What is Employee Engagement? A Brief History.

OK, So What Is Employee Engagement?


Definition: Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.
When an employee cares, they give a discretionary effort.


Employee engagement (EE) increases performance (P), productivity (P) and profitability ($)  in organisations. EE=P+P+$.
Engagement utopia would be having 100% of our employees, 100% motivated and engaged 100% of the time.  Sure, unrealistic but the ideal goal!

Generally speaking, there is a 20:60:20 engagement distribution across the average organisation. Which looks like:

  • 20% of employees are ‘toxic’ or actively disengaged.  In fact many organisations would probably be better off if these employees didn’t even turn up at work each day
  • 60% of employees are ‘retained’, the complacent coaster, they haven’t yet been given a good enough reason to leave yet
  • 20% of employees are ‘actively engaged’, the eager beavers, they love working in the organisation to the point where they’d probably like to buy shares in the company given the opportunity


The Underestimated Soft Skill

Employee engagement and motivation are seen as a soft skill by many people upstairs at the big table, so to make it harder and more tangible (for the bean counters) we have researched the hell out of it. Arhhh… do we all feel better now? NO!

More Research Than Implementation

Many organisations spend the majority of their time and effort (some up to 80%) on employee engagement research, but only 20% on effective engagement strategies.

Organisations are challenged and getting frustrated as many of the engagement solutions they are trying to implement to improve staff retention aren’t getting effective ‘cut through’ and improving employee engagement scores.

So why aren’t many organisations getting the improved engagement results they were hoping for?

It’s a key question …

More Insightful Issues?

Perhaps we all first need to better understand the answers to some more useful questions such as:


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