11 Key drivers of employee engagement companies shouldn’t overlook

Kailash Ganesh
11 min read
Key drivers of employee engagement

Employee engagement has always been important and often has a direct impact on the success of a company. It’s clear that companies that focus on increasing their employee engagement witness multiple benefits, such as higher productivity, increased profit margin, employee trust, and many more.

However, you might be shocked to learn that 85% of employees at work are either unengaged or actively disengaged, according to the State of the Workplace report.

So, have you ever wondered what employee engagement means and the right way to implement it? Employee engagement is the bond and emotional connection your employee shares with his/her work, company as well as colleagues. What makes these employees different from others is their passion for their work and trust in their organization.

These genuine connections between employees, managers, and senior leaders in a company serve as a pathway for building stronger relationships, achieving broader goals, and improving productivity thereby keeping the employees aligned with the company's values and mission.

Let’s talk in detail about the 11 key drivers of employee engagement that companies should always have their eye on in this article.

Table of contents:-

Employee engagement and employee experience

Employee engagement and experience are two key concepts in the corporate world that people often use interchangeably, but they have huge differences. Employee engagement refers to the employee's emotional connection with their work and company. In contrast, employee experience is an employee's overall experience while working for an organization.

Let's discuss these key concepts in detail.

Employee engagement

High employee engagement is crucial for the success of any major brand. It has been seen that employees who are actively involved in their workplace are more productive and have higher job satisfaction.

So, can your company achieve it?

It is all about creating a solid emotional bond between your employees and their work. This can easily be achieved by providing employees with some key factors like workplace safety, meaningful and flexible work arrangements, career growth opportunities, and work-life balance.

If both normal and hybrid employees get these perks, they become more engaged with their tasks and feel motivated to do their best.

Employee experience

Employee Experience is used to refer to an employee's overall experience during their time with any organization. This includes everything from the hiring and onboarding process to the exit from the company.

A positive employee experience guarantees higher engagement and loyalty. Companies that focus on improving their employees' experience in the workplace tend to have happier and more productive employees.

Some steps which you can take instantly to provide your employees with a better workplace experience are implementing a welcoming culture, focusing on employee wellness, and conducting an employee engagement survey.

11 Key employee engagement drivers

11 Key employee engagement drivers

Research done by Gallup shows that companies that have higher employee engagement are 21% more profitable. In fact, having 1 engaged employee is equivalent to 10 disengaged employees, reports Gallup.

It clearly shows why companies need to foster employee engagement and the impact it has on organizational performance. So, we have listed down the pillars that you need to build your company’s engagement strategy on.

1. Leadership

Leadership is one of the top drivers of employee engagement. A leader that communicates clearly, shares an inspiring vision and recognizes hard work, and efforts of their employees, set the tone for a positive work environment.

They are also responsible for articulating the purpose and direction of the organization, so that employees understand how they contribute to the bigger picture.

Remember that there is a huge difference between having a ‘boss’ an employee works for and having a ‘leader,’ they want to follow. When leaders act on a set of values they promote in the organization, it creates trust and accountability.

They also need to be empathetic which involves listening to employee feedback while also relaying contructive and actionable feedback that will help them grow in their role.

If you want to work on this aspect at your workplace, there are three questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Do my employees have a positive relationship with their leaders?
  2. Does our company culture promote regular communication, transparency, and other vital aspects across all levels of the organization?
  3. Is the leadership doing a good job of inspiring employees?

If your answers are Yes, then there is nothing much you need to do about it. However, if there is a No, you should take the necessary steps to get things better. Conducting a survey on the leadership and asking the right questions can be useful.

2. Meaningful work

Nothing is more inspiring for your employees than providing them with meaningful work. When employees feel their work adds value to the company, their engagement levels automatically rise and they find a purpose for their work. It also leads to higher job satisfaction as it creates a sense of pride and accomplishment.

People always like to contribute to things larger than themselves. Companies that can provide their employees with a clearer understanding of how their work adds value to the company tend to have more engaged, satisfied and committed employees. It also reduces the attrition rate, increasing stability of the company.

Employees also become more creative and try to take a problem-solving approach when they are given important responsibilities. This brings forth new ideas and creativity that eventually leads to the company’s success.

Overall, giving employees meaningful work helps in fostering a more collaborative and productive working environment. As an organization you can move forward more efficiently when your team rallies around similar goals.

3. Career growth opportunities

Employees always look for ways to learn and grow in their roles. So, opportunities for career advancement can boost employees' confidence and optimism about their prospects inside the company.

Leaders may help employees envision a future for themselves in the company by providing clear avenues for promotion, which can increase their engagement, retention, and productivity.

As your business grows, success should also mean something to each of your employees, so providing them with options for professional development can be a simple yet powerful way to boost morale and employee engagement in the workplace.

It is also more likely for them to experience a feeling of loyalty to the company if they believe it is involved in their personal and professional development.

Having a “We want our employees to grow with us” mindset by getting them access to networking events, courses, and development programs can help you achieve this. As employees develop new skills and knowledge their performance and value add to the organization also rises. So, it's a win-win for everyone.

4. Employee empowerment and recognition

Everyone has self-worth and wants to feel valued. Employees do their best when they feel that the company values them. Organizations that are able to build a culture of recognition and regularly acknowledge their employee’s efforts tend to have more engaged and motivated employees.

You may not realize it, but a simple “thank you” can go a long way to having engaged employees. Managers and senior leaders can increase employee engagement levels by regularly appreciating their quality work.

Focusing on this driver and recognizing your employee's work will increase their happiness levels, productivity, and engagement levels.

5. Sense of belonging

As a manager or senior leader, one of your main goals should always be to foster a safe and inclusive space for your team. Having a great company culture is nowadays a top priority for employees.

So, building a healthy working environment for employees to form positive relationships and get a sense of inclusive community drives employee engagement.

It can also have a positive impact on employees' mental and emotional well-being. A sense of belonging often reduces stress, burnout, and other negative outcomes associated with a lack of engagement or a toxic work environment.

When a workplace makes it easy to talk to people, employees are also more inclined to collaborate with their coworkers, take responsibility for their duties, and come up with unique solutions to issues. It is also likely to increase the retention rate of the company and as employees develop strong expertise in their field, it can be invaluable to the  organization's success.

So, it is essential for companies to create a sense of belonging for its employees. It can be achieved by developing connections between team members through team-building activities and games.

6. Work-life balance

Work-life balance plays a significant role in the mental and physical health of an employee. Zippia reports that 77% of employees experience burnout in their present job at least once.

An employee who is struggling to balance their personal and professional life can become stressed and overwhelmed. This stress can negatively affect their engagement and productivity at work.

Employees always want to have a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. So, it's important to encourage employees to speak up if they have too much work pressure.

Companies should understand that their employees cannot give their best if they come up to work exhausted because of not being able to cut off on the weekends or even during their lunch breaks.

A good work-life balance improves an employee's overall morale, making them more optimistic. This positive attitude increases engagement, as they become more willing to take on challenges and be invested in the success of the organization. And like all other engagement metrics, employees that have good work-life balance are less likely to quit their jobs.

So, as a leader or manager, if you notice any of your team members facing any mental issues or struggling with work-life balance, act asap and take the necessary steps for their well-being.

With the boundaries of the world blurring as we are moving towards a hybrid workforce, it is important to encourage employees to work within the clock and not idolize overtime.

7. Resources and tools

Providing your employees with the best resources and tools is one of the easiest ways to increase their productivity. It has been seen that when employees have the right equipment for the given task, they feel more comfortable doing the job.

It is also why organizations try to provide their employees with the best equipment, working space, and other necessary tools required for their job. As a company, you should instantly implement this major driver to improve employee engagement.

8. Transparency

It is essential for business leaders and managers to have effective internal communications to drive employee engagement. Focusing on this crucial aspect will not only make employees feel that they are a part of the decision-making process but also increase employee retention numbers.

One of the key qualities of a good leader is how honest they are with their team members regardless of the situation. By prioritizing open communication and fostering a culture of trust and accountability, leaders can establish a strong rapport with their team and contribute to a positive organizational culture.

Another thing you should never forget as a leader is that if you make a mistake, you should not blame others. By taking accountability, you not only grow as a leader but also encourage others to take full end-to-end responsibility of their tasks.

9. Autonomy

One of the critical drivers of employee engagement, which most people miss out is autonomy, which also leads to better operational efficiency.

Effective leadership is critical to fostering a productive work environment, but granting employees autonomy is equally essential. By empowering employees to make decisions about their work independently, leaders can demonstrate trust and provide a sense of ownership over tasks.

When employees feel they have control over their work, they are more engaged in the task and perform to the best of their abilities.

It will also help you to improve your employee’s job satisfaction with mutual trust and respect between the manager and employee. Ultimately employees will get the much-required confidence to stay engaged in the workplace.

10. Mental health and physical wellbeing

In recent times, one of the essential vital drivers of employee engagement is physical well-being and mental health. However, it is still neglected in many workplaces and results in their employee’s poor overall performance.

In a survey conveyed by Deloitte, more than 80% Indian workforce suffered from mental health issues in the past year. Around 47% of the professionals surveyed also said that workplace-related stress is one of the key reasons for their poor mental health.

So, as a company, it becomes essential for you to provide your employees with an Employee Assistance Program and give them the time and space to relax. Moreover, you can also take employee feedback through surveys that get you actionable information.

11. Constructive feedback

It is another critical engagement driver which can help you project a healthy, motivating, and positive company culture for your employees. It can also motivate employees, help them understand what the organizations expect from them, and make them feel valued within the organization.

You can collect anonymous feedback from your employees, leaders, and manager through surveys and interviews. The data can then be used to identify what is lacking in your workplace and what key drivers of employee engagement you can work upon. Once you have identified those drivers, implement them to provide your employees a better experience.

How can you boost the drivers of employee engagement and encourage employees to do their best?

Companies that are correctly implementing these 11 critical drivers of employee engagement can often see a drastic increase in their employee’s ability and the company’s ROI. Senior leadership plays a big part in this as they provide employees with what they want.

However,  if it is not the case with your company and you want to get better results using these drivers, here are some things you can do to boost the drivers of employee engagement in your company:

  • Follow your company's morals and missions
  • Ask for feedback and learn from them
  • Plan outings with your team members
  • Provide your employee with flexible work shifts

It is also critical to keep in mind that work-from-home employees are also kept engaged in the organization. They should not feel left out as a stand-alone unit rather than being a part of the company.


Plan an effective employee engagement strategy

Employee engagement will play a significant role in improving your company’s overall business performance. It has become essential for companies to be mindful of the things they are doing and try to implement the above-mentioned key drivers of employee engagement to establish a healthy work environment.

It has been seen that employees often feel more motivated and engaged in their tasks when they are appreciated for their quality work. Once you are able to crack the tough nut of employee engagement, they will align better with your company mission and values and give their best for the organization.

If things are not going your way and you find it difficult to work on these employee engagement drivers, then taking employee feedback is an easy fix. By actively listening to their suggestions, concerns, and ideas, a company can demonstrate that they value their employees and are committed to creating a positive work environment.

This can foster a sense of trust and transparency, which can in turn boost employee morale and job satisfaction.

Additionally, acting on employee feedback can help to address any underlying issues or obstacles that may be hindering engagement and productivity. So, It's important to build a personalized employee engagement strategy that works for your organization.

If you want to measure workplace engagement and collect valuable employee feedback, look no further than CultureMonkey. Our employee engagement survey platform is designed to help you understand your employees and create growth opportunities within your organization.

With CultureMonkey, you can access a range of survey options, including eNPS, pulse surveys, and employee life cycle surveys. These tools allow you to accurately measure employee engagement levels and identify areas for improvement.

Collecting anonymous feedback in real-time ensures that your employees are supported and addresses any roadblocks they may be facing.

As a recognized high-performer employee engagement platform by G2 for Winter 2023, CultureMonkey is trusted by over 200,000 employees worldwide. Join our growing community and unlock the power of employee engagement.

Ready to listen to your employees, drive growth, and create a happier workplace? Visit our website and get started with CultureMonkey today!


FAQs on employee engagement

1) What are the 5 Cs of employee engagement?

In order to increase employee engagement, the 5 C's that a company should have are Care, Connect, Coach, Contribute & Congratulate.

2) What is most important for keeping employees engaged?

Organizations need to focus on building an equitable workplace that offers equal career development opportunities to everyone and motivates employees to grow. At the same time, the senior leaders must clearly communicate the company's mission to everyone.

3) Is employee engagement really important?

Yes, if an organization doesn't have employee engagement strategies in place, it will find it difficult to retain top talent and suffer from a high attrition rate.

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash is a Product Marketer with 5+ years of experience. He loves story-telling in the simplest way possible and he is an avid reader, movie buff, and likes to travel new places to meet new people.