What does an engaged team look like?

Everyone has a different definition

Lots of folks have jumped on the employee engagement bandwagon. We get it — engagement is cool — but the list of so-called “employee engagement solutions” has grown exhausting.

Is it training that matters? Trinkets? Technology? With all this confusion, it’s worth taking time to set the record straight with one clear definition of engagement.

Hint: It’s not about the money or the perks.

In this section, we’ll explore:

So, how do we define engagement?

There are tons of definitions for engagement, but ours is simple: Engagement is individual passion working toward shared success.

To measure engagement, we look at employee responses to three survey statements:

Commitment: I have considered searching for a better job in the past month.

Here, we’re hoping they disagree. For someone to be considered engaged, they should be planning on sticking around and see their relationship with your company as a win-win.

Referral: I would highly recommend working at this company to others.

When someone’s willing to stake their reputation on your organization, that shows they feel trust, pride, and commitment. Plus, it’s a good indicator of their overall experience and satisfaction.

Motivation: This company motivates me to give my very best at work.

This is what really distinguishes engagement from satisfaction.

Motivation means they really see themselves as part of the team. They have support, training, resources — and most important — the personal drive to deliver.

Employees who respond positively in the following categories


* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award. Source: Energage


* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award. Source: Energage


* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award. Source: Energage

Employees who respond positively to all three of these statements have passion, energy, and commitment. They’re engaged, and they’ll go above and beyond for your organization.

But what enables organizations to craft a culture that fosters high-engagement?

Craft a culture of engagement

While every organization is unique, we’ve found some common ground when it comes to crafting a culture of engagement.

  • Connection
  • Alignment
  • Effectiveness
  • My Manager

We refer to these four actionable themes as OrgHealth™. Get OrgHealth right and you will be rewarded with a workplace culture full of highly engaged employees — not to mention, better business results. Let’s take a closer look.


Work goes to waste if everyone pulls in opposing directions. But working in an aligned organization is magical. United, employees achieve great things.


Being aligned is a good start, but you need to have effective processes and approaches in place too. Bureaucracy and inefficiency are a big source of worker frustration.


To reach the full potential of your organization, you need to be aligned and effective … and deeply connected with your employees in meaningful ways. It’s what makes makes employees feel like they belong and what they need to get the job done.

My Manager

It’s hard to feel connected to an aligned and effective organization without a good manager. It’s the relationship that has the biggest impact on an employee’s perception of their job and their company.

Top Workplaces excel at OrgHealth


Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award.
Source: Energage


* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award.
Source: Energage


* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award.
Source: Energage

My Manager

* Organizations that earned a Top Workplaces award.
Source: Energage

But what about the perks, the wellness initiatives, the rewards?

Some people think the best way toward engagement focuses on benefits, a cool work environment, and things like “bring your dog to work day.”

Sure, perks and rewards are fun to have and may send a message about the type of organization you aspire to be. And other factors — such as your vacation policy or wellness programs — may help with retention. But these factors are only a part of a bigger picture. At best, they’ll reflect a great culture. But they’ll never create one.

The truth is, sustainable engagement is based on intrinsic motivation. These are internal goals like mastery, autonomy, and purpose. External rewards, on the other hand, only earn short-term benefits.

Are we there yet?

Now that you know what employee engagement means, what it looks like, and what makes it possible, it’s time to start making a difference.

Many organizations don’t know where to begin. But that’s what we’re here for. We’ll meet you where you are and get you where you want to be.

Now, let’s take the next step and figure out where you are on the journey to the top.