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Charleston Business

What does employee engagement feel like?

Nov 02, 2018 09:04AM ● By Kathleen Maris

By Doug Claffey

At organizations with cultures of high employee engagement, visitors can feel the energy and passion. The sense of caring about coworkers and customers is palpable. Employees collaborate. Staff and customers feel appreciated and valued.

By contrast, a culture of disengagement is also easily to spot. Employees fly out the door at 4:59 p.m. They pass the time playing games on their phones, isolate themselves in their cubicles, or exhibit a lack of creativity and initiative.

At Energage, to measure employee engagement, we look at:

1.      Motivation: Are employees motivated to give their best? Or do they give minimal effort required to get things done?

2.      Retention: Are employees committed to staying? Turnover is a critical indicator of employee engagement. Employees who believe in the organization and where it is headed are more likely to stay.

3.      Referral: Will employees tell their friends that this organization is a great place to work? The best workplaces hire half of their new employees from personal references provided by staff.

Our data shows that in the general population, the level of employee engagement holds steady at a national average of 31 percent. That means nearly 70 percent of the workforce represents untapped potential! They lack desire to be at work. They’d rather be somewhere else. Consequently, they fail to perform at their best. And so does the organization.

At “culture-aware” companies, organizations that focus on culture even if they haven’t quite cracked the code yet, an average of 46 percent of employees are engaged.

And then there are Top Workplaces. These standout organizations with employee engagement levels close to 60 percent.

At the best-of-the-best — the top decile of Top Workplaces — employee engagement averages an impressive 86 percent. These are the organizations that have truly unlocked potential and are driving outstanding business results.

Doug Claffey is CEO of Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed nearly 3 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2018. Energage is the research partner for Top Workplaces. Nominate your company as a Top Workplace at

About The Top Workplaces Program:

The Top Workplaces program identifies organizations that excel at organizational health and employee engagement. Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Charleston Business Magazine, in partnership with Energage, formerly WorkplaceDynamics, offers a free assessment through a simple, scientifically sound, and anonymous employee feedback survey.

The Top Workplaces program recruits organizations, walks them through the survey, and creates the list of top-ranking companies. Why participate? Consider the benefits:

Shout out, stand out: Encourage workplace pride. If you work at a great company, give colleagues a morale boost with something to celebrate. And give your employer well-served credit for creating something special.

Assess, reward, and improve: The results from the Top Workplaces survey can help assess the health of companies. They validate achievements, reveal problem areas, and set a foundation for new goals.

Boost recruiting: Attract and retain the best talent. Employees want to work at companies recognized as leaders that operate by a strong set of values.

Raise the business profile: The Top Workplaces logo on company materials and websites helps spread the word about successful work environments. Customers and business partners will take notice. That awareness can help create new business opportunities, too.

Earn public recognition: Achievements are recognized by Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Charleston Business Magazine.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

To participate, go to or call (864) 501-9699.

Energage, founded in 2006, is located in Exton, Pennsylvania. A leader in organizational health research and SaaS-based HR tools, Energage has reached more than 17 million employees from 50,000+ organizations through its employee engagement platform, Top Workplaces program, and workplace improvement solutions.

Contact: Bob Helbig, Media Partnerships Director Energage 414.207.1648