What is employee engagement and how do you increase it? [+6 tips]

By Robin van der Meulen | 28/09/2021

Nowadays we are experiencing many developments at a rapid pace. Not only in the field of technology, but also in the labor market (due to the increasing shortage) and in the workplace: think of the transition to hybrid working and a higher workload experience due to corona. These transformations ensure that the employee experience has become more important to achieve good results for your organization. Employee engagement is also part of that employee experience. Why is it such a commonly used term, and what can you do with it as an HR manager?

First of all, let's dispel a myth: employee engagement and employee satisfaction are not the same. The latter only shows how satisfied employees are. What you don't see in this is their motivation, loyalty, or emotional commitment to the work and the organization.

If you focus on improving employee satisfaction, for example, you will not immediately see increased productivity among employees. Satisfied employees do experience positive feelings about their work, but that does not necessarily mean that they are motivated and committed to the organization. For that you have to get started with the employee engagement.

Satisfaction only says something about the past, a situation one looks back on. But it says nothing about the future and the action level of your employees; engagement does. One of the most striking differences between the satisfied employee and the engaged employee is the difference in behavior. Although a satisfied employee can behave conservatively, hesitantly and sometimes defensively, the engaged employee will pull the cart in your organization with pleasure and energy (Kodden & IMPACT on the job, 2018).

What is employee engagement?

Although employee satisfaction seems to speak for itself, the definition of employee engagement is somewhat more complicated. We define employee engagement as follows:

“Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel passion for their work and are committed to the organization.”

This means that employees genuinely care about the work they do and the organization they work at. They do not only work to make money, but are also aligned with the goals of the organization. This means higher motivation, but also higher productivity and effectiveness. They are intrinsically motivated to continuously be better than the day before.

Engaged employees are the engine behind change, your ambassadors. They work harder and more purposefully, are open to new ideas, are both mentally and physically healthy and start each working day with energy and fun. In other words, they contribute greatly to the success of the team and the organization.

But what exactly does employee engagement consist of and how can you influence it? In collaboration with Utrecht University, 2DAYSMOOD has developed the Employee Happiness Model, which resulted in 15 drivers. These are the buttons you can turn to increase employee engagement.

The advantages of engaged employees

According to the Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report (2017), there are many satisfied employees around the world. But only 15% of employees are really engaged in their work. In addition, even a relatively large group is actively disengaged, which hinders organizational development. So there is a lot of room for improvement. Below are a number of benefits of employee engagement:

  • Organizations that score high in employee engagement are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than organizations that score low. (Gallup's State of the Global Workplace, 2017)
  • Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization early.
  • Engaged employees are even 5x less likely to leave the organization than non-engaged employees.

Those statistics speak for themselves: employee engagement is essential for your organization. That's why you need to get started now.

How do you measure employee engagement?

As mentioned before, there are 15 drivers that contribute to improving employee engagement. These are again subdivided into 4 categories: Organization, People, Work and Wellbeing.

By measuring the 15 drivers, you find out how you score in these categories. This shows how engaged your employees are and whether they would go the extra mile for your organization.

Measure the employee Net Promotor Score

But another way to quickly find out how engaged your employees are is the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). With the eNPS you measure to what extent your employees recommend you as an employer to others. In other words: how loyal and committed your employees are to your organization. You measure this on a scale of 1 to 10. The scores are divided into three groups:

  • 0-6: They don't recommend you as an employer and are therefore not engaged (detractors).
  • 7-8: They don't recommend you, but they don't dissuade you either - they are indifferent (passives).
  • 9-10: These are ambassadors for your organization! They want the organization to perform as well as possible (ambassadors).

So you want to have as much of that last group as possible. And how do you create it? By scoring well on the 15 drivers. By measuring, you know concretely where you can take action. And by solving possible pain points, your employees will be happier with you as an employer. Take a look at the graph below: since more than 50 organizations started using continuous measurement, there has been a clear increase in their eNPS.


Employee engagement is therefore an essential part of your organization. To make it a little easier, we've listed some sample questions for improving employee engagement.

Read next: Download the questions for employee engagement

Do you want concrete steps and tips that you can apply immediately to improve your employee engagement? Download the handy 3-step plan from employee engagement experts below, with 3 action-oriented tips from practice as an extra. Do you want to go more in-depth with measurements? Then you have to measure each driver specifically. With the 2DAYSMOOD tool you can do that in just 15 seconds!

Are you ready to boost employee engagement in your team? Check here how to do this with the 2DAYSMOOD tool! Easy, innovative and fast, with continuously relevant insights!

Download the plan + tips for Employee Engagement!

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robin g
jeannette kool, 2daysmood
jeroen kuiper, 2daysmood
rianne klemann, 2daysmood
jan herman, 2daysmood
emma sluman, 2daysmood
ina haverhals, 2daysmood
inge beckers, 2daysmood

Happy employees make happy customers

These (HR) managers use 2DAYSMOOD and make real impact!

How? Our measuring method is the renewed employee survey, because it’s faster, easier and science based. A continuous source of data with which you can improve your (team) culture step-by-step and increase employee happiness. In short, that is profitable for your organization!

jan herman, 2daysmood

Jan-Herman Hanskamp

HR director, Royal Rotra Group
"2DAYSMOOD is highly valuable, because you gain continuous insight into your company culture, collect targeted feedback and are able to see trends."
emma sluman, 2daysmood

Emma Sluman

Project manager sustainable employability, ProRail
"Since we use 2DAYSMOOD every week, we have more grip on our culture. For instance, the experience of workload and what drives employees."

Rita Blankenberg

HR Business Partner Digital, Municipality Alphen a/d Rijn
“The look and feel is happy and the data is useful. For example, the continuous feedback divided into teams, shows you exactly what you can improve.”
robin g

Robin Gerritsen

Director Recruitment, Tempo-Team (Randstad)
“Firstly the number of happy employees has increased from 66% to 80% in five months. And secondly we continue to see a positive trend!”

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