It’s all about energy... People often confuse job satisfaction with employee engagement.  But that burst of energy you feel actually comes from being engaged in your work - not just with how satisfied you are while you’re there. Engagement is an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort and persistence toward organizational goals.  

Per-Person Productivity (Engagement) =   Talent  ✖︎  (relationship + right expectation + recognition)

UP: performance, quality, enrollment, community support

DOWN: turnover, accidents/incidents, absenteeism, damaged/missing items

Elements of sustained engagement (Gallup, SHRM):

  • Autonomy: Employees need to have autonomy to make decisions and "own" aspects of their work.

  • Challenge: Employees need to feel challenged with meaningful work.

  • Feedback: Employees need to receive meaningful feedback to learn and innovate.

  • Manager support: Employees need to have a manager that supports them

Well-being is an employee's quality of life - how "healthy" she is physically and emotionally and whether she's improving and living the best life she can.  When people feel their employer supports their well-being, they are:

  • 38% more engaged

  • 18% more likely to go the extra mile

  • 28% more likely to recommend their workplace

  • 17% more likely to still be working there in 1 year

Their energy is more sustainable.  They are more engaged and productive.  They are more resilient. But, well-being has to be replenished which may look different for each employee.  Make sure they have time to recharge and that they take it. (Quantum Workplace Study)

Your organization is the most vulnerable for losing employees when:

  • They don't feel trust in the workplace.

  • The basis for trust is compromised.

  • They don't feel supported by their organization (manager).

  • They discover an alternative organization where they'll feel the the positive effects of engagement.


  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

  7. At work, do my opinions seems to count?

  8. Does the mission/purpose of my organization make me feel my job is important?

  9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

  10. Do I have a best friend at work?

  11. In the last six month, has someone at work talked to me about my progress

  12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?


  1. Care for people, not just employees. Life outside of work; aspirations; strengths & weaknesses; development & personal goals.

  2. Be thoughtful about job design (and redesign). A balance of challenge, accomplishment, and ownership (problem solving).

  3. Value the management function (ability & desire). Training, support, expectation; peers. Employee advocates focused on trust.

  4. Actively support growth and learning. Opportunities for movement, learning new skills, and understanding career aspirations.

  5. Provide regular feedback (timely, specific, actionable), beyond positive. Employees crave clear, constructive suggestions.

  6. Give employees a voice. Informal, formal, qualitative, quantitative. Listen to what they say and take action.

  7. Create clarity and connection. Employees need to feel connection to your organization's reason for being.

  8. Go deeper with empowerment. Push decision making and autonomy to the front lines (greatest assets). Focus on overall strategy and alignment so as to allow employees to run with their work.

  9. Focus on leadership. Believable, honest communicators who create trust throughout the organization.

  10. Identify the cultural barriers to engagement. Be intentional about building a culture that aligns to your organizational strategy and supports engagement.

Student Engagement/Hope and Character:

Gallup’s Student (and Hope) Engagement Survey: Engaged students are 2.5x more likely to say they get excellent grades than their actively disengaged peers.

The Liston Group’s Character Growth Index: The First Character Development Assessment. CGI assesses 16 character strengths determined to be most important for adolescent development by character researchers (in Positive Psychology, character education, and Positive Youth Development). 

Parent Engagement:

Gallup’s Measure of Parent Engagement: The survey builds on customer engagement and behavioral economic principles to get to the heart of a parent's emotional connection with his or her child's school.