Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated November 2, 2021

7 Factors that Affect Employee Engagement

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7 Factors that Affect Employee Engagement

Employee engagement can have a major impact on the workforce, affecting everything from job satisfaction to productivity. 

Today, engagement has become a big focus for many forward-thinking organizations, since poor engagement can be so harmful to the bottom line.

Understanding the factors that impact engagement is critical for any organization that wants to improve…

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  • Employee productivity and performance
  • The work environment
  • The workplace culture
  • The employee experience
  • Organizational performance

In this article, we’ll learn some of the biggest factors that can affect employee engagement levels in the workplace.

7 Factors that Impact Employee Engagement

Here are 7 of the most important areas to look at when evaluating the state of employee engagement:

1. Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction is one of the most important employee sentiments. 

Technically speaking, job satisfaction tends to revolve around an employee’s satisfaction with their job.

Employee satisfaction, however, also refers to how satisfied workers are with:

  • Their workplace
  • Their coworkers
  • Leadership at the company
  • The company itself
  • Their day-to-day job

Other factors can affect satisfaction as well, such as compensation, benefits, and career development prospects.

2. Meaning and purpose

One of the biggest factors that can impact job satisfaction is meaning.

In other words, people who find their work meaningful will be more interested, engaged, and satisfied on the job.

Naturally, not every organization can create meaningful work out of thin air.

However, there are ways to improve engagement by adding meaning to employees’ jobs:

  • Show how an employee’s job positively impacts the lives of the customers
  • Increase career development opportunities, such as mentorship opportunities and career counseling
  • Improve on-the-job employee training

An employee who finds meaning in their work will be far more engaged and far more likely to stay on board over the long term.

3. Culture

Organizational culture also affects engagement in several ways:

  • A culture that is energetic, positive, and welcoming will be more likely to engage its employees than one that is stressful and negative
  • Certain traits, such as those that reward and recognize excellent performance, can stimulate productivity and engagement
  • Employees will be more engaged when they fit the company culture

To address and improve these areas, it pays to perform an analysis of the company culture, then look for ways to improve it.

In some cases, this can involve organizational culture change.

In others, it can mean adjusting talent management strategies or even new digital tools.

Digital adoption platforms, for instance, can cultivate cultural attributes such as self-reliance and a pro-learning attitude.

4. The work environment

The work environment itself also affects employee engagement levels.

However, note that the work environment is not restricted to the physical workspace.

It also includes:

  • The digital work environment
  • The culture, atmosphere, and climate
  • Employees’ attitudes and behavior
  • The attitudes and behavior of leadership

All of these factors can work in combination and have either a positive or a negative effect on workers.

5. Career development opportunities

Career development, as briefly mentioned earlier, is becoming more and more important for the modern employee.

Today’s employee recognizes, for instance, that the future of work is becoming more competitive.

At the same time, modern workers are becoming more bored at work, leading them to look for other jobs.

One solution to this is career development.

This means:

  • Providing career counseling advice
  • Offering mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities
  • Ensuring that new hires have and understand their promotion potentials
  • Providing ample training opportunities

When an employee has plenty of opportunity to grow at their current job, in other words, they are more likely to stay engaged … and stay with the organization.

6. The digital work experience

Today’s organizations are becoming more and more digital, which means that the digital work experience is playing an increasingly important role in the overall employee experience.

There are many ways to improve the digital employee experience, such as:

  • Modernizing the organization’s IT tools and infrastructure
  • Creating a business function dedicated to managing and improving the employee experience – and the digital experience
  • Improving digital onboarding and training functions

To improve the digital workplace experience, organizations should start by assessing employees’ digital engagement levels, pinpoint problem areas, then find fixes, starting with low-hanging fruit and low-investment solutions.

7. Management and leadership

Leadership and management have a large influence on the climate of a workplace.

When employees respect their leaders, then they are more likely to listen to and follow them.

Poor management, however, can have a negative impact on:

  • Employee engagement
  • Productivity and performance
  • Retention
  • The workplace culture

Among other things.

Fixing poor management takes time and effort, but the rewards make such an investment well worth the effort.

Employees will be more engaged, there will be less friction at work, and the organization will be more effective as a result.

The best way to improve poor management is by implementing leadership development programs, then continuing to optimize that program over time.

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