The keys to engagement

“Engagement is a positive and fulfilling work-related state of mind that is characterised by vigour, dedication, and absorption.” - Schaufeli, Martinez, Marques-Pinto, Salanova & Bakker (2002).


Engagement is driven by the balance of positive (morale) and negative (stress or distress) feelings we experience at work. These are two independent variables.

Positive feelings are largely driven by role clarity and a sense of progress or professional growth that we experience in the workplace.

Feelings of stress or distress are largely driven by work demands. High stress relates to excessive work demands, a sense of overwhelm.

If morale is low and stress is low then we are apathetic and little gets done, if morale is low and stress is high then we are burning out and, equally, little of value gets done.

High morale is key to engagement. High morale combined with just the right amount of stress – which we can call ‘challenge’ – is the sweet spot. If stress is too low we are too easy-going, if stress is too high we are hyperactive.

Role clarity, visible progress and challenging work creates engaged staff.

John Corrigan