Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

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The What, the Why and the How of Employee Engagement

Companies are struggling with both recruiting and retaining top talent. One of the reasons for this struggle is that there’s a lack of understanding of the true thoughts and feelings of the employees at the leadership level. In other words, the leaders do not understand the temperature of their organisation.

Without knowing what matters to your employees the most, you will find it hard to keep your colleagues enthusiastic and engaged. This lack of enthusiasm and engagement, directly impacts your company’s success.

In this complete guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know about employee engagement including how to improve it to build a thriving work culture:

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is about an employee’s relationship with their job and the company they work for.  

The more emotionally invested they are, the stronger their level of commitment. Whereas, if they have a bad relationship with their job, they won’t be willing to go as far as they could in terms of putting in the effort.

An employee’s enthusiasm and bond with the organisation is shown through how they work.

The Types of Employee Engagement

There are 3 different types of ways an employee engages with their work. This is summarised through the following:

  • Cognitive engagement – an employee’s level of focus.
  • Emotional engagement – the thoughts and feelings of an employee.
  • Physical engagement – how an employee actively gets involved.

The 5 Levels of Employee Engagement

We’ll go through the levels of how an employee is engaged with your organisation below.

1.  Strongly Engaged

A strongly engaged employee is one who loves what they do at the company they work for.

They speak highly about the organisation.These are the people who proactively endorse what you stand for. Apart from encouraging positivity, they have a growth mindset when it comes to achieving set targets.

To summarise, they’re passionate and committed to exceeding expectations.

 More often than not, workers at this level are motivated to overdeliver because they take ownership and care about the company’s success.

2.  Mildly Engaged

 At this stage, staff have a good relationship with your organisation.

Even though they hold positive opinions they’re not equally enthusiastic about meeting company objectives. They’re comfortable with where they’re currently at and satisfied with how things are going.

That said, they’re not as willing to go the extra mile as a strongly engaged employee would. They do what’s expected of them without pushing themselves every so often.

3.  Somewhat Engaged

Somewhat engaged professionals have little interest in their workplace. They usually only do the minimum work that’s required.

Although they may still feel positive, they’re not committed to work to a high standard.

4.  Not Engaged

 Workers don’t participate or contribute much unless it’s absolutely necessary.

 There’s no passion or motivation to put the effort in. They’re not emotionally invested to do their best. So, it’s not uncommon to see them underperforming and behind schedule.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t motivate an unmotivated employee.

5.  Disengaged

Disengaged employees hold negative views and sabotage the company culture.

At this point, they strongly dislike the job and organisation they work for. Since they’re not fulfilled or satisfied with how things are going, they likely have other plans in mind in terms of what to do with their careers.

Why Is Employee Engagement Important?

Employee Engagement is a core element of growing a successful business. It’s also valuable because it can improve the wellbeing of employees, as well as reinforce a positive company culture.

This influences the long-term growth of an organisation. To be more specific about why it’s so important, let’s look at the exact benefits it brings to the table.

Studies show that a high level of employee engagement contributes to the success of a company in several ways:

Therefore, employee engagement is important for all organisations because having effective employee engagement strategies in-place helps create a better work culture, reduce staff turnover, increase productivity, build better work and customer relationships, improve safety and privacy, and impact company profits.

The Top Benefits of Employee Engagement

We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 benefits good employee engagement has on a company’s sustainability.

1.  Better Work Performance

Having more strongly engaged employees leads to higher productivity.

They’ll be motivated to perform better despite working under pressure. One of the reasons could be that their efforts are recognised. If one person is seen putting the work in and being praised for it, it inspires others to do the same. Meaning that it can boost team morale.

 So, when everyone’s consistently getting their tasks done to meet set targets, this correlates to the company’s growth.

2.  Increases Employee Retention Rates

An unfulfilling job that lacks a sense of purpose affects an employee’s attitude.

Part of employee engagement is about nurturing a team who cares about what they do for the company they work for. Those who are passionate and feel a sense of purpose are more likely to stay. That’s because they find their jobs meaningful.

Other factors are involved such as:

●     Diversity and inclusion

●     Appreciation

●     Rewards


3.  Improves Customer Service and Loyalty

Happier employees lead to better customer service, which means better customer satisfaction.

A report from the Aberdeen Group found that those who used an employee engagement program saw an increase in customer loyalty by 233%.

It’s easy to forget but everyone who works fora company represents them. If they’re strongly engaged and proud of what they do, those values will reflect through their actions and behaviour.

The same applies to disengaged workers. Those values reveal themselves through how they act.


4.  Reduced Absenteeism

This refers to your staff’s attendance. They could be away from work for reasons such as:

●     Health and wellness

●     Workplace discrimination

●     Personal issues

●     Management problems

Using employee engagement as a strategy has been proven to lead to positive outcomes and business results. For instance, one study by Gallup found that highly engaged business units noticed an 81% difference in absenteeism.


5.  Higher Profitability

Employees are crucial stakeholders.

Imagine there’s not a day where your entire team isn’t engaged. They’re all working hard, suggesting new ideas, adapting to trends, and constantly developing their skills.

Not only does it mean being productive because they’re completing more tasks in less time to a high standard. More importantly, it means hitting your business goals and meeting the needs of your customers. As we investigate the bigger picture, their contributions influence the success and profitability of an organisation.

5 Drivers for Employee Engagement  

We’ve discussed some of the common misconceptions, which may have left some questions about what drives employee engagement. We’ve summarised 5 of them below. But did you know that there are 4 more key factors? 

In fact, we’ve uncovered all of these factors after conducting 600+ research studies.

 Each of them is a scientific element behind a high-calibre workforce. We’ve shared all of our findings in a separate guide including how to use the data for better work efficiency and employee wellbeing.  

Learn more about the 9 keys to a strongly engaged workforce here.


1.  Meaningfulness

What’s the reason why your team chooses to work for you?

This is about having a mission that’s meaningful not just to you but to them. They know what they’re working toward sand how their efforts make a difference. When there are difficult times, this is what gets them to show up every day.

Moreover, it gives them a sense of purpose, which makes them passionate about what they do.


2.  Personal Growth

How are you contributing to your team’s growth as a professional?

Are you providing any learning opportunities where innovation and creativity are rewarded? Or is there any training available where they have the chance to develop their skills? Is there a certain period where they get to take on new challenges appropriately?

Besides keeping them up to date with the industry, this can improve job satisfaction as well as recruitment.


3.  Good Leadership

Good management and leadership affect how your team operates.

It’s more than just setting a good example and being a role model. They inspire staff to strive for excellence. They earn their trust through competence and respect. Strong leaders under times of crisis such as covid-19 are capable of keeping the culture alive, which upholds a positive employee experience.


4.  Recognition

You're more likely to work harder when you know you’re going to be praised for it. You’re also more likely to work harder when you know you’re appreciated by your managers. However, it seems that’s not always the case.

In a research paper from Zippia, a whopping 80% of employees reported they’d be more engaged if they felt appreciated. Recognition doesn’t just relate to having a voice in the workplace. Another element is your presence alongside your overall effort and contribution being acknowledged.


5.  Team Spirit

Our environment and work relationships are significant factors. A great team chemistry can lead to higher levels of productivity.  

More people will be open to speaking up to share their thoughts and concerns since they’re comfortable with one another. Most importantly, it reduces stress and burnout on top of boosting your mental wellbeing. All of which have an effect on the employee experience and lifecycle.

The Importance of building a culture of feedback can be realised through improved business performance.

3 Misconceptions About Employee Engagement

The biggest misconception involves the happiness of an employee. While there are some similarities, it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Josh Bersin said it best:

“The word ‘engagement’ refers to being engaged with your job. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy. Engagement is not necessarily a sign that everything is good… companies have to invest in various programs and solutions that help people maintain themselves.” 

Before moving on, we’ll go through this in some more detail alongside the other common misconceptions managers have when looking at how employee engagement works.


1.  It’s Equivalent to the Temperature of an Employee

The temperature of an employee refers to understanding their happiness and wellbeing.

To put it another way, it’s about getting abetter knowledge of your team’s sentiment on different workplace aspects such as: 

●     Job satisfaction

●     Team spirit

●     Personal development

●     Meaningfulness

However, each of these are their own thing. Although they do have a relationship with employee engagement, it’s not the same as employee happiness. One person could be feeling unhappy yet still be doing well at work and meeting set targets.


2.  It’s Optional for Growing Your Business

According to Gallup, the consequence of disengaged employees globally is a productivity loss of around $7 trillion. For reasons related to business growth, improving employee engagement is essential.

More companies are moving into hybrid work environments. Professionals nowadays are putting more priority on work-life balance amongst other key factors. If their needs aren’t being met, it won’t belong until they start to consider their other options.


3.  Workers Are Only Motivated Because of Their Salary

Salary and good compensation is indeed an important factor for motivation and retention. But it’s not everything, and definitely money is not enough to keep anyone motivated. There will always be other work related factors at play including:

●     Work conditions

●     Relationships

●     Stress & burnout

A team of loyal and strongly engaged employees comes from having an emotional connection with your brand. This is one of the main motivators for getting them to stay, which is something that doesn’t always develop through monetary value.

If the pay is all that’s giving them a sense of purpose, don’t be surprised if they quit once the going gets tough.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the new era of employee engagement

How to Improve Employee Engagement

There is something close to a one size fits all solution. Before getting to that though, let’s first go through the strategies you could use now to start improving your employee engagement metrics.

Understand the Temperature of Your Employees

The temperature of your employees has a direct impact on how engaged they are with their work. It essentially transforms the way you operate.

HR teams often struggle to understand how satisfied employees are. Knowing the types of thoughts and feelings that’s associated with your brand from the inside helps you improve the work culture on top of managing a remote team.

To get the data necessary to make those improvements, it starts by asking the right questions.

Have Structure With What’s In Your Control

Sometimes an employee might not be engaged because of something going on in their personal life. These are external factors outside of your control.

So instead, focus on what’s within your control as opposed to what’s not. In other words, build a system that adds more structure to the things you can change rather than the things you can’t change.

One example is helping employees be productive by reorganising the office to make it more comfortable. Another example could be optimising the work schedule for your team based on their progress and the times where they’re most creative.


Here are a few more examples:

●     Inspire your employees by aligning them with the company values

●     Consider professional development opportunities

●     Invest in resources that would help them do their jobs

●     Share the long-term vision

●     Be empathetic and compassionate


Let Your Employees’ Voices Be Heard

 Talking at someone and talking to someone aren’t the same. The first sounds as if it’s only the speaker that matters in the conversation. Whereas the latter implies both recipients of the conversation matter.

 According to a survey from BusinessWise, it was found that 37% of workers would feel encouraged to work harder if they had more personal recognition.

Let your employees’ voices be heard by showing you actually care. That doesn’t mean nodding your head and saying okay. It means actively listening, asking questions, showing gratitude, and sharing your own concerns in relation to what they’re talking about. Anyone who doesn’t feel valued can slowly withdraw from being as active as usual.


Encourage Transparency

Trust is the foundation of a thriving workforce.

It makes the relationship between management and employees stronger, which results in several benefits.

An example of encouraging transparency is normalising informal communication and being conversational. For instance, talk about light-hearted matters from your personal life like that football game you watched a few days ago.

More ways you can encourage transparency are by:

●     Sharing wins and failures

●     Using communication channels

●     More face-to-face interactions

●     Having an open feedback culture

●     Ownership culture


The biggest benefit is that it creates abetter sense of inclusion and belonging. It cultivates a friendly environment where people are more likely to open up and collaborate with one another.

However, it’s important to be respectful and aware of the boundaries.

Employee Engagement Ideas

Need more engagement ideas for different work environments? It does take time but the results begin to snowball once you take action.

Try using some of these listed below:

●     Host a company party

●     Invite workers for team-building activities or multiplayer games, e.g. escape rooms

●     Go out for team lunch

●     Raise concerns for hygiene as wellas health and safety

●     Implement a hand-raising system

●     Have anonymous conversations

●     Encourage whistleblowing

●     Set clear policies for sick days

●     Create group project opportunities

How to Measure Employee Engagement

A few important KPIs to track include the following: 

●     Absenteeism

●     Employee net provider score (eNPS)

●     Customer happiness

●     Internal promotions

●     Employee productivity

●     Staff retention rates

●     Staff turnover rates

Employee Engagement Surveys

This is one of the most effective ways to get actionable feedback.

 These are used to get insight into team morale and the perspective of your employees. On top of allowing them to voice their opinions, it allows you to get an accurate picture of their relationship with your company.

After pinpointing your team’s needs, evaluate what you can do as a manager to enable them to do what they do best. However, there are different types of surveys to use such as the annual survey and pulse survey.

Read the full guide on employee surveys here.

Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Whatever questions you decide to use, it’s essential to have some prepared for the following topics: 

●     Flexibility

●     Organisational trust

●     Burnout

●     Diversity and inclusion

●     Professional development

●     Employee value proposition


Here are some examples for each topic:

●     What do you like most about your current working arrangement?

●     What would make you feel more valued?

●     Do you have all the resources you need for your projects?

●     How can we make you feel more like you belong?

●     To what extent do you feel you have a clear career path?

●     Why do you choose to work here?


Without optimising the employee experience, performance can start to go downhill even if you do have good intentions.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide about the questions your survey needs to cover.

Make Employee Turnovers One Less Concern

Reduced employee turnovers, increased productivity, and an empowered workforce. This is the result of good employee engagement.

 Winningtemp makes it simple by giving you access to all the data you need in real-time. It makes planning and decision making easier so you can determine your next course of action with full confidence.


The heart of it lies in your team’s wellbeing.Put them first and the work performance will take care of itself as a natural consequence.

 Here’s what the outcome could look like:

●     Increased profitability by 25%

●     2x more innovative

●     2x more satisfied customers


Want to start engaging your employees to a whole new level?

Employee surveys can give you a strong insight into how your teams are feeling, if you want to see how Winningtemp's software can help you do this quickly and efficiently why not watch our quick demo video alternatively, you can book a time to speak with one of our specialists who will help you plan your engagement strategy.

Christer Snäll, Production Service Manager at Nexans, articulates the importance of sharing the results with the organisation:

“We’ve worked up a response rate of 93% by actively presenting the results each week. I feel that these discussions and allowing employees to participate and influence make me a better leader. The entire organisation gets a boost from increased job satisfaction, and employee opinions are valued.”

Learn More About Building a Thriving Work Environment


Not ready to book a demo just yet?

No worries. You can check out a quick video to learn more about how Winningtemp removes the uncertainties surrounding an employee’s temperature.

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