According to DecisionWise (2018), “Employee engagement is an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed to our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves—our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands—in the work we do.”
“This translates into employees who give their hearts, spirits, minds, and hands to deliver a high level of performance to the organization.” -DecisionWise (2016)
Results of research involving over 32 million survey responses by DecisionWise (2018) revealed and validated that employee engagement is based on fulfilling five basic human needs in our work.
5 MAGIC keys of employee engagement (DecisionWise)—
Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection
- Meaning – Your work has purpose beyond the work itself.
- Autonomy – The power to shape your work environment in
ways that allow you to perform at your best.
- Growth – Being stretched and challenged in ways that
result in personal and professional progress.
- Impact – Seeing positive, effective, and worthwhile
outcomes and results from your work.
- Connection – The sense of belonging to something
Once these five needs are met, our overall level of happiness increases.
Another employee engagement model is the “X Model” by BlessingWhite. According to the X Model of Engagement, full engagement occurs when an individual is at a point of maximum satisfaction and is also providing maximum contribution. Employees who are truly engaged are at “the apex” where personal and organizational interests align.
“These employees are at “the apex” where personal and organizational interests align. They contribute fully to the success of the organization and find great satisfaction in their work. They are known for their discretionary effort and commitment.” -BlessingWhite (2011)
BlessingWhite says we should not think in terms of engagement, but rather about great days at work.
BlessingWhite describes it in this manner: “Great days at work happen when individuals are giving all they can to the organization and when their personal satisfaction is maximized. Great days are what full engagement looks like.” -BlessingWhite (2018)
In my current role as a Leadership Development Manager, I’m extremely privileged to have the chance to work with amazing leaders at my company. In fact, the President of our company remarked about how lucky I am to be able to meet and interact with all managers (who manage our 344 auto collision repair shops in 24 states in the U.S.), their directors, and VPs — all total, and if I also count our corporate leaders, approximately 550 leaders of the company! It’s an extraordinary honor to be able to work with and help so many leaders, to love what I do, and to be acknowledged and praised for it (by those I’m trying to help) in the process.
It’s so humbling and I am quick to share that I’m very lucky to be a part of this leadership development experience, to work with incredibly talented and dedicated people, and that it takes an entire village of fully engaged professionals (from almost every department in the company [e.g., C-level, Operations, Finance, Advertising, Human Resources, Training, etc.]) to make this work.
There’s no question in my heart or mind that what I’m doing right now is what I’ve been dreaming about doing. I feel extremely engaged and have many, many great days at work. I am fulfilled because the five basic human needs (M-A-G-I-C) in my work are met. There’s (M)eaning because my work has purpose beyond the work itself. I’m given (A)utonomy to shape my work environment in ways that allow me to perform at my best. I’m experiencing (G)rowth because I’m stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional progress. I see the (I)mpact — the positive, effective, and worthwhile outcomes and results from my work — of my efforts. And, there’s a sense of (C)onnection, a sense that I belong to something beyond myself.
As a highly engaged employee, I’m enthusiastic about my job and I am committed to my work and my organization. For me, there’s no better or more accurate gauge of employee engagement than me feeling energetic and excited, being absorbed in the work that I do, and remaining devoted to the organization I work for. I am extremely blessed to work with outstanding professionals ― talented, dedicated, kind, and caring people who find meaning and magic in their work.
My hope is that people see in me a caring, talented, and devoted professional, one who takes great pride in his work. What’s more, my wish is that they also see that I’m someone who is more concerned with the success of the team than with getting credit for my contributions; that I work hard and do whatever is necessary to help my team succeed; and that I’m emotionally intelligent enough to know how my words and actions impact others (Lencioni, 2016).
I love this quote:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ―Howard Thurman
Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.
Leadership & Talent Development Consultant
BlessingWhite. (2018). Great Days at Work. https://blessingwhite.com/great-days-at-work/
BlessingWhite. (2011). BlessingWhite’s Employee Engagement Model.
BlessingWhite. The X-Model of Employee Engagement.
DecisionWise. (2016, June 1). MAGIC – Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement. https://www.decision-wise.com/infographic-magic-five-keys-to-unlock-the-power-of-employee-engagement/
DecisionWise. (2018). Engagement MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement. https://www.decision-wise.com/engagement-magic
DecisionWise. (2018, October 16). The Five Keys of Employee Engagement. https://www.decision-wise.com/the-five-keys-of-employee-engagement/
DecisionWise. (2018, December 18). What We’ve Learned About Engagement. https://www.decision-wise.com/what-weve-learned-about-engagement/
Lencioni, P. (2016). The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.