14 Signs & Behaviors of Engaged Employees

The best places to work are filled with engaged employees who bring their best to work each day. Employee engagement is the outcome of a healthy workplace culture, and it’s vital to employee retention, motivation, referrals, and more.  

When employees are engaged, the business succeeds and can be considered a great place to work. But what employee engagement looks like isn’t always easy to spot. So let’s explore the most common behavior and signs of engaged employees.  

1. Emotional commitment to the organization

Engaged employees show an emotional commitment, and they spend discretionary effort to better your company. Research shows this is one of the most significant signs of engaged employees. 

When employees are highly engaged, they are invested in your company, motivated, and loyal — and they’ll even recommend your company to others. Higher levels of employee engagement translate into more productivity, lower turnover, and better recruitment.  

2. Positive attitudes

An engaged employee will have a positive attitude while working and talking about your company outside of work. Positive attitudes feed the work environment and improve company culture

Employees with positive attitudes also motivate those around them, either directly or indirectly. Upbeat employees enjoy their work, enjoy the company, and inspire positive attitudes in others. 

3. Collaborative employees

The companies with the best cultures are filled with people who like to collaborate with those around them. These employees keep their eyes on the company goals and direction rather than focusing on individual success. Engaged employees collaborate with their teammates, co-workers, vendors, and others. 

4. Reliable and responsible employees

Engaged employees are reliable and responsible. Because they care about company success, they are at work on time, meet deadlines, and hold themselves accountable for their performance. Engaged employees do not require micromanagement, and you can trust them to complete their work as promised. 

Reliable and responsible employees are excellent candidates for career advancement, including internal promotions and leadership roles. Companies with engaged employees are well-positioned for the future.  

5. Making good decisions

What does employee engagement look like? Employees who make good decisions. Employees who don’t struggle to make decisions in the company’s best interest. Engaged employees are aligned with company values and believe in the company’s direction. Their connection to the organization guides their choices, whether developing a product roadmap, driving new business, or serving customers. 

6. Exceeding expectations

Exceeding expectations is typical behavior of engaged employees. Because they have a deep-rooted connection to the company, they do what it takes to ensure that their work is successful. And when they’re unsure, they know to ask questions and consider what can be done to achieve a different outcome the next time. Employees who exceed expectations or goals help the company be more successful.

7. Open and effective communication

Another example of behaviors of engaged employees is knowing how to communicate effectively with co-workers and superiors. Employees who are engaged make the most of their time at the office. They take advantage of what is in front of them as much as possible. Engaged employees also provide others with clear-cut information to avoid hiccups or miscommunications. 

8. Confident and innovative

Signs of engaged employees include confidence in all they do on the job. Having confident employees on the payroll will help drive the organization’s success. Confident employees are more likely to be innovative in what they do, driving the company forward.

Confident and innovative employees find ways to improve their performance and understand how they can contribute to the company’s success. They look ahead to prevent obstacles from slowing down progress and growth. Engaged employees routinely think outside the box, are unafraid to try new things, and thrive on challenges.  

9. Easy to work with

What does employee engagement look like? An engaged employee is easy to work with, no matter who is on their team. They pride themselves on cooperation, no matter how long they have been at the company or the position they hold.

10. Actively seek personal and professional development opportunities

Engaged employees often seek development opportunities. Whether in-house training programs, a new degree, or attending conferences, engaged employees are motivated to improve personally and professionally. Engaged employees might also be motivated to speak on behalf of the company. They look at these opportunities as a way to learn new skills and express their company commitment. 

11. Referrals, turnover, and replenishment

Companies with engaged employees minimize employee turnover and have better retention rates than companies whose employees are disengaged. One of the additional signs of an engaged employee is someone who enthusiastically refers others to the company. This is a great way to find like-minded job candidates and minimize recruitment costs. 

12. Adapt easily

Behaviors of engaged employees include quickly adapting to and adopting organizational changes. Engaged employees are eager to tackle new challenges. As mentioned earlier, engaged employees believe in the company’s direction, making it easier to be confident about where the company is headed. These employees can also spot areas for improvement and make recommendations for implementing change. 

13. Participate even when it’s not required

Not every meeting or company activity is mandatory. Engaged employees tend to participate in activities even when it’s not required. Their motivation contributes to team performance and positive company culture. Their behavior also sets an excellent example for others to follow. 

14. Happy to be brand ambassadors

The importance of brand reputation cannot be understated in the success or failure of a company. Engaged employees are always happy to be ambassadors of their company, no matter the situation. Engaged employees speak highly of their employer, whether they talk to a client, land a new customer, or interview a job candidate. These employees are also likely to wear branded apparel featuring the company logo or values, contributing to a positive company reputation.

Measure employee engagement with employee surveys

Now that we’ve explained “What does employee engagement look like?” it’s equally important to understand the qualities of a good manager. Managers are responsible for recognizing which employees are engaged and those who are not. 

An effective first step to improve employee engagement is to capture feedback with a research-backed employee engagement survey such as the one used for the Top Workplaces program. Companies with high engagement scores gain valuable employer recognition, which is one way to build your employer brand


  If your company believes in the power of a people-first culture, get recognized for it! Nominate your organization for Top Workplaces, the employer recognition program that offers awards in 60+ regional markets as well as national awards for culture and industry excellence.        


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