Employee Engagement 101: What You Need to Know

Last verified Feb 10, 2023

In a world where there’s a new buzzword for quitting and searching for jobs nearly every week, there’s never been more of a focus on employee engagement. Managers and people leaders want to see their employees engaged at work, and employees want to do engaging work. But what does employee engagement actually mean?

What is employee engagement? 

Employee engagement is a term used to describe the relationship between an organization and its employees. It’s meant to convey a holistic view of the employer/employee connection by thinking about how emotionally and mentally connected an employee is with their work, teammates, manager, and the organization itself.

Why employee engagement matters 

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If you want to see someone who fits the description of a "model" employee, you’re looking for an engaged employee. They’re doing awesome work, they care about their company, and they’re spreading those good vibes to everyone around them. 

Engaged employees won’t add to your attrition rate because they’re much less likely to leave your company. Organizations with engaged employees can generate up to 2.5x more revenue than organizations with low levels of employee engagement. The positive ripple effects of an engaged employee can’t be ignored. If you haven't given much thought to employee engagement before, now is the perfect time to start!

Getting the most out of your employee engagement strategy 

We take employee engagement pretty seriously at Guru. Knowledge management plays an integral role in keeping employees more engaged at work. Guru is designed to give employees the information and context they need to do their best work and stay fully engaged, and our latest features and updates, Trending Topics for Slack and Follow an Author, reflect that. 

There are a variety of tools for managers and HR professionals to use to measure employee engagement, but even the most thorough eNPS survey won’t help if you aren’t setting it up the right way. If you really want to understand what helps your employees stay engaged at work, remember to keep a few things in mind before you start working on your next employee engagement survey. 

Consider the big picture 

If you want to understand what keeps your employees motivated and engaged, think about all of the factors that truly form the employee experience. Investing in the right tech stack, adopting flexible work schedules, and communicating plans for growth can help employees feel appreciated, secure, and ready to give 100%. 


Individual satisfaction with day-to-day job duties can be important, but they’re far from the only thing that matters when you’re thinking about employee engagement. Company-wide policies and procedures that affect how and when employees work matter. Company goals, vision, and values matter. The technology people use to do their work matters.

When the time comes to send that eNPS survey out, take these factors into account when you’re thinking about the right questions to ask. See how people feel about their tech stack and ask if they have suggestions for tools. Ask how the company’s current mission, vision, and values resonate with people and if they have an impact on how they work. This can give you a much more comprehensive view of how employees view their job as well as valuable insight into what needs to change. 

Know what’s important

There are certain factors like pay, benefits, personal value, and recognition that always come up when people think about what matters to employees. Those are great places to start, but they’re far from the only things that can affect employee engagement. 

Trust in leadership, and fellow coworkers can affect employee engagement. The ability to communicate and institute change has the power to keep employees motivated to work or cause them to disengage. Confidence in the future of the organization can mean the difference between coming to work excited or searching for new positions during downtime. 

When you understand what motivates your employees, you make it easier to find ways to keep them. If you notice certain trends or patterns, you may have found new ways to appeal to future hires and retain more employees. 

Involve management 

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If you want to gather more qualitative data around employee engagement, people managers are your best option. Managers play an absolutely crucial role in employee engagement and satisfaction. They’re the ones that interact with individual contributors the most and have the best insight into everyone’s day-to-day needs and concerns. 

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to check on the pulse of things at your company. The only issue is that these surveys usually occur on an annual or quarterly level. The last thing people want to do is let an issue with engagement brew up over weeks or months. 

One-on-one people manager meetings happen frequently, and they’re great ways to identify problems. Encourage managers to use these meetings as an opportunity to ask questions about employee needs. See if they have everything they need to thrive at work and whether or not repeat frustrations and problems keep occurring. Frequent complaints about not being able to find information and communication problems could be signs of an org-wide problem that needs to be addressed. 

Employee engagement done right 

When companies focus on employee engagement, the right surveys, tools, and questions can only go so far. Measurement is important, but building a workplace people want to engage with is key. Knowledge-driven cultures can be the key to creating a workplace that employees love and want to be an active part of. Luckily, we know the right tool you need to start building one.