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Employee Engagement

30 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement That You Must Know

Employees define the success of an organization. And for employees to help you achieve success, building employee engagement within the organization is absolutely essential.  By keeping employees motivated and interested, an organization can dramatically boost productivity and employee retention rates. Surveys have found that organizations that give importance to implementing the key employee engagement drivers are able to maintain an enthusiastic work environment. Their employees are more inclined to go the extra mile to innovate and bring new ideas to the table.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, remote work has become a norm and work motivation has seen a steep decline. Consequently, sustaining the factors that drive employee engagement in increasingly remote and hybrid workplaces can be a little challenging.

From enabling employees with the right tools to keeping them engaged with interesting activities, employee engagement is multifaceted. With that in mind, here is a comprehensive guide to mastering the key drivers of employee engagement to help organizations leverage the collective strength of their employees.

What are employee engagement drivers?

Employee engagement surveys consist of two things: the key drivers of employee engagement and the key outcomes of the employee engagement survey, the input and the output. The outcomes indicate the present state of employee engagement within an organization, however, they are not actionable. They are mere facts and findings that need to be molded into something more meaningful, something more insightful, something that is actionable. 

Engagement drivers can help you in taking actions and are survey items that help deep dive into broad factors that drive employee engagement or influence it, such as leadership, trust, communication, manager effectiveness, work culture, individual needs, etc. Engagement drivers also empower organizations to understand improvement areas and take corrective actions. If you correlate and analyze responses to the top drivers of employee engagement, you will have a plan that directs you to take the right actions.

Employee engagement drivers make engagement actionable. They are what drives employee engagement by indicating the areas that need focus and improvement.

The first step towards an effective employee engagement strategy is to gauge the way you measure it. What you ask, how often, how you gather data, can make or break your employee engagement efforts. To change the way you use employee engagement data, you have to start at the source and relook at factors that drive employee engagement in your organization. 

Let’s look at some of the main factors that drive employee engagement.

What are the key drivers of employee engagement?

Statistically, companies can increase their profitability by 21% with the right approach towards key engagement drivers. But before implementing them, knowing the key drivers and their functions is of utmost importance. 

The following are 30 key drivers of employee engagement that every company should focus on:

1. Manager

There isn’t another engagement driver in the workplace that impacts employees as much as their manager. Being the leader and the driving force of talent, a manager’s right attitude can keep the employees driven, interested, and satisfied. Managers and the right rewards and recognition programs together make the top drivers of employee engagement.

2. Communication

Clear communication makes most situations and relationships seem less complex and the workplace is no exception. Communicating your expectations to your employees in a clear and precise manner helps avoid instances of confusion in the team. Personable communication skills in a manager can lead to better employee engagement while the lack of it may cause confusion and reduce productivity.

3. Collaboration

A manager plays a key role in encouraging collaboration among team members. It goes without saying that a collaborative work environment boosts productivity and employee engagement.

4. Feedback and Recognition

When it comes to employee satisfaction, giving honest feedback and praising good work is a key engagement driver. A positive acknowledgement from a senior is a powerful catalyst for productivity. When a manager gives constructive feedback and also appreciates good efforts, an employee feels respected.

5. Trust

Micromanaging employees shows that the manager is not confident of their capabilities. This can heavily impact morale, resulting in a steep decrease in engagement. While a manager should keep an eye out for possible mishaps, a strong sense of trust in their team members has a positive impact on team morale. An employee feels the drive to put in extra effort to get the job done if they know that their manager believes in them. Trust is one of the most important employee engagement drivers.

6. Growth

An organization that gives the employees opportunities to grow in both their personal and professional lives tends to do better in improving employee engagement among the employees.

7. Opportunity

Suitable and well-deserved opportunities can substantially motivate employees. When employees get an opportunity that pushes their growth within the company, the employee retention rate increases. Employees often leave organizations for better roles and opportunities, but if their current employer offers them growth opportunities, chances are that they won’t look out. Rather than hiring a person from outside the organization, are you overlooking an employee who is ready to take on that role?

8. Autonomy

Giving your employees reasonable autonomy gives them the window to put their flair into the job. This keeps them interested in positively contributing to not only their growth but also the company’s growth.

9. Innovation and creativity

Appreciating and encouraging out-of-the-box thinking, as well as providing opportunity for experimentation, is a crucial engagement motivator. Most businesses will agree that maintaining growth and keeping competitive requires innovation. 

Most business leaders believe that creating an innovative culture is the most effective strategy to encourage corporate innovation. Employees become more invested in their work when they are given the opportunity to express their creativity.

10. Team

It may not feel like it, but the people around you in a workspace have a significant impact on how you feel about your profession, company, and team. A healthy team environment adds to employees’ daily motivation to show up at work and enjoy their time in the workplace. Employees who share a positive relationship with their team also foster a sense of trust and mutual support among their peers.

11. Collaboration

In a collaborative work environment, employees can seek help and learn from each other, which ultimately boosts their skills and productivity. Better employee engagement is directly connected to better interaction among co-workers. If an employee feels like not everybody in the team is putting in equal effort, they malay lose interest as well. Trusting your team members and sharing the workload can help finish tasks faster and yield better results.

12. Communication

Communication is one of the most critical employee engagement key drivers. Smooth communication between team members reduces confusion and boosts productivity. When each employee effectively communicates their doubts, expectations, and goals with their team members, daily tasks run seamlessly. 

13. Camaraderie and trust

Employees spend a major chunk of their weekdays with colleagues, so building camaraderie is important. A healthy and friendly relationship with your team can help employees enjoy their work more. Moreover, a mutual trust provides safety and encourages employees to be more open and forthcoming. 

14. Trust in Organization

Another key driver of employee engagement is what lies at the core of the organization. These are things that typically define who you are as a company, what you value, and what your employees perceive of it. If your employees do not believe in your core values and mission, and do not relate to the company policies, there is a high chance they will switch to an organisation that they trust.

15. Culture and ethics

A positive and encouraging work culture with strong ethics and values encourages employees to reflect the same in their jobs. Lack of transparency and unethical practices are some of the things a company needs to avoid for better engagement.  Employees will be more productive if the culture is inclusive and nurturing. When determining how well they will fit into the culture, many employees make their first true evaluation of a company. This could be the first step toward active participation.

16. Mission, vision, values, and goals

A clear roadmap of the company’s mission, values, and goals is necessary for an employee to understand the core essence of their job. When employees know the vision and expectations of the organization, they know exactly what to do instead of working with no clear goal in mind. 

17. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

It is no rocket science to understand that employees feel comfortable in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. It gives employees a sense of belongingness and provides them with the much-needed safety to express diverse ideas and needs openly. Inclusivity calls for flexibility and acknowledging that different groups of employees have different needs. Equity in the workplace considers the fact that not every employee is starting from the same place. When employees feel like they belong, they treat the company as their own and push their limits with better efforts.

18. Work

This one might seem a little obvious to you, but several elements fall under good ‘work’ for an employee. These have a big impact on how engaged an employee feels with the work.  It is critical to identify individuals who are passionate and committed to their work.This can begin as early as the job description and should continue in greater depth throughout the interview process.  Employees who lose passion and commitment to their profession and become burned out are not uncommon. Therefore, You should also keep surveying employees throughout their careers to identify areas for improvement. 

19. Compensation and benefits

Money might not be the biggest key driver of employee engagement, but it is one of the vital ones. Employees deserve the right compensation and benefits that suit their responsibilities. 

When an employee sees that other companies are offering better salary and benefits for the same roles and responsibilities , they feel undervalued. Unfair and low compensation go hand in hand with a higher employee turnover rate.

20. Clarity and purpose

Every employee must have a feeling that their job role contributes to the overall growth of the company. Having clarity about work expectations and knowing what purpose their work serves in the bigger picture are strong engagement drivers that make employees feel personally connected to their organization.

21. Resources, processes, and tools

Equipping your employees with the right tools and resources necessary for their work makes completing the tasks much easier. With rundown, old tools, and processes, frustrations build up resulting in further demotivation, ultimately resulting in disengaged employees.

If an employee has adequate resources at the tip of their fingers, they can spend more time doing their job efficiently. That’s why investing in the right tools as a company immensely benefits organizations in the long run.

Remote work, hybrid work, and a permanent return to office, each need their own set of effective processes, tools and technologies. Make sure your employees are armed with the right resources to be effective in the future of work.

22. Workplace environment

A comfortable and clean workplace motivates employees to give their best. When they enter a modern office with all the amenities they seek and productivity follows. Having dedicated spaces for meetings, group activities, fun hours, lunch, and focus time can greatly benefit your employees.

23. Work-life balance

The pandemic has been an eye opener for many employees to realize the importance of work-life balance. A recent study by Michael Page noted that 61% of employees in India are willing to accept a lower salary or forgo a pay rise/promotion for better work-life balance. 

If an organization doesn’t give its employees enough room to breathe, that can become a significant cause for employee disengagement. For better employee motivation, setting up realistic and doable goals is of utmost importance. An overworked employee tends to make more mistakes, which will not positively impact the organization. 

24. Job Satisfaction

Happy and satisfied employees make for a loyal workforce. So, employee satisfaction is another critical employee engagement key driver that must be focused. To put things into perspective,, the more satisfied employees are with their work and work environment, the more engaged they remain.

25. Happiness at work

There is no better way boost to productivity than enjoying one’s job, team, and workplace. A happy employee will do more for your company than an overworked frustrated employee. Happiness at workplace is one of the most important engagement drivers and it is must for organizations to provide a happy work environment to their employees.

26. Championing and pride

A company should always work towards building a positive image as an employer. This way, employees feel a sense of pride and belongingness in the organization and do not shy away from refering the company to their family and customers in a positive light.

27. Leadership

One of the most neglected aspects of employee engagement is the role of leadership. Employees look up to their leaders to learn and take inspiration from. Making them a part of your employee engagement strategy is what can truly help you establish a bond with your employees. Employee engagement is highly influenced by relationships with leadership. Employees will give their all at work if they believe their leaders are trustworthy, dependable, and supportive.

28. Encourage approachability

An approachable leadership encourages employees to come forward with their ideas and inputs.  It makes them feel that their view  is respected and taken seriously regardless of their designation.

29. Integrity and transparency

A leadership that sticks to their word and strives to make employees part of the decision-making process see an uptick in employee engagement. Transparency of policies and decisions is another key driver of employee engagement.

30. Support and empowerment

Support and empowerment are not the same as recognition and appreciation. Both managers and direct reports should be given the tools and resources they need to do their jobs well. 

It’s up to leadership to figure out how they can better help employees be successful and enjoy their work, whether that’s by giving them training to improve their weaknesses, letting them work on projects they’re passionate about, or just giving them time off to improve their work-life balance.

Are you struggling to unravel the FULL POTENTIAL of your employee engagement initiatives in a hybrid work model?

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𝗘𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 & 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘆𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗱 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮

What drives employee engagement: Leena AI’s employee engagement framework 

Object 4

As key drivers of employee engagement have several moving pieces, we understand that implementing them fruitfully might get a little tricky. That’s why, after working with several successful organizations, Leena AI has come up with an effective framework for better employee engagement at your company.

Leena AI’s Employee Engagement platform helps you garner real-time insights about the key drivers of employee engagement via a conversational, human-like experience. Leena AI’s automated employee engagement dashboard gives your organization the power to understand how your employees are feeling about the various drivers of employee engagement and where their issues lie. The dashboard empowers you to know the organizational mood, sentiment, and happiness score, and ultimately take mindful actions wherever needed.

Let’s have a closer look at the framework of engagement drivers:

key drivers of employee engagement
  • When it comes to growth, the company needs to focus on three key elements- autonomy, opportunity and innovation. When an employee is given reasonable autonomy in their job, they feel free to bring a unique perspective to their job. This also encourages employees to be innovative. Last but not the least, the opportunity for personal and professional growth in the organization acts as an incentive in developing employee loyalty and engagement.
  • Without strong leadership, employees do not feel motivated to consistently do their best. The effectiveness of a company’s management reflects in how they communicate with the employees. Belief in leadership drives the employees to accept feedback and work on it. A company should communicate any milestone changes to the employees and hold frequent discussions for their input. This works wonders in building collective trust in the management.
  • It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure synergy, communication and trust among team members. With a capable manager, an employee tends to exceed expectations regardless of how they feel about the employer. As a key factor of employee engagement, the staff should feel like they can depend on their manager in case of any complications. This can only happen when the employee gets timely feedback as well as recognition.
  • Giving your employees a proper insight into the vision and goal of the organization through meetings, town halls, and seminars is a good way to build employee engagement. In addition, inclusivity in opportunity and growth creates a sense of belongingness among the employees. This portrays an ethical image of the organization in the eyes of the employee. 
  • Employee satisfaction directly impacts the quality of work. Fair pay, reasonable working hours for better work-life balance, premium resources and tools, a positive work environment, and clarity of goals are some of the measures that ensure better employee engagement. Little things like an entertainment room, complimentary refreshments, and a host of other employee engagement activities go a long way in creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere in the office.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the drivers of employee engagement?

Here are top 30  key drivers of employee engagement are:

  1. Manager
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Feedback & Recognition
  5. Trust
  6. Growth
  7. Opportunity
  8. Autonomy
  9. Innovation & Creativity
  10. Team
  11. Collaboration
  12. Communication
  13. Camaraderie & Trust
  14. Organization
  15. Culture & Ethics
  16. Mission, Vision, Values, & Goals
  17. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  18. Work
  19. Compensation & Benefits
  20. Clarity & Purpose
  21. Resources, Processes, & Tools
  22. Workplace Environment
  23. Work-life Balance
  24. Job Satisfaction
  25. Happiness at Work
  26. Pride and Championing
  27. Leadership
  28. Encourage Approachability
  29. Integrity & Transparency
  30. Support & empowerment

What is the most important driver of employee engagement?

The most important driver of employee engagement is the relationship between an employee and their manager. If an employee isn’t happy with their immediate manager, chances are that nothing else will be able to drive their engagement levels. A manager that micromanages deflects blame, and takes credit for their team’s work is one of the primary reasons for disengaged employees and high levels of attrition.

What drives employee engagement and why it matters?

There are various factors that drive employee engagement, such as growth opportunities, relationship with manager, work-life balance, organizational culture, leadership, compensation, satisfaction and happiness at work, etc. It is important to take into account all these drivers of employee engagement because they play a critical role throughout the employee lifecycle. If you design your employee engagement strategy based on these key engagement drivers, you will be able to understand the pulse of your employees, help them resolve their issues, contribute to their productivity, and enjoy long-term relationships.

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