How to engage your employees with 8 main drivers

Author - Ennova

How do you engage the employees in your organization? Many companies speak about wanting to have engaged employees, but whose responsibility is it, and what is needed to get your employees engaged in the company?


In this article we will examine:

Employees want to be engaged in your company if you set up the right framework and make them feel like a part of the company. And this is not the employees' responsibility. It is your responsibility as a manager to engage your employees to succeed in their jobs.


What are the benefits of having engaged employees?

In general, engaged employees are more profitable to the company, whereas disengaged employees are very expensive.

A study performed by Workplace Research Foundation found that highly engaged employees tend to increase their productivity at work – often up to 38%. Another study showed that companies with a high level of employee engagement are 21% more profitable than companies with a low level of employee engagement.

Happy and engaged employees perform better. It is a fact and important knowledge for managers. There's no doubt that you should focus on employee engagement. The next and more important step is how to do it.



Through analyses for many different companies, we have factually demonstrated the positive financial effects of putting employee experience in focus. For example, the analyses show time and again that there is a connection between an employee’s engagement and his/her ability to generate profitability.

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Source: anonymized Ennova case based on survey data with 45,000 employee repsonses
over three years combined with financial data


The example shows that employees with a high level of engagement deliver 38% more profitability than employees with low engagement.

Would you like to learn more? Read more about the survey here.

We also see a direct effect on the bottom line. In a company with 16,500 employees and a churn rate of 7.5%, the costs associated with this are DKK 433 million a year, consisting of recruitment and onboarding costs as well as a temporary drop in productivity.


What influences employee engagement?

There are four different overall characteristics that influence engagement. The overall engagement influencers are:  


1. Personality traits

Employees who are engaged in their jobs tend to be emotionally stable, socially proactive and achievement oriented. This one is of out of your hands as an organization to impact. But you can try to accommodate wants and needs that fit the personality.  

2. Demographic characteristics

We know that where you are in life and work-life influence your engagement. Demographic characteristics that drive engagement can be 1) gender – women are generally more engaged, 2) age, and 3) seniority.

3. Characteristics of the job

It is known that job engagement is significantly associated with certain job and organizational characteristics.

Engagement is influenced by key job features and combinations of autonomy, demands, social support, trust, conflicts, feedback development opportunities and good relations with other people.

4. Organizational characteristics

Engagement is also influenced by environmental surroundings. Typically, the organization and where your team are in the hierarchy. That includes features such as: job position, cross organizational contact and collaboration and organization-based self-esteem.


8 main drivers that impact employee engagement

Do you want to reach a high level of employee engagement? These eight main drivers have the absolutely biggest impact on your employees’ level of engagement.

Let’s have a look at each of the eight drivers: 

Employee motivation

 1. Reputation

The reputation driver is largely driven by the immediate feeling an employee has when thinking about the organization. This also means, that if an employee is personally dissatisfied with being a member of the organization, it will influence the sense of organizational pride negatively. Also, this score is typically influenced by the perception of the Senior Management of the organization. 

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • I am proud to tell other people where I work
  • Other people consider the company to be a good place to work
  • The company has a good image

2. Senior management

Senior Management acts as the captain(s) steering the ship that is the organization. The confidence in them determines how you respond to the decisions they make. If the confidence is high, you will follow their directions, even if you do not always agree or understand them fully.

Senior Management is very dependent on managers at all levels to bring forward the voice of the employees, and in this way, there may be steps you can take in relation to your own team to improve the scores on this driver.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • Senior management clearly communicates the company’s strategy and goals
  • I have confidence in the decisions made by senior management
  • Senior management sets a good example for others to follow


    3. Immediate manager

The immediate manager driver is only one among several engagement drivers, but the influence you have as a leader cannot be underestimated. All leaders can achieve improvements, and the impact will go beyond the score for immediate manager.

From many years of experience, we know that the immediate manager is key for increasing the results on drivers such as Cooperation, the Job, Learning & Development, and Working Conditions. This close connection also means that if your team sees your leader working actively to improve one of these related drivers, it will show in the next result for immediate manager. For leaders, the most important thing is to focus on the leadership behavior and make behavioral adjustments in the way the leader works with the actions planned.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • My immediate manager creates a work culture in my department characterized by trust and openness
  • My immediate manager motivates the department to exceed expectations
  • My immediate manager provides me with the constructive feedback I need to do my job well 


4. Cooperation

Cooperation depends on a valid and active norm of reciprocation in the team. Team members should feel confident that an effort on their part will be reciprocated by other team members.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • In my department, we respect and trust each other
  • In my department, we all pull in the same direction to reach our department’s goal
  • In my department, everyone takes the initiative to get the job done

5. Job content

We know from our many projects, that job content is one of the primary drivers of engagement. Actually, it is often the driver with the biggest influence on employee engagement. Hence, it is very common that this driver is among the highlighted focus areas to improve or maintain. Normally, this is also an area with a lot of opportunities for the manager, the team, and the individual team member to make an impact together.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • My job is highly interesting to me
  • My job makes the best use of my skills
  • My job gives me sufficient challenges 

    6. Working conditions

Working conditions are all conditions that surround the work itself that enables the employees to perform their jobs. It ranges from the actual physical surroundings to the mental perceptions of the surrounding environment.

Overall, this driver concerns the prerequisites we have for doing a good job and feeling good while doing it. Working conditions are often highlighted as a focus area for the team, even if the score is not particularly low. This happens when the data shows that this driver has a significant impact on the engagement of your team and that there is potential to achieve even better results.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • The physical work environment at my place of work
  • I feel good about the workload in my job
  • The company has clear processes and tools enabling me to carry out my job efficiently 

    7. Remuneration

It is important to remember that the remuneration score covers more than just salary. While some organizations choose to invest mainly in monetary rewards such as the monthly base pay, pension and bonus schemes, others will instead focus on softer benefits like flexible working arrangements, vacation days, health and life insurance, or the opportunity to do volunteer work with pay.

The remuneration driver covers both areas, as well as the feeling of job security.

Salary/bonus is one of the most common ways to motivate people, even though it has a low impact on engagement. Studies carried out across industries and organizational levels show that employees who feel they are treated fairly by their organization, superiors and colleagues are more motivated and perform better than employees who perceive their working environment as unfair.

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • My salary compared to what I could get in a similar position elsewhere
  • My nonmonetary benefits compared to what I could get in a similar position elsewhere
  • My job security 

    8. Learning & development

It is not uncommon to think back to our last classroom training when we evaluated the level of learning and development in our job. But most learning happens on the job, and everybody has a responsibility to be proactive about their own development. Leaders should aim to establish a good environment for learning and feedback while expanding the understanding of the many shapes and forms of learning. One way to foster a learning environment is to work with “Action Learning.”

Questions to evaluate this driver:

  • It is clear to me where I need to develop in my job
  • I actively seek out opportunities that help me develop in my job
  • I often receive constructive feedback from my colleagues


You don't necessarily engage employees the same way in every company. There is no “one size fits all.” But these eight evidence-based drivers will certainly help increase employee engagement in most organizations if worked with correctly.

Engaging employees isn't easy. But it is more important now than ever.


How do I know whether my employees are engaged or not?

Empower your workforce insights by conducting an Employee Engagement Survey. This will map the employees' engagement and give you the knowledge needed to find areas to improve.

It is important to involve your employees when you want to hear things from their point of view. But it is just as important that their answers remain confidential.

Furthermore, you should get feedback from your employees at the right frequency to know whether the level of engagement is changing. It is about finding the right balance with enough feedback, without overdoing it.

The Ennova Suite will help your organization perform Employee Engagement Surveys and much more. The Employee Engagement Platform is your one-touch access to all your Employee Experience needs.


Guide: 8 steps to improve your employee experience in year 1

We can all agree that satisfied and loyal employees are a better asset than disengaged and disloyal employees, right? This guide “8 steps to successful Employee Experience in year 1” exclusively focuses on year 1 of your transformation. We hope that these 8 steps will make your work with employee experiences more manageable - and improved! Download now. 


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We empower organizations and leaders to improve the employee and customer experience through proven, concise and engaging advisory. We are constantly refining our solutions by collaborating with the world's best companies and by being at the forefront of global trends in the industry.