What is Employee Engagement?

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This is the first chapter in our series about employee engagement! Get ahead of the game by downloading the whole guide here.

To start off, employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to their work, their team’s goals, and their company’s mission.

Engaged employees feel like:

  • They have a purpose at their company,
  • Are aware of how their work helps them grow, and;
  • Understand the impact they make on others.

Many people have different definitions of employee engagement, associating their own meanings with the term and making a relatively simple subject more confusing than it needs to be. Leadership and employee engagement expert Kevin Kruse offered a useful disambiguation for what employee engagement isn’t:

“Employee engagement does not mean employee happiness.”

“Employee engagement doesn’t mean employee satisfaction.”

This isn’t to say that happiness and satisfaction are not part of employee engagement—in fact, they’re integral elements of the larger ecosystem that drives engagement. So how do you inspire emotional commitment? The first step is to understand what drives it.

Every company is different, as is every employee. To support an emotional commitment from employees, organizations have to create a strong, tailored cultural foundation to truly achieve high levels of employee engagement.

Now, let’s dive into the factors that drive the kind of great company culture that prioritizes employee engagement. 🏊


The human yearning for purpose in work isn’t a new idea. It’s a universal human desire!

“92% of Actively Engaged employees feel that their job contributes to society, versus 44.6% of Actively Disengaged employees.” â€“Bonusly’s 2019 Engagement and Modern Workplace Report

Considering that we’ll spend an average of 35% of our waking lives at work, to find purpose and meaning at work contributes a lot to a meaningful life.

Over the past 40 years, researchers confirm that people seem to have an inherent need and desire for meaningful work—work that is experienced as significant and purposeful.

Today, experiencing a sense of purpose in work is more important than ever.

The research supports it: Organizations that enable the experience of purpose in work inspire their people to be more engaged, motivated, and fulfilled.

It can feel disheartening to read this if your job doesn’t seem stereotypically aspirational, but this story from Zach Mercurio showcases how every worker has the potential to make a difference. Internalize this idea, and then communicate it to your wider team!

Here are a few ways to communicate purpose to your employees:

  • Regularly show people how their work benefits others
  • Tie their everyday tasks to a bigger purpose worth committing to
  • Make contribution goals more important than achievement goals

What it comes down to is a clear and concise message of how your company’s mission makes an impact. When you get this communication right, you can help people experience positive meaning and stay engaged with their work. Read more here…

Source: Bonusly Blog

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