The What, Why and How of Developing an Employee Engagement Strategy

Shefali Vasave | September 2, 2021

Engaged employees work better, are more productive and encourage others to contribute more. It’s a no-brainer that employees who feel connected to their organizations make for an empowered workforce. This is why employee engagement has an exponential impact on almost every significant aspect of your organization like profitability, revenue generation, sales, customer experience and even recruitment.

According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies.
Employee engagement is a hot topic among HR leaders across the world and there is a ton of information about it and some ambiguity.
But isn’t engagement subjective? And what exactly does it mean to measure employee engagement? And how can you measure it if you can’t define it?

What is employee engagement and can it be measured?

Employee engagement is the degree of emotional and mental connection an employee has towards their work, team and organization. Employee engagement metrics cover more than just satisfaction, well-being and happiness derived from one’s job.
Measuring the right drivers of engagement adapted for your organization’s workplace and culture can reveal more valuable insights.

Levels of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement can be classified into four levels. From highly engaged to disengaged, here’s how every level is defined and what they mean.

  • Positive towards their job and team
  • Champion your organization and brand
  • Motivated to stay long-term
  • Higher productivity and job satisfaction

  •  Favorable but not fully engaged
  • Unlikely to take initiative
  • On the lookout for other opportunities
  • Room to be more engaged

  • Neutral towards the organization
  • Demotivated about their work and team
  • Likely to underperform
  • Pose a risk of high turnover

  • Negative perception towards their work
  • Lack of commitment
  • Misaligned with your organization’s mission and values
  • Negative influence on team members

Why is it crucial to measure employee engagement?

People-centric organizations are fully aware that their people are one of their most important assets. So, how does employee engagement impact companies on the ground? Multiple studies show they have a direct influence on every critical area of your business.


According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies. On the other hand, another study reveals that disengaged employees cost companies in the US $450 - 500 billion every year. Therefore, profitability is one the most significant aspect of your business and employee engagement is correlated to it.


Engaged employees are reported to be 17% more productive than those that are disengaged. This is because they love their jobs, thus, are willing to go above and beyond their scope of duties and getting more things done.


Since engaged employees report higher job satisfaction, they are unlikely to switch jobs. This drastically improves employee retention resulting in reduced costs for the organization.

Customer Experience

Employee engagement has a direct impact on customer service. Engaged employees are deeply committed to their jobs and endeavor for customers satisfaction.


Engaged employees are also less likely to take unnecessary leaves. A Gallup study shows a 41% decrease in absenteeism from impeccable employee engagement alone.


Work is a modern-day source of stress for many workers. However, engaged employees are healthier, have fewer chronic diseases, are less likely to be overweight and more likely to eat healthier and exercise. Overall, it’s a win-win for both employers and employees.

Workplace Injuries

Engaged employees are more focused. This results in fewer workplace injuries, drastically reducing costs and resulting in better adherence to safety standards.

Tracking Employee Engagement

The important question is what are the drivers of employee engagement and how do you even begin to quantify engagement?
Most organizations start right with employee engagement surveys and witness significant participation. But what steps are taken next once the surveys are complete? For this, choosing your survey questions matter a lot.

What to do?

Outline your plan of action
Collecting information will give you an insight into how your employees relate to the various drivers of engagement. Next, outline the exact outcomes you want out of this strategy.

For example, ask targeted questions that reveal perceptions of your organization, the pride your employees take in their work, intention to continue long-term. You can measure these and other parameters you consider important on a scale of 1 to 10 to determine the level of engagement.

Determine what matters most to YOUR employees

Every organization across industries varies in its workplace dynamics and what its employees consider important. You can determine what employees consider most essential by considering the following universal drivers of employee engagement:
  • My job empowers me to use my best skills.
  • My seniors demonstrate honesty and integrity.
  • I am confident this organization will do well.
  • My job is challenging and mentally stimulating.
  • The senior leaders here value their employees.
  • My opinions are heard and considered at work.
  • I get recognized for my efforts and contributions to the organization.
  • I see opportunities for career growth here.
  • I trust my leaders to lead this organization to grow and succeed.
  • I have all the necessary resources to do my job well.

Calibrate your employee engagement strategy
Resonance is key. The importance of conducting surveys and having your finger on the pulse of the workplace cannot be understated. However, it is also essential to pace your measuring to enable smart decision-making.
Research shows, tracking employee engagement annually is the best route to take. Since employee behaviors change through a period, you want to balance employee surveys to capture responses from everyone.
Pulse surveys can help you track engagement in real-time about specific changes and topics. While life cycle surveys will track employee perceptions during appraisals, transfers or promotions. Whatever you choose, ensure it is calibrated to your organization’s specific end goals.

What not to do?

Now that you know what steps to take next, it is imperative to explore some of the mistakes that you should avoid. Here is a list of things you should not do to avoid miscalculating employee engagement.

Don’t rely on pulse surveys
Short and specific surveys are crucial in your toolkit, but they are likely to paint only part of the picture. Hence, pulse surveys should not form the crux of your strategy. Instead, it can help you identify trends and patterns over time and shape a more concrete strategy that aligns with your organizational goals.

Don’t survey a sample population
Surveying a sample population can be deceptive when it comes to measuring employee engagement. Eliminate surveys that don’t cover all your employees and their voices. The results are skewed and the efforts do not help you get to the heart of your organization’s true ethos.

Don’t stop at collecting answers to surveys
Once you have the insights you need, don’t let them go stale. What this means is you need to take action right away while the results are fresh. This ensures our action steps are steady and aligned to the yielding the outcomes you want.

What does action look like?

Once you have the data you need, it is time to put it into action. An actionable strategy will help you implement your specific engagement drivers, propose steps to execute  your employee engagement strategy, and create accountability for the outcomes you seek. Finally, employing an experience management solution can help you keep track of engagement and the actions you need to take.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should collect engagement data?

Since engagement data is critical, you must ensure complete confidentiality. However, it is also important to share it with the right stakeholders. Your HR team should drive the efforts to collect the data you need.

Who is responsible for taking action on the results of the employee engagement survey?

The leadership team, HR and managers all play a role in determining the next steps post the collection of information stage. Your HR teams curate the tool and engagement partners while your leadership visualize the objectives and share progress. They can also support managers in identifying areas of focus where engagement efforts are most needed.

Do third-party providers offer employee engagement services?

Yes, quite a few third-party services are available if you are considering developing an employee engagement strategy. However, take note that you will want to do the heavy lifting of gathering data and identifying your goals to maximize getting the most out of these professional services.


DoubleStar, Inc.

Talent Solutions. Delivered. DoubleStar is a talent acquisition, advisory and analytics consulting firm serving domestic and global businesses across a broad array of industries. Since our founding in 1993, we have executed over 900 recruitment and talent management engagements served more than 300 companies earned repeat business from 94% of our clients Our staff represents some of the most experienced recruiters and talent market researchers in the region. Many of us have held V.P., Director and Manager of Talent Acquisition positions in a variety of industries, from start-ups to Fortune 100 global leaders.


Five Most Promising Areas of HR Tech Investment in 2022

Article | March 25, 2022

Introduction: Why Investment in HR Technology is Surging? HR technology is much more than a buzzword. It’s a necessity. HR technology has transformed processes over the past decade, providing organizations with the tools, insights, and capabilities to be more agile, efficient, and connected. However, today’s HR technologies are required to keep up with the unprecedented pace of the market.Thefuture of HR tech will include comprehensive solutions that help with recruitment and selection, on-boarding, performance reviews, learning management, and more! As businesses look for ways to become more efficient in an increasingly competitive environment, let’s explore some of the areas where technology investment is currently focused. “AI is our friend, if we use it in such a way. But never forget that it’s people who hire people, so we’ll always need a human element in the end.” - Arran Stewart, Co-Founder and CVO Virtual and Augmented Reality in Recruiting Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for some time and their use in recruitment and employee experience is growing rapidly. VR technology is a high-potential area for HR tech investment, and the rise of remote hiring and hybrid work cultures has only made it more significant. For instance,, an ecommerce company, is making the most of VR to showcase its corporate culture and office space. has been able to connect with its new hires by showing events like its ‘happy hour’ celebrations to provide a glimpse into its every day operations. KFC has been using VR since 2017 to train its staff to cook its signature fried chicken. The German railway company, Deutsche Bahn used VR to attract and engage the young talent pool. The company reported a significant increase in applications from young, skilled professionals after this move. Blockchain in Employee Benefits Blockchain finds mention in almost every discussion about game-changing technology trends worldwide. And blockchain-driven HR technology isn’t far behind. For HR professionals who manage large volumes of employee transactions, blockchain HR technology could be a catalyst in ensuring robust cybersecurity. In 2020, APG and PGGM, asset managers of the two largest pension funds in the Netherlands, reported that they were testing a system based on blockchain to simplify administering pensions. Blockchain enables HR managers to provide on-demand pay, allowing employees to withdraw their accrued earnings any time they want. In addition to providing 360-degree control, blockchain has a feature called ‘smart contract’ that allows companies to automate their payments to independent contractors and vendors. These clear advantages have made blockchain a subject of future-proof technology investment. Intelligent Chatbots for HR Support and Service Delivery With the scope of global HR management expanding during the pandemic, recruiters need all hands on deck to attract, hire, and retain talent. Tech giant IBM developed chatbots to address this issue. IBM’s Watson Candidate Assistant (WCA) has transformed candidate engagement for IBM. The organization receives 7,000 resumes every day. WCA’s ability to match applicants with the right opportunity helped convert 36% of applicants compared to a website without the chatbot. The business case for AI-driven chatbots is clear. As chatbots become the norm on technology platforms and career pages, investment and research in the area will only grow. Personnel Today reports that over 62% of organizations plan to start using AI in 2022. Automation Improves Applicant Tracking Applicant tracking systems, or ATS, are a staple in every recruitment process. Just as global HR management software eliminates the need for paperwork and repetitive tasks, resume screening can be enhanced. With the advancement of HR technology, it has become imperative to use automation for screening applicants. For instance, leading cloud data management provider, Informatica integrated automated reminders into their ATS. This was done to reduce manual follow-ups between recruiters and hiring managers. 80% of hiring managers responded quickly and enabled recruiters to experdite their candidate search. This is just another case of HR technology yielding real-world results. Predictive Analytics in Recruitment Processes HR tech investment continues to boom in the field of data analytics. Predictive analytics is a relatively new tool that can predict an applicant's potential to succeed in a job and recommend them for a specific position. HR departments use predictive analytic tools to identify high-potential candidates, who are likely to succeed at the company. The predictive model uses data like skills and experience and factors in personality traits like openness and conscientiousness. This also enables employers to develop a fit index to match an applicant’s resume with an ideal-match candidate profile. In fact, LinkedIn uses predictive analysis to match candidate resumes to existing job openings. With an increase in technology investment, predictive analytics will be able to do much more for recruiting managers in the near future. In a Nutshell HR processes are completely different than they used to be a few years back. Transformative technology and HR solutions have changed the way HR processes are managed. The future of HR tech investment is not about lowering costs but about optimising it for benefits. While the main objective is to increase business efficiency, many areas of HR technology need to be disrupted to achieve new heights of employee engagement and experience. HR tech investment is a way to make sure that the company can stay competitive in the digital era. With a lot of opportunities available and rising competition, companies need to invest in HR tech to stay ahead of the curve. Frequently Asked Questions What is the top obstacle preventing organizations from making HR tech investments now? The top obstacle preventing organizations from making HR tech investments currently is a lack of understanding. Many companies are still unclear about what HR technology platforms can work for them and how to use them in their organization. What are the industry trends in HR Tech? HR tech companies are focusing on how to make it easier for managers to hire and retain talent. They aim to provide a more personalized experience for employees. Additionally, they want to make it easier for HR professionals and managers to find talent in their own backyard. What does the future of global HR management look like? The future of global HR management looks bright. With new technology, it’s easier for HR managers to keep track of their workforce and streamline the entire hiring process.

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Inspiring Quotes from Women Leaders Creating a Difference

Article | March 8, 2022

“It’s not only about raising ourselves, but also raising other women, because when we rise together, we rise so much higher!” – Eliza VanCort, Author and Motivational Speaker, Eliza VanCort. International Women's Day has been celebrated for over a century, with the first gathering held in 1911. Since then, women have proven their worth in virtually every field, from politics to business to academia. Today’s women are striving to uplift other women, are brands in themselves, and are breaking barriers in their personal and professional lives. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme #BreakTheBias promotes and glorifies this change. On this International Women's Day, we have compiled inspiring quotes from women leaders we've had the pleasure of communicating with. Take a minute to celebrate their achievements and contributions to their industry. Foster Connections and Build Trust “When we create a positive experience that fosters connection and builds trust, we increase the probability of a future business transaction.” – Carrie Missele, Director, Inspirant Group. Gain Knowledge from Peers “Professionals (especially young professionals) gain a vast majority of their knowledge from their peers - watching, listening, asking questions, and building relationships with others.” – Amber Vanderburg, Founder, The Pathways Group. Boldly Communicate Value “Communicating value is especially important for an agency because agencies are in the ideas business. Ideas are abstract and abstract things are difficult to value.” – Jody Sutter, Founder, The Sutter Company. Analyze to Stay Competitive “The most essential way to stay competitive is to continuously analyze for product-market fit.” – Julia Markish, Director, Advisory Services at Lattice

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5 Proven Ways Employers Can Simplify Applying for Jobs Online

Article | March 4, 2022

Why Abandoned Online Job Applications Result in Poor Hiring? Applying for jobs online has been the go-to process of finding jobs for millions of applicants. Online hiring has come a long way with the rise of job boards. It has become easy to apply for jobs worldwide and across industries for applicants whose skills match. This also means recruiters must sift through an unusually high volume of resumes to find the relevant job applicants. To do this, many employers have developed a lengthy online application process. The belief that this will filter out applicants that don’t match the job requirements and that serious, well-matched talent will complete the lengthy process has slowed down online recruitment. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of job applicants abandon their applications midway. They also don’t complete applications that take longer than 20 minutes. So, are employers sabotaging their recruitment process with lengthy forms? Is there a way to capitalize on online recruitment while also hiring better talent? This article will give you five tips on how you can design your online recruitment process without losing top talents. #1 Develop a Clear Hiring Process It goes without saying that it is important to be clear on what you are looking for in a candidate. Numerous traditional job postings are generic, ambiguous, or don’t communicate the right message. Apart from communicating the skills and qualifications you’re looking for, here are just some things that can make your online job posting stand out: Be specific about the level of skills you need. Some jobs don’t require candidates to be experts in certain areas. Make it clear what is expected from them. Add a human touch to ensure candidates know there are people, not just software systems, that are seeking their skills. Set up a system for responding to online job applications. Job searching can be tough and brutal for applicants, and responding to them will help you stand out. Ensure your online application process is smooth and user-friendly. You don’t want to tire potential employees with a poor application process. #2 The Value of Online Candidate Profiles Online candidate profiles provide a place for candidates to express themselves and tell their story in their own words. It also gives employers a chance to get to know more about the person they are interviewing. The value of an online profile is that it allows recruiters and hiring managers to get insight into a candidate’s personality. In a world of job boards, applying for a job online is easier than ever, and so the barrage of unqualified applications is disproportionately high. Candidate profiles give employers the opportunity to sort applications meaningfully. Simple screening questions like a candidate’s willingness to move or start immediately can help recruiters save huge amounts of time and money. Whether you’re screening LinkedIn profiles or job boards, using candidate profiles is a smart way to ensure you find the information you need while also making background checks easy. #3 Make the Interview Process Easier and More Interactive Technology has transformed the way companies hire. Integrating interactive ways for people to apply can do wonders for your recruitment process. This is especially true for job roles that require creativity and outside-the-box thinking. For instance, Kforce, a job board, enables applicants to submit online applications with audio and video clips. Another case in point is the leading research organization, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm has an online recruitment process that uses psychometric screening to help HR managers review applicants’ suitability. “When we create a positive experience that fosters connection and builds trust, we increase the probability of a future business transaction.” - Carrie Missele, Director at Inspirant Group #4 Embrace New Technologies for an Effective Online Recruitment Strategy Premier financial services organization, J.P. Morgan Chase is leading the way in the use of technology when it comes to hiring job seekers fresh out of college. The company uses a game that tests applicants on their job-hunting motivations as well as investment decisions. This helps recruiters get a deep insight into applicants’ interests, skills, and attitudes. Is finding the perfect candidate possible? Allstate, a leading insurance firm, is aiming to recruit the best match. The firm’s screening process for its agent recruitment involves an online form that is scored against existing Allstate model agents. The scoring is instant and applicants can proceed to the second round immediately. Embracing technology like AI for screening resumes and video interviews is another great way to cut down on hiring time, improve communication with candidates, and eventually boost your employer brand. #5 Use Social Media Platforms Efficiently Social media has metamorphosed from a socializing platform to a multipurpose business machine. From selling to customer care to recruitment, businesses are now using social media for more than just increasing brand awareness. Social media recruiting is a great way to reach your target talent pools and customers simultaneously. This is especially significant as both groups tend to overlap. According to Glassdoor reports, over 79% of job seekers use social media in their search. In addition, a 2019 survey by Jobvite revealed that 35% of respondents learned about new opportunities from social media. Therefore, integrating social media into your online recruitment process can help you leverage its reach. In Conclusion Attracting and recruiting the right candidates goes beyond the regular recruitment process. In fact, according to, 20% of job seekers apply to companies after having viewed their product ads. Branding and marketing in HR are more important than ever before. However, this doesn’t mean that you neglect the foundation of the online hiring process. Whether you use traditional job application methods or an online application process, ensure that it is user-oriented. It should encourage the right people to apply and make your company seem like a good place to work. Frequently Asked Questions What are the advantages of the online recruitment process? The online recruitment process has many advantages. First, it is accessible to a much wider audience than traditional methods. Second, it allows companies to process and interview more candidates in less time and with fewer resources. Third, it reduces the cost of recruiting and hiring new employees. What are the disadvantages of the online recruitment process? Online recruitment that uses AI is known to be discriminatory. In addition, the lack of face-to-face interaction in an online recruitment process can lead to well-matched candidates being screened out in the first step itself. How to implement a clear hiring process? The following steps will help you create a clear hiring process: Define what you need Create job descriptions Define the qualifications for each job description Prepare for interviews by doing background checks and preparing interview questions

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3 Companies Acing the Remote Onboarding Process And What You Can Learn

Article | March 3, 2022

Organizations worldwide had to reimagine their hiring processes almost overnight in 2020. As a result, the role of human resource professionals has become increasingly challenging. From optimizing hiring processes to cultivating new remote-friendly company culture, the transformation was unprecedented. However, as the grip of the health crisis loosens, companies are increasingly acknowledging the value of remote work. Virtual workers are the focus of new policies, strategies, and even processes, even as remote offices move to hybrid workplaces and virtual workers become more important. But looking forward, human resource teams still have their work cut out for them. There is much to calibrate, and it must be done quickly. And it all starts with a sound onboarding process. In this article, we talk about how recruiters can fine tune their remote onboarding process and leverage the advantages of the new hybrid working culture. Definitive Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist According to a Global Workplace Analytics study, businesses lose approximately $600 billion to workplace distractions. It also states that remote workers report being 35-40% more productive than those who work in an office. Understanding what your remote workers need to do their job well is the key to achieving your productivity goals. Here’s the new hire onboarding checklist to help you do just that. Virtual Paper Work Paperwork is the bane of HR professionals everywhere. But it doesn’t have to be tedious. Make your HR process agile by using automation technology like e-signature, which lets new employees sign, edit, and view forms. It automatically fills in candidate information across different documents to make the process faster and more efficient. Logistics While many organizations could smoothly transition to remote work, some need more planning. For example, if your employees require specific equipment and systems to do their work, you need to streamline the process of delivering equipment and integrating new hires into the new systems . Welcome Kit Engaging employees is a top priority for human resource professionals today. With remote work, it becomes even more imperative. Include a welcome kit as a part of your new hire’s onboarding checklist. It can provide a sense of direction for new remote workers. Additionally, you can include a company handbook with company information like benefits, points of contact, and maybe a voucher for free lunch. Buddy System Fitting into an existing social office system can be daunting for a new hire. A buddy system can mitigate new workplace anxiety to a great extent. Assign a go-to person when onboarding new employees. They will guide the new hire to settle in, ensuring that the new remote worker doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of the organization. Orientation Orientations should continue to be a to-do on every virtual onboarding checklist. Conduct a virtual orientation when onboarding new employees to address the company overview, history, the roles and responsibilities of the new hire, and HR procedures and policies. Company Culture Briefing your HR team about onboarding best practices should cover company culture as an essential topic. You want to make new hires feel welcome and align with your company’s culture as quickly as possible. Feedback Check with your new hires about their progress and seek feedback about their remote onboarding process. Conducting a survey is a great way to identify pain points. You can then tweak your employee onboarding process accordingly. “It may sound simple, but we need to listen to our employees in order to be a force for change.” - Brandy (Rosner) Zimmerman, Vice President of People Operations at TaskUs How Three Industry Leaders Are Using Onboarding Best Practices HubSpot HubSpot, a leading marketing software provider, pivoted to a remote onboarding process by developing remote work guides. The company also tracked the live participation of new hires on its internal education system, Learn@HubSpot, to map out learning and immerse new hires in the process quickly. Vistaprint As part of their onboarding best practices digital printing giant Vistaprint makes extensive use of live orientation and a new hire social. Also, the company plans to implement a 100-day training program that will provide a remote-first learning experience for new hires. Salesforce The tech giant is leading the virtual employee onboarding process, having recruited 10,000 people. Salesforce integrated networking opportunities for new hires to get acquainted with current employees. The organization also has a dedicated business technology team to handle the logistics of setting up remote workers with the necessary systems. Conclusion: Automating the Employee Onboarding Checklist The process of onboarding new employees is a time-consuming and expensive task for any company, especially those with a remote workforce. According to Digitate, new hires are twice as likely to look for other opportunities if they had a bad onboarding experience. It is an essential step towards hiring and retaining talent and reducing overall hiring tasks. Not every component of the virtual onboarding checklist has to be manual. With automation and artificial intelligence, you can streamline the employee onboarding process. Frequently Asked Questions What are the most important factors to consider when onboarding new employees remotely? The most important factors to consider when onboarding new employees remotely are: How well the company knows the new hire before the employee arrives How well the company can assess and train remote employees The company’s culture and how it is expressed in different locations What is the best way to start a remote employee's first day? A remote employee's first day is just like a regular employee's first day. First, they should be introduced to the company and the team they will be working with. What documents should be sent to a remote employee before they start work? Some of the documents to send as part of your remote employee onboarding checklist include: Employee handbook and contract of employment Processes, procedures, and policies Guidelines on how to use the company's equipment or software Company's intranet site Company's social media profiles Policies on email usage in the workplace

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DoubleStar, Inc.

Talent Solutions. Delivered. DoubleStar is a talent acquisition, advisory and analytics consulting firm serving domestic and global businesses across a broad array of industries. Since our founding in 1993, we have executed over 900 recruitment and talent management engagements served more than 300 companies earned repeat business from 94% of our clients Our staff represents some of the most experienced recruiters and talent market researchers in the region. Many of us have held V.P., Director and Manager of Talent Acquisition positions in a variety of industries, from start-ups to Fortune 100 global leaders.