The level of Employee Engagement in your organisation defines its productivity and output. There are different levels of Employee Engagement. The better the quality of engagement that your employees show, the better the performance of the organisation will be.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement is the level of emotional importance an employee places on their job and their organisation.

Why is Employee Engagement Relevant?

High levels of Employee Engagement is linked with:

  • Increased productivity
  • Higher talent retention rate
  • Greater customer satisfaction

In today’s economic climate, Employee Engagement plays a vital role.

How to Understand the Levels of Employee Engagement?

To understand how engaged an employee is, one must understand their needs.

The Hierarchy of Needs

The needs of an individual falls into 5 levels, according to Abraham Maslow. Let’s delve into how one’s job helps one fulfil their needs.

  1. Physiological needs: One’s salary helps them buy food and afford housing.
  2. Safety needs: The job also helps one invest in their future and feel secure.
  3. Love and belonging: The work culture in one’s organisation may help them fulfil the need of belonging to a strong community.
  4. Self-esteem: One’s job may also help one feel respected and free in society.
  5. Self-actualisation: If one can perform at their maximum potential and be the best version of themselves through their job, they will fulfil their need for self-actualisation.

The Disengaged Employee vs The Engaged Employee

Disengaged EmployeeEngaged Employee
Their job only helps them fulfil the first two levels of their needs.Their job helps them fulfil their needs at all levels.
They only show up for the monetary benefits provided by their job.They are engaged with their organisation and job at a level beyond just the monetary benefits.
They are likely to leave.They are unlikely to leave, even for greater monetary offers.

A New Paradigm for Analysing Engagement

The hierarchy of needs provides a useful lens to view Employee Engagement.

The higher up in the hierarchy of needs a job fulfils, the more the Employee Engagement will be. The levels of Employee Engagement can be described in three terms.

Levels of Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement occurs on 3 distinct levels.

  1. The Disengaged Employee:

This type of employee might not even be getting their first two levels of needs met. They do not place their long-term safety in the hands of the current employer and seek to actively change their organisation of work.

  1. The Unengaged Employee:

The unengaged employee only does not reach the level of self-actualisation. In many cases, they only get their first two levels of needs fulfilled.

While they may not be looking for an active change in employment, they certainly do not perform at optimal levels. They do not actively chase growth for themselves or their own company. However, there is scope for improvement of job engagement in these employees.

  1. The Engaged Employee:

The engaged employee is the most active in their professional pursuits. Since their other needs are fully met, their primary focus is self-actualisation.

They find that their self-actualisation needs are fulfilled by their current job. Hence, they are highly engaged in their job, their organisation, and their team.

They become leaders in the workplace and set the pace for others.

Strategies to Raise Levels of Employee Engagement

Follow the following strategies to increase the levels of Employee Engagement within your organisation:

  • Provide greater prospects of personal growth and development to employees. Employee and organisational growth follow a symbiotic relationship
  • Provide better benefits to employees, like a comprehensive perks and benefits program that fulfils the needs of employees greater than just the first two levels
  • Create a culture around frequent Rewards and Recognition as they are linked with higher levels of Employee Engagement.

Key Takeaways:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs becomes an effective lens through which we can analyse levels of Employee Engagement. This is important because engaged employees create tremendous organisational growth. Engaged employees get their need for self-actualisation fulfilled through their jobs. HR leaders can use this principle to provide a space for employees in which they can self-actualise.


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