What makes employees engaged?

The 8 pillars of engagement

The customer needs the pizza — no matter what!

As we searched the web for what makes employees engaged, most metrics measured sounded condescending.

Are we supposed to expect that a workplace’s design fundamentlly solves engagement? Are your employees’ mood really a way to measure how commited they are to achieving your vision? Seems a bit simplistic!

We believe engagement is personal. It is the alignment between what your employees want and need and what your company wants and provides.

The better the alignment, the higher the engagement.

After looking at thousands of data points, here are the 8 pillars of engagement we’ve identified. They move as independently as possible (0.35 average correlation between each of them).


🔍 Transparency

How aware employees feel about decisions affecting their work.

High transparency means employees fully understand the rationale behind decisions affecting their day to day.

Low transparency means employees are often surprised by changes happening around them. This lack of clarity creates confusion and can cause a distrust in upper management and their understanding of the business.

📊 Work Impact

How well employees understand how their day-to-day is contributing to the organization’s goals and objectives.

High work impact means employees fully understand why they are doing every task they complete and why it is important to the success of their organization.

Low work impact means employees feel their day to day is disconnected from the goals of the organization. They feel like their job is a bit pointless and will not work as hard as they could to deliver high quality work, fast.

⚖️ Work-Life Balance

How well employees feel about the balance between work and personal commitments. Everyone has a different notion of what a good work-life balance is. Non-profit workers, for example, have a higher tolerance for long hours.

High work life balance means employees are happy about the balance between work and personal commitments, they are able to take stress-free holidays and don’t mind spending extra time at the office.

Low work life balance means employees will feel overwhelmed and stressed, causing them to be worse at decision making and creative problem solving.

🔭 Purpose

How connected employees feel to the organization’s mission and inspired by its actions.

High purpose means employees can clearly articulate the company’s mission and show how the company is working to get there. They will connect personal experiences to justify the importance of the organization’s mission.

Low purpose means employees will see their work as just a source of income. This will also have a big impact on how likely they are to refer their friends to your product or employment opportunities.

🤓 Learning Curve

How much employees feel like they are learning new things at work.

High learning curve means employees feel like they are developing personally, gaining an expertise and growing in their role & career. They are curious and always looking to get involved in more opportunities both inside and outside of work. They are more likely to read blogs, webinars and try new tools to boost your organization’s productivity.

Low learning curve means employees will feel like they are stagnating, like they need a change in their career.

🏅Recognition

How well employees feel appreciated for their results and efforts.

High recognition means employees will strive for producing even higher quality work and put even more effort into their performance.

Low recognition means employees will not see the point of going the extra mile. They will turn to salary increase and bonuses for compensation. They will feel flattered by outside opportunities where they feel more valued.

🙏 Team

How much employees feel that their colleagues are boosting their work satisfaction & performance.

High team means employees love collaborating, going for lunch with colleagues and launching cross-divisional projects. Communication benefits a great deal from a high team score.

Low team means employees will be less likely to give feedback, collaborate and support other members of the team. Employees will feel like others are less competent than them.

💪 Support

How supported employees feel by their manager. Do employees feel like they have everything they need to succeed.

High support means employees will never get stuck because of something they need help or resources for. They will feel empowered and listened to.

Low support means employees will feel like the reason they can’t do a better job is because of the lack of resources they are given. They will also feel like they don’t have a voice in decisions and have trouble influencing up.


If you properly track how your employees rate these 8 factors compared to their expectations, you are on a healthy road to identifying and measuring engagement.

If you don’t want to bother building your own have a look at the Spot.coach Engagement Index.

The Spot.coach Engagement Index

We’ve built our own scale if you’d like to save time and we even made a free testing tool for you or your team.

You can start tracking your team’s engagement here → http://spot.coach/engagement-index