What drives employee engagement?

Magda Pietkiewicz
5 min read

Employee engagement is a key driver of business performance and its real chances for success. According to a 2009 Hay Groupstudy, organizations with high levels of employee engagement experience 2.5times more revenue growth than those with low levels. What's more it has animpact on customer satisfaction which is 22% higher in companies with highlevels of employee engagement.

A person who is engaged in their work is, above all, amotivated person who is eager to perform their tasks and at the same time isproactive and effective in their actions. The result is the satisfaction of each party, the employee, the employer, and the customer.

What exactly is employee engagement and how can weimprove this factor? We will try to answer these questions today. 

What is engagement?

Until recently, to check the effectiveness of staffand the overall atmosphere in the company, the focus was on employeesatisfaction studies. Nowadays more and more organizations survey the level oftheir employee engagement.

What is the difference between engagement andsatisfaction? It has been noticed that engagement at work goes hand in hand with effectiveness, which cannot always besaid about the level of satisfaction. A satisfied employee often "settleson his laurels", feels safe in his comfort zone and does not actproactively.

Employee engagement is being talked about more andmore these days. Let's check what this means. An engaged employee is first ofall a person highly motivated to work, who willingly performs assigned tasks, presents ideas, asks questions, and seeks solutions. Not without significanceare also such factors as relations between the employee and the employer, theamount of the salary, additional benefits, work environment and many otherswhich may contribute to increasing or decreasing the level of employee engagement.


What is motivation?

To understand why employee engagement is so critical,one must first go to the source, which is the concept of motivation. It is theforce that drives us toward our goals. The levels of motivation have a directimpact on our sense of satisfaction and on the effectiveness of our work. Wecan distinguish between two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Theinternal motivation is supported by such factors as the recognition given bythe manager, personal achievements, and the possibility of being promoted. Theexternal motivator, in turn, will be good remuneration, interpersonal relationsand friendly work environment.

Unfortunately, a frequent reason for low engagement ofthe employees is lack of proper motivation, and thus failure to meet any of theabove-mentioned factors.

What drives employeeengagement?

Issues with sustaining high engagement among theworkforce affect many companies. Many factors are responsible for this state ofaffairs, which do not meet the various expectations of employees. Identifyingfactors influencing staff engagement is the first step to a better change.Below we list some of the most important ones, which are worth analyzing andverifying in your company.


Level of employee well-being

There's no denying that one of the key factorsaffecting employee motivation and engagement levels is compensation. Accordingto an analysis of employee engagement completed by the Macrothink Institute,for over 58% of those surveyed, prosperity has a positive impact on theirengagement at work. Not having to worry about financial worries whendifficult life situations arise makes it easier for the person to focus ontheir tasks and work more effectively.

In the case of employees who are offered lower wagesby their employer, the feeling that they are not being taken seriously isintensified. A similar effect can also be caused by the lack of significantbenefits and bonuses.

Opportunity for development and promotion

Employers must note that professional development andthe opportunity for promotion is very important to many people. This is also avery strong motivating element.

In addition to the increase in knowledge and skills,the satisfaction of such an employee also increases. Meeting his/her variousneeds by offering development opportunities makes the employee have a clearpath to climb up, expand his/her competences and become more and moreprofessionally fulfilled, and thus increase the chance for better earnings.Thanks to this we also continue to sustain the level of employee engagement.


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Awards and recognition

There probably isn't a person in the world who doesn'tlike to be appreciated. Thanking specific employees for their effort andengagement and the results of their hard work is so little, yet so much! It iscertainly one of the key non-salary benefits that affects engagement whileworking for a company.

A valued employee is more motivated and more effectivein what he/she does and at the same time his/her loyalty to the companyincreases as well.


Work environment

One of the more common reasons for lack of employeeengagement is a poorly adapted work environment. After all, it is the placewhere we spend an average of 8 hours a day. It is important to feel safe andcomfortable there. It is good when the employer provides not only work tools,but also small amenities that will make it easy for us to focus on work.Comfortable, adjustable chair and a desk is essential for many hours of work infront of a computer. To make sure that employees can easily focus and work moreefficiently, it is also worth providing them with access to coffee, tea, andhealthy snacks.


Relationships with co-workers

No less important, here, will be the relationship withco-workers. Often a bad attitude of managers, an atmosphere of envy anddissatisfaction among co-workers may result in a lack of motivation, a decreasein the level of engagement and lead to frustration and eventually resignation.It is much more pleasant to work in a place where there is a nice and warmatmosphere of trust. Then we feel safer and more comfortable, and we come towork more willingly, because we know that we are in an environment of friendlypeople.

Why should you care about high levels of employeeengagement?

From the employer's point of view, the answer seems tobe very simple. It is worth increasing employee engagement mainly for thebenefit of the company. An Aon Hewitt study shows that a 5% increase inengagement among employees results in a 3% increase in the organization'srevenue the following year.

So, apart from the benefits for the employee himself, a high level ofemployee engagement brings with it a number of additional benefits for theorganization. According to various studies, a person who is engaged in hiswork:


An engagedemployee does his/her job better, is more effective and innovative, andnoticing problems in the company, looks for solutions. Therefore, the first thing to do is to ensure that thelevel of their motivation to work remains high. Meeting the factors mentionedabove should give the employer a ready plan of action.

Magda Pietkiewicz CEO

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