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6 Employee Engagement Models

By Carly MacLennan
Illustration of a Carl the Yeti walking up a staircase.

Employee engagement relates to an employee’s connection and commitment to their workplace. It’s how passionate they feel about their job, their understanding of the organization’s mission, how they interact with their manager and teams, their feelings about the workplace culture and – importantly — their effort levels. There are a huge amount of considerations that influence employee engagement, but some of the most common include work-life balance, business transparency, recognition, growth opportunities, compensation, goal setting and challenges.

So if you haven’t already been factoring employee engagement into your Employee engagement, now’s the time to start — the level of engagement your employees have exercises a significant impact on your operations, whether or not you realize it. Engaged employees will go above and beyond to accomplish goals and boost the organization’s success; by contrast, disengaged employees can have a highly deleterious impact and negatively affect your organization’s long-term success.

Measuring employee engagement

image with text - Three levels of engagement: actively disengaged, not engaged, actively engaged.

Organizations can measure employee engagement in a number of different ways — but arguably the most reliable is an employee survey, which gauges how satisfied an employee is with their job and workplace. Once the results have been gathered, you can categorize employees into one of three brackets:

  • Actively engaged

Employees feel enthusiastic about their job and actively contribute to their organization’s overall goals. These employees have a positive effect on the business and fellow employees.

  • Not engaged

Employees feel neutral about their organization and will meet the standard required for their role. These employees will often need encouragement and attention to help them become more engaged.

  • Actively disengaged

Employees have negative feelings towards the organization and may be looking for alternative employment. These employees can have a negative effect on the business and fellow employees.

It is particularly important to pay attention to employee engagement levels as it can have an impact on business performance, customer satisfaction, retention and productivity. It’s essential to understand the varying levels of employee engagement can affect day-to-day and long term operations. Employee engagement can have an effect on:

  • Productivity
  • Employee retention
  • Company culture
  • Customer ratings
  • Safety incidents
  • Busniness success
  • Increased innovation
  • Employee satisfaction
image with text -  by regularly checking in and listening to employees, you’ll be able to best understand what is required to create a highly engaged workplace.

In order to constantly improve your organization to create a vibrant workplace, harness great talent and motivate employees, it’s crucial to constantly monitor employee engagement in order to pinpoint focus areas. As organizations naturally pivot and update their strategies, so too will employee engagement — by regularly checking in and listening to employees, you’ll be able to best understand what is required to create a highly engaged workplace.

Employee engagement strategies

There are different ways to increase employee engagement within the workplace by following strategies to help encourage employees. Some organizations will follow popular employee engagement models that provide a framework to help improve engagement. Each of these employee engagement models differs from the others in terms of strategy, actions and systems. So in order to understand which employee engagement model might work best for your organization, let’s take a look with a comprehensive overview.

Zinger Model of Employee Engagement

Renowned global employee engagement expert David Zinger created the Zinger Model of Employee Engagement in order to help organizations develop meaningful workplace relationships between employees. This model invites managers to use 14 critical strategies to help increase employee engagement and the overall workplace experience:

  • Achieve results
  • Craft strategies
  • Connect
  • Authentic
  • Recognition
  • Engage
  • Enliven work roles
  • Excel at performance
  • Esteem organization
  • Foster community
  • Serve customers
  • Develop career
  • Leverage energies
  • Experience wellbeing

Gallup Employee Engagement Model

The Gallup Employee Engagement Model sets about finding an accurate way to measure employee engagement within an organization. This model is particularly useful for situations where there are areas for improvement for managers and their teams. In order to effectively gauge employee engagement, Gallup developed a model based on a pyramid that uses survey questions to ascertain whether an employee’s performance development needs are being met.

The levels within the pyramid provide a framework for managers to offer support and development for members of the team — these levels include basic, individual, teamwork, and growth. Managers begin using this model by inviting employees to complete the survey, which sets out to understand key elements of employee engagement.

‘X’ Model of Employee Engagement

The ‘X’ Model of Employee Engagement was created by Buck Blessing and Tod White, with the aim of using a formula to increase engagement through contribution. This equation is: engagement = contribution + satisfaction. This framework is used in workplaces where low employee engagement negatively affects productivity and contribution. Where management is concerned with productivity, employees are often focused on job satisfaction — this model sets out to put an emphasis on both in order to glean a higher employee engagement. In order for this particular blueprint to be successful, it takes a concerted level of effort from all key players within the organization, including individual employees, managers and executives. In this instance, employee engagement will be achieved when maximum contribution intersects with maximum employee satisfaction.

Aon Hewitt Employee Engagement Model

The Aon Hewitt Employee Engagement Model uses a strategy that incorporates markers to measure engagement in relation to organizational targets or goals. In this theory, six engagement drivers — brand, leadership, performance, work, basics and company practices — can affect the business outcomes through three engagement outcomes. This model posits that engaged employees will ‘say’ positive things about their organization, ‘stay’ within the company and ‘strive’ to contribute above and beyond. These three engagement outcomes will be tracked and monitored in order to meet the main business outcomes of harnessing great talent, increased productivity, customer satisfaction and financial growth.

Kahn’s Model of Employee Engagement

Psychologist William Kahn developed Kahn’s Model of Employee Engagement after his research led him to theorize that an employee’s ability to perform at their best is directly affected by meaningfulness, safety and ability. The framework for this model states that there will be an increase in engagement if an employee finds their work meaningful, feels safe within the environment and can mentally and physically reach their full potential in that given moment. Khan’s main principles and strategies put an emphasis on implementing physical engagement, cognitive engagement and emotional engagement. This type of model is useful in workplaces that are looking to find strategies to boost motivation within their employee cohort.

Robinson Model of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement researcher Dilys Robinson — along with the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) — created a diagnostic tool that helped them understand key areas or ‘building blocks’ that should be implemented to gain a high level of employee engagement. These basic building blocks include:

  • Good quality line management
  • Two-way communication
  • Effective internal cooperation
  • A developmental focus
  • A commitment to employee wellbeing
  • A commitment from all managers to follow HR policies and practices

Schmidt Model of Employee Engagement

The Schmidt Model of Employee Engagement uses the theory that you will get the highest engagement by carefully recruiting and retaining talent that best fits the workplace culture. For this model to deliver the desired results, there must be a great emphasis placed on the recruitment phase of the organization — particular attention must be paid to finding exactly the right candidates for the workplace. This type of employee engagement model is best suited for organizations that place a high value on harnessing a particular kind of work culture, including a safe environment and a supportive network of compatible employees.

Build meaningful employee engagement strategies today

At Motivosity, we are passionate about helping organizations reach their highest levels by creating a highly engaged workplace. We believe you can get the very best out of your workforce by placing an emphasis on encouragement, recognition and management. By implementing our modern employee engagement software, you’ll be able to reach your greatest potential.

Our four foundational pillars focus on connection, recognition, leadership and listening — we believe that through these main areas, you’ll be able to harness great talent, motivate employees and create a vibrant, safe workplace environment. Through innovative software you’ll be able to unlock a suite of tools that will allow you to develop real connections, loyal employee cohorts and an inclusive community.

If you’d like to understand more about how our modern employee engagement software works, we invite you to reach out and request a demo today. To learn more about our products, pricing and core values, don’t hesitate to get in contact with someone from the Motivosity team — call on (801) 758-7188.