What Drives Employee Engagement?

What Drives Employee Engagement

Table of Contents

The national average for annual turnover rate was around 47% in 2021. In recent years, this number has been steadily increasing.

If you are an owner of a business or run an organization, this is not a number you want to see increasing. One way to ensure it doesn’t is to learn more about employee engagement drivers to keep your employees engaged.

But what drives employee engagement? Keep reading to learn more about this and how it can affect company performance overall!

What Drives Employee Engagement?

There are many different factors that can drive employee engagement in the workplace.

From intrinsic motivation to external motivators and the leadership within the company to the entire culture of the organization, multiple factors matter.


  • Culture of the Organization

One of the biggest employee engagement drivers is the culture of the organization as a whole.

Every organization has its own culture and values within the company. The culture of an organization has a lot to do with how people and coworkers interact with one another, the communication of everyone in the office, the ability to speak up if need be, and more.

For instance, if someone wants to share a new idea, the ability for them to do that in an open space demonstrates a great organizational culture. On the other hand, if someone is worried about speaking up about an idea, this is probably a more toxic culture.

Depending on how employees feel about the culture of an organization, this can impact their engagement in the company. If they don’t feel like they love the culture or fit into the best of their ability, they may not engage as much. They could keep themselves a bit more at a distance.


  • Specific Industry

Every industry is going to have a different reason for why employees feel engaged in the company. For instance, someone who’s working at a nonprofit organization may feel that the work needs to be meaningful in order to be engaged. However, an engineer may feel more engaged when dealing with safety in the workplace.

This is why focusing on your specific industry when dealing with employee engagement is important. There are different reasons that people may feel engaged in the organization. This could be different across industries or even in the same industry.

Engagement can differ on an individual level as well.

Depending on your industry, it may be beneficial to ask your employees through a survey about what keeps them engaged. This is a great way to feel out how they are doing and give you feedback on what you can improve upon within your organization.


  • Career Paths

Every individual’s career path is going to differ. Some people simply consider their job a place that they go to to make money. Other people consider their job a career that they want to continue to progress.

This means that these individuals within your own organization are going to be motivated by different things. What drives their employee engagement is different.

So how does this change the type of engagement that drives employees?

Let’s dive a little deeper.

If an employee is just starting out, they may not know exactly what they want out of their career path. That means that they are going to most likely consider compensation a main factor in their job and career path. That, along with strong leaders to help them hone in on their skills, will be drivers of engagement.

However, someone who is further along in their career may prioritize relationships with coworkers. Having friendships and people to rely on once you feel a bit more established could become a driver for engagement at the company.


  • Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual. This can drive employee engagement for some people, but is not going to for everyone. If someone doesn’t have that intrinsic motivation, they will need other drivers for engagement.

But for someone that has a lot of intrinsic motivation, they are motivated to do well for themselves without external factors. This internal motivation provides them with a sense of meaningfulness. And the more they do or get done, the more they will find value in the process or the organization.

Intrinsic motivation is also a huge motivator for those who have it in challenging times. If there are difficult times in the workplace, the motivation that comes from within will keep these people engaged and driven.


  • Type of Leadership

Leadership is going to look different in every company. This means that they were going to be different roles as well as people filling those roles.

Many people are driven to be more engaged by specific leaders. On the other hand, many people are actually the opposite if the leaders are not being true leaders.

This means that leadership in a company is a vital component of what drives employee engagement.

Let’s take this a step further.

If there is a leader in your organization that tells people what to do but doesn’t follow through on it or follow their own advice, this could impact employee engagement in a negative way. Leaders who are unorganized, do not conduct themselves properly, or cannot communicate are examples of the type of leader that may negatively impact employees.

So what kind of leader does it take to positively impact employee engagement?

Leaders who know how to communicate, have strong relationships with team members, lead by example, and conduct themselves in a positive and energetic way will drive more employee engagement. If people feel that they can trust a leader or relate to one, they are more likely going to be invested more than they would otherwise.


  • External Incentives

Of course, there are always external incentives that are going to drive employee engagement. As much as we’d like to believe that these factors do not contribute, they definitely do. For instance, if you offer higher pay, someone is most likely going to be more interested and engaged to keep that pay than if you paid them $10,000 less.

On top of a higher salary, offering bonuses and incentive pay is also a huge external incentive to drive employee engagement. For instance, if an employee knows that if they reach a specific sales threshold that they will get a bonus, they are most likely going to do everything they can to get there.

This will also benefit your business and your overall success. This is why it pays to treat your employees well!

The more they are incentivized, the more productive they will be. A boost in employee engagement and productivity means the company will be better off, which is the end goal!

So what else can you offer as a company for more external incentives? Try the following to drive employee engagement:

  • Offer better benefits than the competition
  • Increase competition among staff with higher-stakes incentives
  • Give out yearly bonuses based on performance
  • Give out prizes or free things throughout the course of the year depending on what employees like or need
  • Create out-of-office incentives like fitness programs

These incentives can boost employee engagement.


  • Brand Alignment

Although this may not be one that stands out right away, how aligned a brand is with its mission can also impact employee engagement.

If an employee discovers or feels that an organization is not acting consistently with its brand image, it may cause an employee to generate distrust or unease toward the organization. When that happens, productivity and engagement in the company often wane.

To keep employees engaged, you want to ensure that your organization is in alignment with your brand image. There needs to be a real connection that employees can see and feel.

Additionally, many people like to work and spend time doing something for the overall good, which means that the more you are focusing on this as an organization, the more employees will feel purpose and engagement in the company.

To put it simply, your organization should live out the brand image in everything that you do.


Final Thoughts

If you are ready to make a change and make your company the best out there in terms of employee engagement, we want to help!

At Woliba, we believe that making decisions to drive employee engagement is one of the best things you can do. You can check out our platform to help you make the right changes here! Request a demo if you are ready to see how it works.


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