Skip to main content

Employee Engagement

Why it Matters

Most managers are aware that the UNC System asked NC State faculty and staff to participate in the Employee Engagement Survey for a second time in early 2020.  So what exactly is employee engagement and why is does it matter? Although you can easily find a number of definitions for this term, one useful version is “the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work”.

Gallup defines engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace”. Gallup has conducted research on why this matters to managers and found a strong connection between employee engagement and key business outcomes. Specifically, they found that when employees are engaged at work there is less absenteeism, fewer safety incidents, less turnover, higher customer metrics, and higher productivity. Additionally, Gallup found that the manager has the most significant impact on the overall engagement of their teams.

Best Practices

There are a number of things managers can do to positively impact employee engagement:  provide role clarity, promote collegiality, provide opportunities for collaboration, foster the open and respectful exchange of ideas, express gratitude for a job well done, value workplace diversity, discuss career goals and professional development, understand people’s talents and strengths and let them bring those to work, and make sure people know how their roles tie into the broader mission and purpose.

The tangible connection between employee engagement and business outcomes means that employee engagement should be an important strategic priority.

Additional Resources


Manager Resources provided by DASA Human Resources (February 2020)