Employee Engagement 101 – A Primer


You Can’t Substantially Improve Employees Net Worth. You CAN Improve their SELF Worth

My core belief as an employee engagement speaker and consultant is that most managers / leaders cannot significantly impact employees net worth, but literally everyone – managers / leaders / co-workers CAN substantially impact the self worth of employees, direct reports and peers.

In this article we look at the “C” in CHAPS and the Power of a Compliment to enhance the workplace environment but briefly, the  CHAPS Micro-Goals relate to:

C – Compliment one person today.

H – Hear ‘Thank You’ (See more on Employee Engagement TIps “Hear”)

A – Address colleagues / customers with their name (See more on Address Colleagues with name)

P – Positive words create positive impact (See Video and Article)

S – Smile – as in, Put a smile on someone’s face.



Definition of Employee Engagement

The Big Dog in the Employee Engagement Space – Gallup, defines Employee Engagement as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.”

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Managers) says “the term employee engagement relates to the level of an employee’s commitment and connection to an organization.”

Another way to look at it is “Are employees just showing up?”

This might be something managers and leaders don’t want to hear, but if your employees are not engaged and simply “clocking in,” don’t blame them. Instead, look in the mirror. As a manager, your role is to motivate your team and employees to be as productive as possible. Although it is not always easy, it can be done. When a structured, well planned program is implemented to improve the workplace, it will make a difference and positively impact retention.

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ROI on Employee Engagement


Below, I provide some quantitative analysis re the ROI on Employee Engagement, but just as important is the qualitative analysis.

When dealing with clients who have substantial issues with employee turnover I ask two questions.

  • What difference will it make to you personally if employee turnover is substantially reduced. (Forget about the difference it makes to the company)

  • What difference will it make to your home / personal / domestic situation if employee turnover is reduced substantially. (Forget about the difference it makes to the company)

In any high turnover environment, the same answer crops up time after time – “Reduced stress.” A reduction in turnover has obvious financial benefits, but the impact it can have on employee well-being is not always appreciated. Less stressed employees are more productive employees. Less stressed employees generate a less hostile, more welcoming workplace. Less stressed employees are happier at home which will make them happier at work.

The real power of these questions is that it forces people to appreciate that THE biggest beneficiary of improved employee engagement can be the employee. You can not get any better motivation!

Quantifying the ROI on improved employee engagement is a difficult task but a number of studies have been published.

The most quoted study is by Gallup which found substantial improvements in:

Productivity: 17%

Reduced absenteeism: 41%

Turnover reduction: 25%+

Profitability: 21%.

The study also suggested double-digit improvement in customer satisfaction and sales also.

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Engagement Levels / Descriptions


  • BlessingWhite (acquired by GP Strategies) has an interesting take on Engagement levels.

  • The Engaged: High contribution and high satisfaction

  • Almost Engaged: Medium to high contribution and satisfaction

  • Honeymooners & Hamsters: High satisfaction but low contribution

  • Crash & Burners: High contribution but low satisfaction

  • The Disengaged: Low contribution and satisfaction

For more Employee Engagement Advice and Videos, SEE

Compliment one person today. (SEE Employee Engagement article on The Power of a Compliment).

Hear ‘Thank You’  (SEE Employee Engagement Ideas # 2) 

Article written by IrishmanSpeaks Conor Cunneen, who is a happily exiled Chicago based Irishman and keynote speaker. Conor has a deep and abiding passion to help corporations and business entities improve employee retention by providing a better workplace environment and treating people with respect.

More articles on Employee Engagement Advice, Culture and Employee Retention

Employee Engagement Tips – A brief primer on CHAPS

See: Reviews of Employee Engagement Software

Amazon Books on Employee Engagement



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