral (shown as grey)
  • 61-80: Mostly positive (shown as lighter green)
  • 81-100: Very positive (shown as deep green)

If you want to know how we calculate these "scores," here are two examples.

Understanding questions and scores

How do we get the score for a question? Let's use an opinion scale question with 5 answers on the scale as an example. Take the count (the number of times an answer was given) of your "1" answers (usually strongly disagree) and multiply the count by 0. Take the count of your "2" answers (usually disagree) and multiple the count by .25. Take the count of your "3" answers (usually neither agree nor disagree) and multiple the count by .50. Take the count of your "4" answers (usually agree) and multiple the count by .75. Take the count of your "5" answers (usually strongly agree) and multiply the count by 1. Now add these numbers together to get a weighted total for all answers. Last, divide the weighted total by the total number of answers to get your score. 

Understanding themes

Now that you know how to find the score for a question, understanding the theme scores becomes more intuitive. If a theme has 4 questions, you take all of those individual questions' scores, add them up, and divide by 4, essentially giving you an average based on the questions asked.

When you first view your company's results, you will see green, grey, and red in your answer distribution bar graphs. We associate green with positive answers, grey with neutral answers, and red with negative answers. However, color doesn't necessarily mean a theme as a whole is positive or negative. In order to get to the root of the sentiment, we recommend that you take things one step further and look at the questions associated with your highest and lowest themes. Also, if you choose to share screenshots of the theme distribution bars, like the screenshot below, it is important to have the contextual information on hand.


After looking into the questions asked in a low theme, can you spot a question or two that weigh your score down for that theme? Click on View questions (#) to expand the questions for the the theme.

Screen_Shot_2021-04-22_at_8.24.38_AM.png Let's say a theme scores a 46 overall, which is a neutral score. When you dig into the questions for that theme, you find that all of the scores are positive except two. Then the question becomes: is the theme as a whole neutral, or is the theme mostly positive with two negative outliers? Use the Download option or the View details option under the question to review your company's scores per question more thoroughly. 


Heatmap view

Heatmap view on the 'Comparison' tab allows you to view engagement scores per theme and by direct reports, hierarchies, or group types. Let's say you're on the heatmap view and are viewing by direct reports. Do some reviewers' direct reports score higher across all themes than the other groups of direct reports? What about compared to the overall company score for that theme? If so, what is that reviewer doing to keep their people engaged? Maybe they have valuable team meetings, set clear expectations, or are better at submitting 15Five check-ins and holding 1-on-1s. 


If you do find that some groups are low and need attention, switch your view to list view, click on Theme details for the low scoring theme, then click Learn more to get some actionable next steps. 

What role do/can managers play in Engagement+?

Engagement varies from individual to individual. There may be a correlation between manager and negative or positive direct report responses, but each person's working environment is only part of the puzzle. After all, managers change, people move roles, and life (other than work) will continue to impact people's engagement at work.

But if engagement is an individual measure, how do we help our people become more engaged? Although managers usually don't make or break each individual's engagement levels, managers do have the ability to drive positive change!

What should my next steps be after analyzing the results?

You've nailed down the theme or (few) themes that your company wants to increase engagement around. What should your next steps be? We have some recommended follow up actions to take for each theme. To view these actions, click on Theme details on the results page and then click the Learn more button. 


Now you're in our Best-Self Academy with some actionable next steps on how to increase engagement around the theme in question. And while you're in the Academy, check out the courses we offer to help with Manager Effectiveness, Remote Work, Effective Feedback, and more!


You will likely find that some groups are more engaged than others. What can you do to better understand why? Some ideas include asking group questions on 15Fives more frequently to stay involved with morale, checking with managers on how their 1-on-1s are going, and reviewing objectives for those groups. After you ask group questions, run a report on the answers. After you have a conversation regarding 1-on-1s, use the 1-on-1 dashboard to follow up with the managers. After reviewing objectives, run reports often to stay informed on objective progress.

One final reminder: Engagement+ is a way to measure employee engagement and not a target of 100! It is about measuring, watching trends, and improving. Targets are good. Measurements are better. Tracking measurement trends is best. 🥇

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