Organizational Culture

Employee Engagement: A Detailed Model

This is part three of our employee engagement series – be sure to check out parts one and two if you missed those!

In part two, we presented research performed by SHRM about seven factors that affect employee engagement.

The research offered a formula, suggesting that employee engagement is the product of a handful of factors within an organization.

This formula provides a solid baseline for organizations, but for many organizations, the study may not provide enough information to truly transform the workplace.

In this post, we’re sharing a model that provides actionable information that organizations can use to increase employee engagement in their workplace. Credit for this model goes to Rusty Lindquist, who’s website can be found here.

16 Elements of Employee Engagement

Mr. Lindquist has identified 16 elements that are present in engaging organizations:



This model expands on the three conditions outlined in the previous section, and includes four segments: 

  • Input: What the employee needs to get work done 
  • Output: What employees get from their work 
  • Action: Things that help the work get done 
  • Influencers: Factors that fuel or enable that work 

Note that these segments encompass the factors identified in the SHRM study: relationships, work conditions, and organizational duties are still present in these sixteen elements, but there’s an added segment, which includes leadership behavior.

In this model, more is expected from the organization beyond financial stability.

In an engaging environment, an employer provides: 

  • A well-defined purpose for the work an employee is tasked with
  • Assignments that align with an employee’s skill set
  • A strategy for the successful completion of the company’s business goals
  • A great work environment, whether physical or virtual

Leaders bear responsibility for helping employees stay engaged by: 

  • Guiding the employee toward the fulfillment of their goals in the context of greater business goals 
  • Caring about employees enough to develop genuine relationships and connections 
  • Establishing a healthy culture, with open access to crowdsourced information 
  • Occasionally “mixing things up” so work stays manageable and avoids monotony 

 An engaged employee should: 

  • Complete work and projects that have an impact on the company’s business goals
  • Measure or have access to measurements of their performance, through metrics, coaching, and feedback 
  • Maintain their focus on important projects
  • Have some sort of skin in the game, in the form of time and effort

An engaging company: 

  • Has an identity, and can provide an emotional response to why they exist
  • Is dedicated to growing and developing within the market 
  • Offers genuine value to the world
  • Has an impact on the world

Hear Rusty talk more about this model in his free on-demand webinar:

Check out part four of this employee engagement blog series here!

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.