Employee Engagement:
What is it? Why does it matter? How do we build it?

Posted: July 23, 2020

By Belinda Kovachi

We’ve all heard about employee engagement – we know it’s important to have it and that our business will benefit from it. But what does this really mean, and how can companies build employee engagement?

What does an engaged employee look like?

  • Engaged employees are people who are enthusiastic about coming to work. They’re not just there to put in the time and get paid.
  • They are the people who are interested and inspired by the work that they do. They find purpose and satisfaction in a job well done.
  • Engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile – they put in extra effort, contribute ideas more frequently and are more focused on achieving company objectives.
  • Engaged employees respect and admire their team members and are more collaborative and more likely to share knowledge and assist co-workers.
  • It’s more likely that you will retain engaged employees – engagement, commitment and loyalty are built when people feel that they can grow and develop within your organisation

Are your employees engaged and why does this matter?

According to Gallup’s Global State of the Workplace survey (
15% of employees are fully engaged at work – they are enthusiastic and involved and are the people who contribute to organisational success
67% are not engaged – these people come to work and “do their time”.
18% are actively disengaged – these are dissatisfied employees who could potentially undermine your company’s morale and success.

Improving your company’s levels of employee engagement levels will directly influence productivity, morale, and staff retention.

  • According to a study by the Hay Group, engaged employees are up to 43% more productive
  • It costs about 40% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them – engaging and retaining employees will save your company recruitment and training cost.
  • Innovation and creativity are higher in companies that focus on engaging their employees
  • Your customers will notice whether your employees are engaged – companies with engaged frontline workers provide more engaging customer service
  • Companies with engaged employees are more profitable with 26% higher measurable revenue per employee.

No matter how you look at it – engaging your employees pays off. Whether you want to boost profit or productivity or form closer relationships with your customers, the more engaged your employees are, the more likely your company will be to succeed.

Start your employee engagement journey today

Pure Survey has worked with some of South Africa’s most successful and influential brands since 2006. While each company is different, we have found that there are some surefire ways to boost your employee engagement levels quickly and sustainably.

1. Start with the end-goal in mind
Employee Engagement starts with clearly defining what your business strategy is, what your brand represents and what values drive your business. Engaged employees understand and identify with these goals and actively collaborate to achieve them. What you reward and how you manage your people will determine levels of engagement and alignment to your purpose. Pure Survey partners with South African companies of all sizes and in various industries to provide engagement solutions that work for their businesses.

2. Ask your people how they feel
An Employee Engagement Survey is a good starting point for your engagement journey. Pure Survey has a range of engagement, climate and culture surveys that measure how your employees are feeling, and how engaged they are. The surveys are designed to give the insight you need to focus your engagement interventions where they are needed most. Our consultants have the experience to recommend and customise surveys that best fit your needs.

3. Analyse and share your findings
Share your survey results with your employees. Having conversations about your survey results and planning for the future with your people is one way that you can start building engagement immediately. Allowing people to participate in building a solution will make them feel heard, valued and engaged. Pure Survey provides the tools you need to analyse and communicate survey results – infographics, reports, AI sentiment analysis, deep dives, and custom presentations. We’ll also help you to conduct focus groups to get more detailed qualitative feedback and assist with project planning and management to implement your interventions.

4. Implement and track solutions
Once you’ve come up with a plan to improve employee engagement – follow through with it. Measuring milestones, celebrating successes and recognising achievements will keep your plans on track and your people motivated. Whether its something small like getting a new coffee machine or a big policy change, staying on track is key to showing that you’re serious about engagement. Pure Survey’s Project Managers help our clients to track and monitor progress, and we offer people-friendly tech solutions that make it easy to recognise your people and manage their performance.

5. Measure progress and keep your finger on the pulse
Check in annually by repeating your full survey – this will help you to track progress and identify any emerging issues or trends. Frequent pulse surveys or polls keep you in touch with your employees and allow you to zoom into specific issues. Pure Survey customers that conduct regular engagement surveys and touch points have all noticed a marked improvement in employee engagement levels. Their people are more engaged and productive, and their retention of key staff has improved

Engaging your employees is as simple as opening a conversation with them. Pure Survey has the experience, tools, and technology to support you throughout your employee engagement journey. Speak to us today to find out how you can inspire, engage, and retain your people.