There are many measures of employee engagement, but this must be one of the simplest and one of the most accurate: how full is your car-park out of office hours?

I’m an early starter so when I work with recruitment companies I like to see how full the car park is at 8am. On occasions I also like to hang around until 6pm for the same reason.

If the car park is well-populated at these out-of-office-hours times that’s a great sign. It means people are usually well engaged and not ‘working to rule’.

However, this must be viewed as a bell-weather and not a judgement of individual workers. Some people have child-care responsibilities or are locked into complicated travel arrangements. However, if people are people keen to start and not so keen to leave that is an excellent sign of staff engagement.

There was a recruitment company I was working with a few years ago who had one of the most engaged and happy teams that I’d the pleasure to work with.

They socialised outside of hours, staff turnover was low (for a recruitment company) and the office had a happy and upbeat vibe about it. As for their car park; it was full by 8.15am and still full at 6pm and not because people were made to work those extra hours. They did it because they wanted to.

They had a purpose; they were on the journey; they believed in their company and they were very, very productive.

Personally, that’s kind of company I want to run. What about you?