3 Types of Employee Engagement And How They Are Evolving

Courtney Morrison

Sr. Content Marketing Manager

11 minute read

types of employee engagement

Employee engagement can have an impact on nearly every aspect of an organization. So there are clear benefits to understanding the types of employee engagement and how they affect business outcomes.

In this post, we will examine the three traditional types of employee engagement and how those types translate for the modern workforce.

But first, let’s align on what employee engagement really is and why it’s important. 

 

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is the level of connection employees feel toward the organization and the work that they do. It gauges commitment and dedication to core business values and goals within the organization. And for the business, it increases efficiency, productivity, and profitability when the staff is engaged.

Company culture and workplace environment are key determining factors for employee engagement. Communication, trust, and job support will also play a role in how employees feel about their company.

 

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Every business, big or small, needs to monitor employee engagement. Not only does it have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and well-being, but it also directly impacts the bottom line. 

Profit, customer experience, and productivity are all higher for companies with engaged employees.

Just look at some of these stats from Gallup for businesses with highly engaged employees:

  • 41% reduction in absenteeism
  • 17% increase in productivity
  • 24% less turnover in high-turnover organizations
  • 10% in customer ratings
  • 20% increase in sales
  • 21% greater profitability

Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue. (Aberdeen)

The benefits of having an engaged workforce are clear and important for every business unit to be involved in solving.

 

3 Types of Employee Engagement

Over 20 years ago, Gallup started an employee engagement tracking survey to better monitor the changes in U.S. workforces. 

The research analyzed common characteristics and separated them into three types of employee engagement based on level of commitment.

This framework helps businesses better understand the attitudes and performance levels in an organization when it comes to engagement and dedication.

 

1. Actively Engaged

Actively Engaged employees are passionate about what they do in their role and fully committed to the company mission. 

They offer new ideas and creativity to solving challenges and thrive in working in collaborative environments with teammates. You’ll find these types of engaged employees sharing knowledge, collaborating more, and even becoming your top brand advocates.

This part of the workforce is proactive about tasks and often goes above and beyond what is asked for by managers. 

These employees have a positive outlook about the direction the company is heading in the future and feel pride in moving the organization forward.   

Another component of strong levels of engagement is having strong bonds with coworkers.  

Actively Engaged employees have meaningful relationships and interactions with their colleagues and feel like they are a part of a supportive and close-knit team.

 

2. Not Engaged

Most employees fall into the middle ground for levels of engagement. They put in their time and fulfill their job responsibilities, but they are more neutral about the company.

To them, work may just be a paycheck, and they need to see a reason to become more involved and spend any extra effort beyond the job description.

Maybe they’re not happy with how business decisions are being communicated from executives or they want to know more about how their work fits into the bigger picture. 

This group may just need a reason to be inspired and could become actively engaged with an extra push from managers and leaders. 

 

3. Actively Disengaged

While Actively Disengaged employees are usually the outliers, they can have a big impact on team dynamics. These employees are negative and resentful about the company and are often under-performers. 

They are likely not to invest time in team-building activities or development opportunities that could help them in their career growth at the company. And if these employees are vocal with their complaints and negativity, there is a risk of disengagement spreading across the organization. 

Actively disengaged employees are likely to be looking for jobs at other organizations and can lead to an impact on a company’s retention rates. Plus, this negative energy can impact morale on various teams, reduce productivity, and cost your company big money.

The expectations of the employee for their job and responsibilities need to be realigned with their managers to see any improvements to the situation.   

 

How the Types of Employee Engagement are Evolving

With the rise of social media, employees have become just as integral a part of marketing and employer branding as traditional brand channels.

And that is changing the way we evaluate employee engagement and understand its types.

Those that are sharing branded or user-generated content about their employer take “Actively Engaged” to another level. They are effectively ambassadors for the business, in addition to high-performing and satisfied employees.

Many organizations are implementing strategies to address growing this facet of the more positive types of employee engagement. 

And employee advocacy on social media is a modern way that companies can use to adapt to the way these types of employee engagement are changing.

Employee advocacy platforms like EveryoneSocial have become a powerful tool to track real-time engagement with company initiatives and communications. Keeping employees informed of the latest news and content, but also driving real-time discussions and community.

Additionally, internal programs can be used for celebrations around company milestones and work wins can really be amplified by enabling employees to share these successes with their social networks. 

 

The Modern Elements of Employee Engagement

Companies that embrace employee advocacy platforms should tap into these key factors to drive employee engagement in new and innovative ways.  

 

Leadership

Managers play an important role in maintaining high levels of employee engagement so being accessible and engaged in social arenas can have a positive impact on team productivity.

Managers that share photos from their personal lives, hobbies, and interests are also able to grow relationships on teams and help everyone feel more connected.

For teams that are working remotely, getting more frequent updates from leaders and managers helps employees feel in the loop and more connected to the company as a whole.

 

Communication

Open and honest communication is crucial for maintaining engagement levels. 

Instead of solely relying on email, messaging platforms, or out-dated intranets, teams can share videos and leave comments on social posts. 

Keeping discussions going around both industry and company news lets employees weigh in directly and share notes from their experiences with customers and clients. 

 

Recognition and Rewards

Employee recognition is a strong motivating force to work harder and get more involved. 

Celebrating work anniversaries, sending out notes of kudos after getting through a challenge, and sharing customer feedback are all great ways to implement positive reinforcement for hard work.

And it’s especially challenging in global workplaces, those working remotely, or staff on the frontlines. But one easy way for employees to know that you value their insights and efforts is to reward them for it! 

EveryoneSocial’s leaderboard feature that shows which employees are most actively sharing and engaging. It makes it easy for everyone at the company to see who is actively participating and drive some healthy competition.

When your rewards system lines up with your business and employee values, everyone will want to get involved and feel appreciated.

 

Professional Growth

Sharing content across teams leads to a more educated and strategic organization. Opportunities for career development and growth can positively impact employee engagement levels. 

Use employee advocacy platforms as a gateway to keep your employees learning from all departments and teams.

 

Ready to learn more about employee advocacy and see how a program can amplify employee engagement? Schedule your personal demo of EveryoneSocial to learn more.


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