Skip to main content

15Five acquires Emplify and relaunches human-centered platform Learn more

7 Questions You Must Be Able to Answer Before You Can Improve Employee Engagement

Nicole Klemp
Nicole Klemp

Before you can build a comprehensive employee engagement strategy, there are a few pivotal questions you need to answer about your organization. These are questions that get to the heart of your business, why it exists, and what makes your organization (and your people) special.

1. Why do we exist?

Aside from making money, what is the purpose of your company? Employees (particularly millennials, today’s largest segment of employees) want to work for organizations that have a clear mission they can get behind. People want to be inspired and know that by doing their best work, they’re helping a cause bigger than themselves.

2. What are our key strategies?

In other words, how do you go about accomplishing your mission? Your employees will have more confidence in the company and leadership if they understand the business approach and how you achieve success.

Maybe you lead with innovation; perhaps you’re known for exceptional customer experience. Whatever those strategies and differentiators are, make sure employees have a clear understanding of how they’re put into action, and how their day-to-day work contributes.

3. How do we measure success?

As a business leader, you can likely rattle off your top KPIs (e.g., NPS, quality score, revenue growth) in an instant. But do your employees know all these metrics just as well?

Regardless of their position or role, every person who works at your company should know how success is measured. It helps them understand how their work makes an impact and gives them the motivation to improve processes and set higher expectations for themselves and their teams.

4. What does our ideal culture look like?

Maybe you already have your ideal workplace culture, or perhaps you have some areas you want to improve upon or change. The important thing is that you can define what it looks like.

Keep in mind that employee engagement and culture go hand-in-hand. Culture doesn’t mean having a foosball table or snacks in the office. There’s nothing wrong with having those things, but they don’t define your culture. Your culture is the atmosphere in which your people work, how they’re enabled to collaborate with others, and how they’re empowered to perform at a high level.

5. What makes our organization unique?

Hopefully, you can quickly come up with a few unique traits that make your organization special. For example, maybe you’re known for remote work and hang your hat on the fact that your employees can work from anywhere. That’s something that makes you unique and contributes to engagement.

Even if you believe these traits are things people inherently know about your company, it’s still a good idea to document them somewhere. (You can also include some of those aspirational traits you’d like to see in your ideal culture.)

6. Who are our employees and what do they need?

Especially in a growing company, it’s helpful to take a step back and evaluate the segments of employees in your organization. Make sure you (and they) are clear on what they do, what they’re responsible for, and what their unique needs are.

Also, consider the ways you’re communicating with employees. Different methods will work better for different types of employees. If they work in the field, they may do best with mobile technology methods. If they sit at a desk, email or in person communication may be best. Not sure how to best reach certain employees? Ask them.

7. Who are our most engaged employees, and what makes them so?

Think about standout employees in your organization. You know, the ones you’d fight to keep if a competitor came sniffing around to poach them. What is it about them that makes them unique and so engaged in their work? Those characteristics should help set the bar for how you help bring others up to that level and inform the type of people you want to bring into the organization in the future.

Were these questions helpful? Document them!

We created a workbook to help you document the answers to these questions. It also includes a worksheet for setting engagement goals and provides tips for creating engaged teams.

Get the 7 Steps to Engaging and Retaining Top Talent workbook to get started.

Unlock the true potential of your people.

Get Started