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How to get your team emotionally engaged at work

It’s no secret that employee engagement is critical to your organisation’s success.

Engaged employees have high levels of job performance, motivation and well-being.

Leading global engagement research firm Gallup states that engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move organisations forward.

Yet Gallup research shows that only 15% of employees across the world are engaged in their jobs.


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Engaged employees are emotionally invested in committing their time, talent and energy to their work, adding value to their team and advancing the organisation.

When it comes to employee engagement, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research suggests that there are two types of employee engagement - transactional and emotional.

Transactionally engaged employees are engaged with the job at hand. They are focused on earning a living and meeting the minimum expectations of their job.

These people believe they must come to work - and they see spending time at work as something they do in exchange for a paycheck.

On the other hand, emotionally engaged employees want to come to work. They have a profound connection to the organisation, are engaged with its vision and mission, driven by their own passion and they get a sense of joy and non-monetary reward from their job.


What does emotional engagement look like?


Aside from higher job performance, emotionally engaged employees:

  • Have higher levels of well-being
  • Are less likely to be stressed
  • Are more likely to have a positive work-life balance
  • Are likely to remain engaged through good times and bad.


Emotionally engaged employees are the people who will drive innovation and move your business forward.

According to Gallup, emotionally engaged employees are in roles where they excel and their talents are truly leveraged.

Because of this, these people come to work wanting to make a positive contribution every day. They put in extra effort, go the extra mile and have lower levels of absenteeism.

It’s easy to see why improving emotional engagement in your team should be a priority.

Before we get into some practical ways you can do this, let’s start with this question:


How does a leader or manager know who is emotionally engaged at work?


As part of their research and leadership in the area of employee engagement, Gallup suggest that am emotionally engaged employee can confidently agree with all of these statements:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my job
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best - every day
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind
  • My voice is heard and valued
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally.

If reading this list leaves you feeling nervous about your employees’ emotional engagement, here is some practical advice to get you on the right track.


How to improve emotional engagement in your team


70% of the variance in a team’s emotional engagement is related to management. As managers and leaders, you create the conditions for engagement - primarily through the relationships you establish with your team.

Are you an engagement-creating coach or engagement-destroying ‘boss’?

Below is a list of suggestions to drive employee engagement in your team:

  • Define and communicate a powerful vision
  • Demonstrate how everyday tasks align with and contribute to this vision and mission
  • Hire and develop emotionally invested managers
  • Empower your managers with the resources they need to build great teams
  • Ensure you have people in the right roles
  • Understand peoples’ strengths
  • Empower people with opportunities to use their strengths
  • Give people the training, resources and support they need to do their jobs well
  • Communicate regularly and with transparency
  • Give regular and genuine recognition and appreciation
  • Create social connections and enable healthy personal relationships in your team
  • Ask for opinions, ideas and feedback
  • Listen and act on the above
  • Provide opportunities to serve others ie through social responsibility initiatives that bring purpose and meaning.


If you’d like to talk about further strategies to emotionally engage your team, you can contact us here


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