What is employee and workplace engagement?

Engagement and employee happiness inspires your team to be more productive while simultaneously increasing creativity, morale, energy, and intelligence. By better understanding employee engagement, you can help build a more resilient and high-performing organization.
Ariel at SmartGift
March 25th 2021Mar 25, 2021

It's no secret that engaged teams create positive business outcomes, from becoming a more dynamic organization to real-time growth. These are the goals that companies hope to achieve through high engagement, but what is it and why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement definition

Employee engagement is the level of people's involvement in day-to-day company activities, overall enthusiasm, and commitment to their work and workplace. Firstly, it's a gauge of individuals' motivation to go above what's expected to create work they can be proud of. Additionally, it measures employee commitment to staying with their organization.

It's important to note that employee satisfaction and engagement are not interchangeable concepts. SHRM reports that engaged employees gain joy from the thrill of how they solve problems, where satisfied employees are more focused on contentment and gratification. This difference comes from the main drivers for satisfaction and engagement.

Job satisfaction is most closely related to organizational drivers like pay, benefits, and job security. Whereas engagement is affected by both organizational and managerial drivers (day-to-day communications, assigned tasks, trust, recognition, etc.).

Why engagement is important to build positive company culture

People who are highly engaged are more focused, excited, and involved while completing tasks with a healthy sense of urgency. More than this, they experience an overall better quality of life at work, which nurtures positive mental health across your staff.

This energizes a good deed work culture that colors many workplace interactions, regardless if you have a remote workforce. Imagine employees reaching out to new hires and helping them get settled, all without being asked. This creates a cycle of workplace wellness that helps improve engagement.

Work Engagement: How to format questions using eNPS Score

How to measure employee engagement

The easiest and most cost-efficient way to know how employees feel and measure their engagement level is through connecting. Regular team check-ins (including remote employees) is an easy, free way to raise employee engagement and create better management.

For a more automated employee engagement strategy, try engagement surveys. Because employee engagement comes from multiple factors, you can use surveys to ask questions to uncover what is most impactful. Remember, the goal of your employee engagement surveys should be to learn what are the influencing drivers unique to your organization.

Use question groups to better understand employee engagement

It's okay to ask more than one question to better understand your team's engagement level. Statisticians agree that targeted, multi-item questions are more reliable and have better results than single, one-off questions. That's why it's important to write surveys that think holistically on one topic. Always try to ask relevant questions rather than the more generic "How satisfied are you, etc."

Top employee engagement survey questions

What you ask and how you ask are the two main things to consider when creating a survey.

Let's start with the question topics. Connection, motivation, alignment, and future goals are the best for uncovering your team's engagement level. Next, frame your questions with an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), sliding scale format. This gives employees the space to indicate how closely they agree with questions and statements on a scale.

  1. I am proud of what we stand for as a company
  2. I would recommend [company] as a great place to work
  3. My relationship with my manager is positive and trusting
  4. My relationship with the people on my team is positive and trusting
  5. I see myself still working here in two year's time
  6. I receive quality feedback and/or appreciation for the work that I do
  7. My tasks make me feel like I am growing professionally and learning regularly
  8. The work I contribute makes a difference in the success of my team
  9. I'm afforded the flexibility to meet my personal and professional needs

For more on in-office and remote employee engagement strategies, check out our latest articles.