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The Keys

The Five Keys of Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement: Heart, Spirit Mind, and Hands

For the individual: You know it when you feel it. You love what you do. You're energized. You contribute and make a difference. Your work is a part of you, and you are a part of your work.

For the organization: You can almost feel it in the air—it's palpable. Ideas flow. Employees are committed—they make things happen. Customers are delighted. Business thrives.

This is engagement.

Employee engagement is an emotional state where employees feel passionate, energetic, and committed to their work. This translates into employees who give their hearts, spirits, minds, and hands to deliver a high level of performance to the organization.

The Model

When we first look to join a company, we may be enticed by some salary promises, the company brand, or cool perks. Important? Of course. But these factors--we call them "satisfaction elements"--don't make us stick around. They don't mean we're engaged in what we do. Engagement goes beyond satisfaction. Engagement occurs when we find meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection--MAGIC--in what we do.

The DecisionWise five-element model of employee engagement stems from two decades of research, gathering and analyzing feedback from tens of millions of employee survey responses in over 70 countries.

MAGIC Employee Engagement Training

This program is designed to strategically empower two key audiences:

Individuals: Unlike satisfaction, individuals must see engagement as their own responsibility. They don't sit and wait for the organization to bestow it upon them; they create engagement. Engagement lights an inspirational fire, and this fire spreads.

Through this training, individuals at all levels of the organization discover ways to understand and enhance their own levels of engagement, find passion in their work, and be more successful in their current roles.

Leaders: Engaged leaders create an environment in which their teams choose to be engaged. In turn, employees drive business results. These leaders provide purpose and direction, and garner support for what's important--and people choose to work for them.

Managers at all levels will learn the five MAGIC elements of engagement and how to watch for and apply these factors. They will not only learn to create a culture that attracts and retains key talent, but also understand how their own levels of engagement impact the success of their teams.


Your work has purpose beyond the work itself.

Does Your Job Inspire You?

For many people, a job is just that, a job. But those that create meaning in their work understand that what they do matters. They find purpose in what they do. They understand that their efforts contribute to a greater cause—one that is important to them.

Not everyone saves lives in an emergency room, fights poverty in developing countries, or negotiates peace treaties. But we can all create meaning in what we do. In some way, our work contributes to the world, our company, our team, or even our families. When we create meaning, we know the “why” behind what we do, and understanding the “why” makes us more effective at the “what.”


The power to shape your work and environment in ways that allow you to perform at your best.

Do You Fully Use Your Talents and Abilities in Your Current Position?

Some people feel stifled in their jobs. In fact, 34 percent of employees say they can’t speak up for fear of negative consequences. Autonomy doesn’t mean “no rules and free reign.” We all work under guidelines. But when we understand our parameters, and have the freedom to do our best work, we are more creative, innovative, passionate and, ultimately, more effective.

Employees want to be empowered and have freedom to do their jobs in the way they feel is most effective (and most enjoyable). Organizations want results and accountability. Autonomy bridges these two needs, resulting in empowered, accountable employees.


Being stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional progress.

Do You Regularly Feel Challenged and Stretched?

Growing in our jobs doesn’t always mean getting a promotion or a raise; these are components of satisfaction. Growth is about mastering new skills, taking on challenges, and pushing to be better—both professionally and personally.

Results from DecisionWise employee surveys show that managers often fail to challenge employees enough to learn and to achieve higher results. Similarly, many employees don’t find their work challenging enough to keep them engaged. Imagine the untapped potential! On the other hand, stretching, taken to the extreme, can result in unhealthy stress. Growth strikes the balance between boredom and burnout.


Seeing positive and worthwhile outcomes and results for your work.

Do You Leave Work Each Day Feeling Like You Accomplished Something Worthwhile?

Impact is about results. It’s incremental progress toward a goal, and small wins that lead to big outcomes. We all need to see that the work we do is contributing to our own goals, the success of our team, those whom we serve, and the organization we are a part of. It’s the difference between simply showing up for work and knowing that we’re an integral part of the day’s operations.

Our employee engagement survey research shows that managers consistently fail to recognize employees for their contributions. This same research tells us that many employees don’t see that the work they do translates into results. They spend a significant part of the day spinning their wheels, not going very far. However, when leaders define goals and set clear expectations, measure and acknowledge progress, and help employees see progress, employees are far more likely (and able) to contribute to the organization’s success.


The sense of belonging to something greater than yourself.

Do You Feel Like You Are an Integral Part of Your Organization?

We connect with our organizations through the people with whom we work, the mission and values of the organization, and the work that we perform. Our work and our company are a part of who we are. The job, then, becomes more than just a set of tasks we perform.

When employees find connection, they work as a team, generate ideas, solve problems, take care of customers, and act with the organization’s best interests in mind. They’re proud of where they work and what they do, and they’re quick to tell others about it. They are fully invested. Employees become ambassadors for the organization—they see themselves as part of the organization, and others see the organization through these employees. Leaders understand that employees aren’t just part of the company—they are the brand.