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Tips for improving team engagement

Employee engagement is crucial to any organisation’s success. Here’s what it actually means.

Employee engagement is now widely seen as being crucial to the success of any organisation – whether public, private, or not-for-profit. But what does employee engagement actually mean? 

Considering its importance, employee engagement can be tricky to define (here are 25 different definitions if you’re interested). But these are three of our favourites: 

  • “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential.” David MacLeod, Engage for Success
  • “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” Forbes
  • “Engagement is the extent to which employees “go the extra mile” and put discretionary effort into their work — contributing more of their energy, creativity and passion on the job.” Towers Watson

What engagement means to employees

In a nutshell, it boils down to the level of commitment and connection that employees feel towards their organisation’s success – and whether their workplaces are set up to enable them to turn up each day ready to do their best work. 

While the factors that drive individual engagement differ from person to person, organisations can create the conditions where engagement is more likely to thrive. But what does that high engagement look like? Employees are more likely to be engaged if they: 

  • Understand the organisation’s purpose, strategy and vision
  • Have clear objectives that are aligned to their development needs and the organisation’s goals
  • Are supported by managers who provide regular feedback and coaching
  • Feel like they can truly be themselves at work (psychological safety)

This two-minute animated explainer video provides a bit more detail.

What employee engagement means to managers

We all know the saying, ‘people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers’. Manager behaviour is especially important to employee engagement. According to Gallup, 70% of the variation in employee engagement is determined solely by the manager. 

Becoming an engaging people manager is about helping your team to become more driven, more capable, more adaptable, and more resilient. Developing these traits will help your people to thrive in a climate of increasing complexity, challenge, and change. 

That obviously brings a tonne of benefits to your organisation. But there are also huge benefits to you personally and professionally – for instance, teams that are highly engaged perform better, are more adaptable to change, and are more enjoyable to manage.

This two-minute video explains a bit more about what’s involved.


Hopefully, this blog has given you a good introduction to employee engagement and what it means. If you’d like to find out more, we partnered with Engage for Success to create a free eLearning course on employee engagement for managers

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