Organizational Wellness

How to Maximize Employee Engagement and Performance

Dec 1, 2023
Last Updated May 8, 2024

While finding qualified candidates is an important aspect of hiring, creating a strong team doesn’t end there. More companies are realizing the importance of employee engagement in keeping their employees committed to their goals — both individual and organizational. Only a third of US employees report that they are engaged at work, according to a study from Gallup. So what can your company do to boost this number?

Understanding the relationship between employee engagement and performance is a great place to start. Engaged employees are more likely to contribute their best efforts, which means increased productivity. 

This connection is part of a positive cycle, where increased engagement leads to higher performance, and higher performance fosters greater engagement. 

Learn some actionable strategies that your organization can implement to boost both engagement and performance. Utilizing practical approaches that nurture employee satisfaction can help transform your company culture.


The Link Between Employee Engagement and Performance

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment employees bring to their work. Essentially, it’s about how employees go beyond their basic responsibilities to embody the company’s mission and objectives. Engaged employees are not merely satisfied with their jobs but actively invested in the organization’s success.

Employee performance, on the other hand, refers to the level of effectiveness with which an individual completes their responsibilities. Factors such as productivity and quality of work all play a role in employee performance. It is important to align employee effort with strategic objectives for sustainable success. Performance is a key indicator of your organization’s ability to maintain a competitive edge in your industry. 

Although engagement and performance are different metrics of a successful organization, they share a symbiotic relationship. Engaged employees, driven by a sense of connection to the company's goals, tend to exhibit higher levels of motivation. This heightened engagement often translates into improved job performance as employees invest discretionary effort, going above and beyond their basic job requirements. High performance can boost engagement by fostering a sense of accomplishment. When employees are recognized for their efforts, it reinforces a positive feedback loop. 

Factors Influencing Performance

Understanding what influences employee performance can help you unlock the potential of your workforce. Measuring performance and rewarding employees for their efforts is one way to prioritize employee engagement. Consider these factors to help you make the most of performance reviews. 

  1. Leadership and Management. Effective leadership practices set the tone for employee performance. Supportive leaders play a vital role in empowering high performers by providing clear guidance and plenty of opportunities for growth. 
  2. Workplace Culture. An inclusive work environment that values diversity and collaboration can enhance performance. Another way to create a positive culture is by promoting healthy work-life wellness. A company that shows how it values employees can boost morale — and productivity. 
  3. Training and Development. Continuous learning opportunities are a staple in employee growth. Organizations that invest in training programs can empower their employees to excel in their roles. 
  4. Communication and FeedbackRegular feedback and open communication channels are crucial for employee performance. Clearly communicating expectations helps employees better understand their roles. Providing feedback is an effective way to align individual goals with company-wide priorities. 

Committed and connected to their work, engaged employees show higher productivity and creativity. Their emotional investment leads to proactive approaches to different tasks. They also contribute innovative ideas and stay focused, resulting in improved efficiency. Nurturing employee engagement is vital for organizations aiming to optimize performance.

Strategies for Maximizing Employee Engagement

Recognizing What Matters

Before you can start increasing engagement, it helps to understand what motivates employees and use these to tailor your strategies. There are a few different ways to identify these motivators, including: 

You may be surprised at some of the things that drive your employees to succeed. However, acknowledging what keeps them focused on their goals creates a more engaged workforce.

Prioritizing Regular Communication

It comes as no surprise that open communication is a cornerstone of employee engagement. After all, regular updates about organizational goals promote transparency. Constructive feedback is also important as it strengthens the relationship between employees and managers. Encouraging a culture of open dialogue demonstrates a commitment to hearing and connecting with employees.

Providing Career Development Opportunities

Investing in employee growth is another powerful strategy for boosting engagement. This could be as simple as training programs for skill enhancement. Mentorships are another effective tool for career development – they also contribute to retention since employees gain connections with other team members. HR can help by establishing clear paths for career progression within the organization and offering support to employees as they work towards their goals. 

Creating a Positive Work Environment

Every company has a unique culture, and it is important to recognize the impact it has on employee engagement. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can go a long way in promoting job satisfaction. You can foster positivity in the workplace by engaging in team-building activities and implementing wellness programs. Consider monitoring the Employee Net Promoter Score for insights into employee satisfaction. 

Rewarding Success

Many people are motivated by recognition for a job well done. Acknowledging achievements, both big and small, reinforces positive behavior and contributes to a culture of appreciation. There are many ways to recognize and reward success, but some of the most effective include personalized recognition ceremonies and tangible rewards like bonuses or additional time off. These gestures help boost morale and create a sense of belonging among the company. 

Combining Engagement and Performance

Rethinking Performance Reviews

Traditionally, performance reviews have been seen as a necessary, but overwhelming process. Adjusting your approach to combine performance management and employee engagement to help your employees get more out of the process. Rather than viewing reviews as a one-time annual event, you can embrace ongoing conversations that focus on continuous improvement. Shifting the focus from past performance to future goals can also make discussions more constructive. 

Tools for Employee Influence

Empowering employees to have a say in their own performance is another way to boost engagement. This involves providing tools and platforms that enable employees to set goals and track their progress. By involving employees in shaping their performance journey, your organization can tap into their intrinsic motivation, leading to a sense of ownership over their professional development. 

Regular Check-Ins

Frequent conversations with direct leaders are crucial for ensuring employees feel connected to their work and the organization. Regular check-ins provide opportunities for clarification and feedback, as well as the chance to address challenges promptly. These discussions can be incorporated into scheduled one-on-one meetings or even informal conversations. The continuous dialogue helps foster a culture of transparency and support.

360-Degree Feedback

To evaluate employee performance and enhance engagement, organizations can implement 360-degree feedback. This approach involves gathering input from various sources, providing a holistic perspective. Effectively implementing 360-degree feedback requires a thoughtful approach, emphasizing constructive criticism and fostering a culture of trust. This feedback approach contributes to a more well-rounded and informed performance management process.

Fostering Employee Engagement and Performance with Wellbeing

Optimizing employee engagement and performance is not just a goal — it's a strategic part of a company's success. A workforce that is truly engaged and consistently performs at its best is a driving force behind innovation and business excellence. Companies that invest in creating a positive work environment with engagement strategies are better positioned to thrive, no matter the industry. 

Wellhub recognizes the profound impact of a healthy and engaged workforce. In fact, 93% of workers consider their wellbeing at work just as important as their salary. Lead your organization towards sustained success when you focus on holistic strategies that enhance engagement and performance. Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today for more tips on investing in the health of your employees.

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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