13 drivers of employee engagement

By Gabe Scorgie

4 min read

13 drivers of employee engagement
Illustration by Kevin Yu

Employee engagement is crucial to an organization's success and its ability to accomplish goals and achieve positive outcomes.

As the name suggests, employee engagement measures how committed, engaged, and motivated employees are toward their work and the organization's overall success. It also refers to an employee's emotional and personal investment in their job, feelings about the workplace, and relationship with their employer.

To promote and enhance employee engagement in the workplace, you must identify the different drivers of employee engagement. These essential factors help motivate employees to perform better, invest in their work, and form a genuine connection with their job and colleagues.

Top 13 Drivers of Employee Engagement 

It is essential to note that the drivers of employee engagement vary from one group of employees to another, from one organization to the next, and they are subject to change.

However, some standard drivers boost employee engagement, paving the way to a happier, more motivated, committed workforce and increased productivity and performance. 

We’ve outlined the top 13 drivers of employee engagement, each bringing something unique to the table.

1. Work-life balance

Finding a perfect balance between work and play is tough, but possible. The trick is to ensure that employees can split their time between work and their personal lives without feeling like they’re letting their team down. It's crucial for maximum employee engagement, and let's face it - no one wants to face burnout.

Employers need to create a culture that values both work and personal time, so staff feels respected both in and out of the office. It's time to show your employees some love - both in the conference room and on their weekends.

2. Autonomy and empowerment

Let's be real: nobody likes a micromanager. That's why giving your employees autonomy is key to keeping them engaged and empowered on the job. By showing them that you trust and believe in their abilities to make sound decisions, they'll feel confident in their work and more invested in the company's success. Don't be the boss who stifles creativity and independence - give your team the freedom they crave to thrive.

3. Strategic, transparent clear communication 

Having clear, open, and transparent lines of communication at the workplace is imperative to the success and growth of an organization. Moreover, it also forms the basis of employee engagement. Without it, the entire system can break down. 

Effective communication between employees, employers, and supervisors allows everyone to be on the same page, be informed at all times, and be able to see the bigger picture. 

4. Co-worker relationships

Nothing kills the vibe at work more than bad co-worker relationships. That's why mutual respect, understanding, and trust (the holy trinity of workplace harmony) are key ingredients for employee engagement. 

When we share goals and values with our colleagues, we form a bond that can make all the difference in our work performance and overall satisfaction with our work culture. 

5. Recognition 

An engaged, happy, and motivated employee feels heard, valued, and recognized. Receiving recognition and feedback from an employer goes a long way in breeding a positive growth and performance culture because these two factors enable employees to do better and work harder toward achieving their goals.

From a simple thank you to a small token of appreciation, there are many ways to recognize your employees’ efforts to let them know that you appreciate all they do for the company. 

6. Workload 

A balanced and distributed workload is one of the most essential drivers of employee engagement. If employees have too much on their plate, more than they can handle, they will likely be burnt out and feel disengaged from their work. 

This factor is also directly connected to fostering a work-life balance that helps employees create a state of equilibrium between their professional and personal lives. 

7. Growth Opportunities 

Nothing kills employee motivation faster than being stuck in a dead-end job without room for growth or advancement. If an employee is presented with opportunities for career-related growth and knows they can climb up the corporate ladder, only then will they feel the need to work harder and strive towards success.

8. Work Culture and Environment

This driver of employee engagement plays a crucial role in fostering employee motivation, happiness, and overall success. A positive, supportive, and non-toxic work culture and environment is critical to employees' overall well-being and mental health, making them feel comfortable and at ease.

9. Visible Leadership

Visible and strong leadership from the top or senior levels can be a game-changer in boosting employee engagement in the workplace. Employees always need a leadership figure for consultation, help regarding work matters, and someone they can turn to in time of need.

10. Benefits and Incentives 

When there’s some kind of monetary reward or even non-monetary incentives in the pictures, employees will likely want to do their best to attain those benefits. For instance, if an organization offers a monthly reward to the best-performing employee of the month, the employees will up their game and show significant levels of engagement with their work to get a chance to win the reward.

11. Role Clarity 

When employees know what they have to do with total clarity, it helps them perform their work-related tasks with better focus and concentration. Every employee must have a clear set of roles and responsibilities outlined by the organization to contribute towards growth and success without feeling confused or overwhelmed.

12. Sense of Belonging  

Employee engagement and a positive workplace go hand-in-hand because a safe, inclusive, and well-connected work culture will make your employees feel like they belong here. A sense of belonging is vital for employees to do their best without feeling alienated or sidelined. 

13. Goal Support 

Every employee has a set of goals they wish to achieve at the workplace and to do that successfully, they need the right resources and support. Without goal support, an employee will likely feel disengaged from work and won’t find meaning or purpose.

Final Word 

Employee engagement is at the heart of employee success, especially in this day and age when workplaces and systems have undergone dramatic changes.

Organizations must explore and identify the drivers of employee engagement and develop practical solutions to pave the way to a happy, engaged, motivated, and committed workforce. 


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Gabe Scorgie

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