Top 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement

“Employee engagement has become a top business priority for senior executives. Business leaders recognise that a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.”
(Source: Harvard Business Review)

“Okay, but what exactly is ‘employee engagement’?” you may ask. For many, employee engagement seems an ethereal concept. If we pay a person to do a job, they should just do it. But is that an old-fashioned mindset?


Engagement is often about the ‘softer’ side of the business world – more about the emotional connection a person has with what they do, who they do it for, what motivates them, and why they are there.


Ten of the most important employee engagement drivers

  1. Connecting with ‘The Why’, ‘The What’ and ‘The How’
  •  People need to understand how they are involved in their organisation’s success. They need to see a link between their role and the wider organisational goals
  • When people feel connected to their organisation’s mission, vision and values, they experience a sense of belonging and are therefore much more engaged than someone who just looks at their organisation as another place to work
  • When you can see where you fit, you feel intrinsically motivated to go the extra mile. This sense of feeling valued and involved increases engagement


  1. Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • To what extent is your organisation concerned for your people’s health and wellbeing? Do you have a policy for managing physical wellbeing and mental health? Is it just a policy, or does it really mean something?
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health intervention systems must underpin your policies and procedures so it is clear exactly what steps a person should take if there is an issue
  • If your people don’t feel that you’re looking after them, they are more likely to disengage than those who feel that their company truly cares about them


  1. Leadership and Management

We hear this all the time “People don’t leave companies; people leave managers.”

  • The best organisations recognise this, and so they invest time in ensuring that their leaders are aligned to the organisation’s vision, culture and strategy


  1. Growth: developing personally and professionally
  • People enjoy learning! The opportunities that employees have to develop themselves shouldn’t be overlooked
  • The learning and training that people receive at work allow them to improve their skills and knowledge base. This is great for both them and the organisation as it creates a culture of learning
  • Today’s millennial workforce (Generation Y) is constantly wanting to enhance their knowledge, so it is very important to keep growth in mind for the younger demographic


  1. Rewards and Recognition
  • Equitable pay alongside rewards and recognition enhances motivation, resulting in increased engagement and commitment to the organisation


  1. Culture
  • Organisational cultures that are open and collaborative tend to result in greater engagement from their people
  • People really connect with their organisation when they identify with the organisation’s culture
  • When you support people, you motivate them to go the extra mile


  1. Measuring Performance
  • The tools you use to measure performance must be effective, because people engage more when they know what they should be doing, and how well they are doing it
  • Joint goal setting lies at the root of any discussion about how a person’s deliverables are achieved. This creates a bond between the employee and their organisation
  • It’s important to recognise that there are positive and negative ways to measure performance. So, consider implementing a 360 Degree Appraisal system, which usually garners a higher level of engagement than more draconian performance management systems or appraisals


  1. Contributing
  • Contribution is so important to people! That is why it is critical that you allow your employees to voice their ideas, and equally important that you listen to them
  • When your people feel that they are doing meaningful work and making an impact, they further engage, as they feel positive about their contributions
  • Ensure that your managers listen to and value their people’s views. Feeling valued causes significant increases in engagement
  • SAWT TIP: There are way too many people in meetings wondering why they are there. Every attendee at management meetings should have an agenda item or planned item of contribution so they are engaged in the process


  1. Relationships
  • People more deeply engage when they are happy at work. It stands to reason that a lot of that happiness comes from the quality of our work relationships
  • Leaders who involve their people in decision making consistently report that their people are more engaged
  • Being authentic with your people will allow you to connect with them, creating greater trust and loyalty. This is what relationships are really about
  • Feeling connected to the people you work with, and building relationships with others gives people a sense of belonging. Do your people really know one another, or are they just names on a nameplate? Do you have ample social events where people get the opportunity to mix with their workmates?


  1. Communication
  • Clear and open communication between workmates encourages collaboration, breathing life into teams and their projects

“Effective communication is key to managing change, resolving conflict, tackling absence, dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues, promoting equality – it is the backbone running through everything you do.”

(Source: The People Factor, ACAS)

Understanding what really motivates and engages your people will help them to connect, collaborate and perform at their highest level. We all want to grow and develop as human beings, and our work lives are central to us feeling like we make a difference.
Engaged employees work harder, are more productive, and most importantly, they feel successful. Now that’s a real win-win situation.
Please get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss how SAWT can help you improve the engagement of your people. We’d love to help! We can conduct employee engagement surveys, assess productivity levels, and help implement improvement programs.
Email or phone on +44 7791 97 82 44.

Related Posts


  1. Many thanks, this website is extremely handy.