How to Drive Employee Engagement


Author: Tashania Morris

“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

– Jack Welch

Emily has been an accountant for 2 years.  She currently works at a small accounting firm with hopes of climbing the corporate ladder.  During her first year, she was a rock star, however, once she realized that there was little room for growth a lot has changed. She is not as enthusiastic as she used to be, she is constantly surfing the internet and updating her social media status while at work.  She has developed a reputation for being absent.  Compared to her performance last year, her productivity has decreased tremendously, however, as long as she performs at the same level of her team, there is nothing to worry about.  Her manager is not surprised or alarmed by her behavior, it is generally expected.  She has been with the company for over 8 years and has seen a lot of people come and go.  As long as Emily continues to perform at the same level as her fellow coworkers, there will be no problems.  It is evident that Emily is no longer engaged and her manager has no clue what needs to be done.  Even worse, her entire team is actively disengaged and she doesn’t even know.  This team is not alone, according to the Gallup poll, [1]32% of employees are engaged, 50.8% are not engaged and 17.2% are actively disengaged.  The workers were placed into three different categories, based on their level of engagement.  They were characterized as:

Engaged Workers  Work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company.  They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
Not- Engaged Employees are essentially “checked out”.  They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – – but not energy or passion – – into their work.
Actively Disengaged Employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness.  Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.

How is employee engagement affecting your bottom-line?

Your employee engagement has a direct impact on your company’s bottom line.  The Gallup Poll states that “[2]disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year”.  Engagement concerns need to be addressed as soon as they are noticed.  They should not be pushed to the side silently and forgotten about.  While Emily’s manager is not sure what is going on, the longer she waits to address the issue, the more money the company loses in productivity.  Actively disengaged workers tend to miss work a lot, or they end up leaving the company for better opportunities.  This results in a problem of absenteeism and/or high turnover, both of which are costly for the company.  Actively disengaged workers, if not dealt with swiftly, can turn actively engaged workers into actively disengaged workers with their negativity.  These actively disengaged workers can be known as the “Negative Nancy” and can easily affect team morale.

How to Drive Employee Engagement?

With only 32% of workers being engaged, it is evident that most companies have an engagement problem that they are struggling to address.  Emily lost interest when she realized that there was little room for advancement, and employees were not given an incentive for being overachievers. She felt that her hard work wasn’t paying off and resorted to doing the bare minimum even though she was capable of accomplishing more.  Organizations have to become strategic in the ways that they drive engagement.  Not all managers and supervisors are great at being leaders, it is often said that people don’t leave companies, they leave their managers.  It takes a leader and not a manager to create and maintain an engaged workforce.  Listed below are some recommendations on how to drive employee engagement:

  • Conduct an assessment – In order to get an accurate take on the situation, an assessment must be done. This will give a clear indication of what is currently broken and what isn’t.
  • Teach managers and supervisors how to lead – Not all managers are great leaders, and it takes a leader to maintain an engaged workforce. Managers can either inspire a team to do great work or undermine and weaken the team dynamics.
  • Provide employees with tools and resources – By providing employees with the tools and resources they need, they will feel empowered to get the job done. Too often employees are expected to produce without the proper training, tools, and resources.
  • Get to know your employees & motivate them – It is extremely important to understand what motivates your employees to work. People are either motivated by internal or external factors.
  • Create advancement and job enrichment opportunities – Teaching employees new skills and competencies send the message that the company cares about their careers by equipping them with new skills and abilities.
  • Recognition & Incentives – This proves that you appreciate and value the hard work your employees are doing. If people don’t feel valued, they won’t stay with the company.
  • Encourage open and honest conversations – Setting clear expectations and encouraging employees to voice their opinions without fear of retaliation.
  • Measure engagement by implementing surveys and feedbacks – Engagement must be tied to the company’s business strategy. The only way to know if something is working is to measure it.  Don’t forget, if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.

Solving the Engagement Problem

Emily’s manager should have conducted an assessment of the team to get a better understanding of what was lacking.  Why are employees excelling during their first year on the job, while their productivity decreases during the 2nd year? Is there something that can be done to maintain engagement throughout the employee’s tenure?  These are some questions Emily’s manager should have asked herself.

Conducting an assessment is the first step in gathering vital information about the employee engagement concerns within the organization.  Getting feedback from employees is crucial.  This can be done by using surveys, questionnaires, and having face to face conversations.  Exit interviews are a great way to get feedback about what the company could have done better to retain employees.  Once the data has been gathered, it is essential to look at trends and patterns.  Next, you will need to create a plan of action and decide how it will be implemented.   Metrics must be put in place to measure the plan and its outcomes.  Keeping your organization engaged is not a one-time event, this should be done on a continuous basis.  Stephen Covey once said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers”.

Tashania Morris, MSHRM, SHRM-CP, CDF, is an intern for IOD who loves all things HR. Her personal mission is to empower, educate and promote change. She can be reached at  For more information about our certification programs and professional development courses, please visit our website at

The Institute of Organization Development (IOD) offers an online Talent Management Certification Program (TMCP) for those interested in advancing their careers in the field of Talent Management. Participants learn how to help their organizations implement an aligned talent management strategy and receive the guidelines, tools, and resources needed to be successful.

The Talent Management Certification Program (TMCP) is offered online over 8 months, 3 hours per month to maximize your development as a Talent Management Strategist. Our expert faculty provides interactive discussions, activities, and examples that enrich your learning experience.  For more information about our certification programs and professional development workshops, visit our website or email us at




Get updates and learn from the best


1 2 3 5 6

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategies

DE&I consulting services focus on helping organizations foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Consultants assess the organization's current DE&I initiatives, develop DE&I strategies and policies, conduct training on unconscious bias and cultural competence, establish employee resource groups, and guide leaders in creating inclusive leadership practices. They work with organizations to attract and retain diverse talent, create inclusive hiring processes, and implement programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. DE&I consultants aim to create an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and have equal opportunities for growth.

Organizational Development Consulting

Organizational development (OD) consulting services focus on helping leaders lead change initiatives to improving organizational effectiveness and results. Consultants work closely with leaders to assess the organization's current state, identify areas for improvement, create action plans and design interventions, and implement changes to enhance employee engagement, teamwork, leadership development, and organizational culture. They facilitate strategic planning, conduct organizational assessments, and implement initiatives such as talent management, succession planning, performance management, and employee training and development programs. OD consultants aim to align people, processes, and systems to drive sustainable organizational growth and change.

Mentoring Program

Mentoring Programs involve establishing formal or informal relationships between experienced employees (mentors) and less experienced employees (mentees) within an organization. Consultants assist organizations in designing and implementing mentoring programs that facilitate knowledge transfer, skill development, and career growth. They establish mentoring guidelines, match mentors and mentees based on specific criteria, provide training and resources for mentors, and monitor the progress of the mentoring relationships. Mentoring programs aim to enhance employee development, engagement, and retention by leveraging the expertise and wisdom of experienced professionals.

Performance Management

Performance Management involves establishing systems and processes to monitor, assess, and improve employee performance. Consultants work with organizations to design and implement performance management frameworks that align with organizational goals and values. This includes setting clear performance expectations, defining key performance indicators (KPIs), establishing regular feedback and coaching mechanisms, conducting performance evaluations, and linking performance outcomes to rewards and recognition. Performance management systems aim to drive individual and team performance, align employee efforts with organizational objectives, and support employee development.

Job Redesign/Analysis

Job Redesign/Analysis is the process of reevaluating and modifying job roles and responsibilities to optimize efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Consultants analyze existing job descriptions, tasks, and workflows to identify opportunities for improvement. They may conduct job analyses to determine essential skills, competencies, and qualifications required for each role. Based on these findings, consultants provide recommendations for job redesign, such as clarifying roles and responsibilities, redistributing tasks, and implementing automation or technology solutions to streamline processes and enhance job satisfaction.

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, 360° Feedback

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, and 360 Feedback are individual-focused strategies that aim to enhance leadership and professional effectiveness. Consultants provide executive coaching services to senior leaders, offering personalized guidance, support, and feedback to help leaders develop their strengths, address developmental areas, and enhance their leadership capabilities. Competency development involves identifying and developing specific skills and competencies required for success in particular roles or functions. 360-degree feedback involves collecting feedback from multiple sources, including peers, subordinates, and superiors, to provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual's strengths and areas for improvement.

Culture Strategies

Culture Strategies focus on shaping and transforming the organizational culture to create a positive and productive work environment. Consultants assist organizations in assessing their current culture, identifying areas for improvement, and developing strategies to align the culture with the desired values, behaviors, and goals. This may involve initiatives such as defining core values, establishing cultural norms, enhancing communication and collaboration practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Talent Management Strategies

Talent Management Strategies involve designing and implementing initiatives to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to develop comprehensive talent management strategies that encompass recruitment and selection processes, onboarding programs, performance management systems, career development frameworks, succession planning, and employee retention strategies. The goal is to ensure the organization has the right people in the right roles, with opportunities for growth and development that align with their skills and aspirations.

Career Planning/High Potentials

Career Planning/High Potentials initiatives involve designing strategies and programs to support employees in planning and advancing their careers within the organization. Consultants work with organizations to establish career development frameworks, provide guidance on career paths and progression opportunities, and assist in identifying and nurturing high-potential employees. They may offer career counseling, development planning, and training programs to enhance employees' skills, competencies, and knowledge needed for career growth. Career planning initiatives aim to engage and retain talented individuals by providing them with a clear path for advancement and professional development.

Change Management

Change management consulting services support organizations in managing and implementing significant organizational changes. Consultants help identify change management strategies and plans, assess the impact of change, and design effective communication and training programs to support employee adoption and buy-in. They work with leaders and teams to overcome resistance, address cultural and behavioral challenges, and foster a positive change culture. Change management consultants provide guidance throughout the change process, ensuring a smooth transition and successful adoption of new processes, systems, or structures.

Organization Change (OCM) Strategy

Organization Change Management (OCM) Strategy refers to the planned approach or roadmap that an organization follows to implement and manage changes within its structure, processes, technologies, or culture. OCM strategies involve identifying the need for change, setting goals, creating a plan, and executing and evaluating the change process. Organization Change Consulting involves developing and implementing effective strategies to manage and navigate organizational change. The consultant focuses on helping organizations transition smoothly from their current state to a desired future state, considering various factors such as technology advancements, market shifts, mergers and acquisitions, or internal restructuring. Consultants specializing in OCM work closely with organizational leaders to identify OCM processes and help implement a consistent approach to change management, and train internal consultants to lead change management projects and provide support throughout the change process. Consultants may develop assessments, develop communication and training programs, and provide guidance on change implementation to ensure successful organizational transitions. OCM design typically includes steps such as stakeholder analysis, communication and training plans, risk assessment, and monitoring progress to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption of the changes.

Human Resources Strategies

Human resources (HR) consulting services assist organizations in optimizing their HR practices and processes. Consultants work with HR departments to enhance talent acquisition and retention strategies, develop compensation and benefits programs, design performance management systems, implement employee engagement initiatives, and ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations. They may also provide guidance on organizational restructuring, workforce planning, employee relations, and HR technology implementation. HR consultants help organizations align their HR practices with business objectives and create a positive and productive work environment.

Team Development Strategies

Team Development Strategies focus on improving the effectiveness and performance of teams within an organization. Consultants work with teams to enhance communication, collaboration, and decision-making processes. They facilitate team-building activities, provide training on effective teamwork and conflict resolution, and help establish clear roles and responsibilities. Team development strategies may also involve conducting assessments to identify team dynamics and strengths, and designing interventions to improve team cohesion, trust, and productivity.

Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee Engagement Strategies aim to create a work environment where employees feel motivated, committed, and connected to the organization. Consultants assist organizations in measuring employee engagement levels, identifying factors that influence engagement, and developing strategies to enhance it. These strategies may include initiatives such as fostering a positive work culture, improving communication and recognition practices, providing opportunities for growth and development, promoting work-life balance, and empowering employees to contribute their ideas and opinions. The goal is to create a work environment that fosters high employee morale, satisfaction, and productivity.

Leadership Development Strategies

Leadership Development Strategies focus on cultivating effective leaders within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to assess leadership capabilities, identify leadership gaps, and design leadership development programs that enhance leadership skills, competencies, and behaviors. These strategies may include executive education, coaching and mentoring programs, leadership training workshops, and succession planning initiatives. The aim is to build a strong leadership pipeline and foster a culture of leadership excellence throughout the organization.

Organization Design/Redesign

Organization Design or Redesign refers to the process of structuring an organization to align its structure, roles, processes, and systems with its strategic objectives. It involves reviewing and potentially revising elements such as reporting lines, departmental structure, job roles and responsibilities, decision-making processes, and overall organizational hierarchy to optimize efficiency, coordination, and effectiveness within the organization, ensuring that it is well-positioned to achieve its goals. Organization Systems Design or Redesign consulting focuses on designing or restructuring the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance. This service involves analyzing existing organizational systems, such as workflows, communication channels, decision-making processes, and information management systems, to identify areas for improvement. Consultants work closely with organizational leaders to redesign these systems, incorporating best practices, automation, and streamlining processes to enhance productivity and achieve organizational goals. They may also provide recommendations on implementing new technologies or software to support the redesigned systems and ensure successful integration within the organization.

Organization Culture Change/Transformation

Organization Culture Change or Transformation involves deliberately altering the beliefs, values, behaviors, and norms that define the culture of an organization. Organization Culture Change consulting involves assisting organizations in transforming their existing culture or establishing a new desired culture within the organization. The organizational culture encompasses shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms that shape the way people work and interact within an organization. Culture change consultants help organizations identify their current culture, define the desired culture, and create strategies to bridge the gap between the two. They may conduct cultural assessments, facilitate workshops and training programs, develop communication strategies, and provide guidance to leaders and employees on how to align their behaviors and practices with the desired culture. This change is typically aimed at aligning the organizational culture with the company's vision, mission, and strategic objectives. Culture change initiatives often require a shift in leadership style, employee engagement, communication practices, and organizational practices to create a new cultural environment that supports desired outcomes such as increased collaboration, innovation, or adaptability.

Systems Design

Systems Design refers to the process of creating or modifying the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness. It involves analyzing the existing systems, identifying areas for improvement, and designing new systems or reconfiguring existing ones to meet organizational goals. Systems design may include aspects such as technology infrastructure, software applications, data management, workflow processes, and automation to enhance operational performance and streamline organizational activities.

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the process of defining an organization's direction, setting goals, and formulating action plans to achieve those goals. It involves assessing the organization's current state, identifying opportunities and challenges, and developing strategies to effectively allocate resources and achieve the desired outcomes. Strategic planning typically includes analyzing the external environment, conducting internal assessments, setting objectives, formulating strategies, and establishing a framework for monitoring and adapting to changes in the business landscape. Strategy consulting services focus on assisting organizations in formulating and implementing strategic plans to achieve their long-term objectives. Strategy consultants also help organizations align their vision, mission, values, processes, and organizational structure with the strategic goals.

Succession Planning

Succession Planning is the process of identifying and developing internal talent to fill key leadership positions within an organization when they become vacant. Consultants work with organizations to create succession planning strategies that align with the organization's long-term goals. They assess the current talent pool, identify high-potential employees, and design development programs to groom them for future leadership roles. Succession planning may involve creating development plans, providing leadership training, and implementing strategies to ensure a smooth transition when key positions need to be filled.