Engagement: 101

15Five's Engagement feature helps organizations understand the level of engagement within their organization.

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What do you mean when you say "Employee Engagement"?

We believe engagement at work is a complex emotional and psychological state that, if achieved, can be very beneficial for both your employer and you. That said, ‘engagement’ is not just one thing… here’s how we define it:

“an employee’s intellectual and emotional connection with an employer, demonstrated by motivation and commitment to positively impacting the company vision and goals.”

In other words, focused purposeful energy towards work tasks and company goals results in benefits to the organization as well as you.

Read more in our "What is employee engagement" Help Center article.

Why we built Engagement

Great question! Here are some examples of what we help our customers with:

  • Getting to the root of workload stressors so teams aren’t stretched too thin
  • Improving communication from leadership on strategic priorities and how those impact your work directly
  • Introducing professional development programs to help with your personal growth
  • Cutting down on politics and morale killers to make the office a better place to spend your days
  • Understanding uneven management practices and recommending manager coaching
  • Improving processes to make your job more efficient
  • In other words, we set out to find and directly address the biggest obstacles to a great work experience and culture. We don’t let politics and hierarchy get in the way - after all, this is what your leadership signed up for!

What surveys are available?

15Five offers four types of engagement surveys:

  • Core engagement survey
  • Custom surveys
  • eNPS survey
  • Topic-based survey

Continue reading for more information about each of these survey types.

Core engagement survey

This 6-minute survey consists of 55 questions and one optional, open response question. The questions focus on two things - the Engagement Score and Engagement Drivers. Employees are then given an opportunity to share an anonymous comment on an engagement driver based on their survey responses. The results from the survey help leaders identify the engagement strengths and weaknesses within their organization and teams. This produces trends over time of how engagement is progressing.

What it looks like

  • Send the Engagement Assessment to the entire organization. The assessment is designed to help organizations understand the engagement level of their entire workforce. Results are also displayed for employee segments to focus on areas of the organization that have strong engagement and areas that require action.
  • Follow our tested methodology. The questions in the assessment are intentionally worded to assess how engaged employees are. Because the statements have been developed to measure engagement, we do not allow these to be changed. Specific terms in the statements can be adjusted to reflect the terminology in your organization. Learn more about survey wording substitutions here.
  • Our system manages sending to employees. We will send a unique link to each employee via email and/or SMS (US only). We require unique contact information for each employee and we'll handle the rest of the process of inviting survey participants and sending reminders to participate.
  • Track employee engagement over time. We recommend surveying employees 2-4 times per year to evaluate which actions are working and which are not. Each survey cycle shows engagement score trends. Establishing a cadence upfront allows employee engagement to be part of business planning.


  • Responses are anonymous. We never show the name of an employee respondent and also only show results for groups with 5+ responses. This protects the responses of employees so no individual response can be inferred.
  • Participation is confidential. We do not share which employees did or did not participate in the survey. We want employees to trust the confidentiality of the survey so they are willing to participate in future surveys.
  • The "rule of five". With groups smaller than five, it becomes easier to identify where each person falls on the engagement spectrum. 15Five will never show employee data when there are less than five employees in a group or less than five responses from a specific group. Engagement survey responses are only available if at least five employees respond. This means that groups with less than five employees will never have results available. If a group has more than five employees, but fewer than five responded, those results will be hidden. These employees' responses, however, will still be included as part of the overall organization Engagement Score and any other group they might be associated with, as long as those groups had more than five respondents.

Response Rate and Reporting

  • Our Global Average Response rate is 82% when following our default recommend reminder cadence. This can vary depending on the accuracy and type of contact information, industry, internal promotion efforts, and of course employee perception of action over time.
  • Results are available immediately with a follow-up briefing. Results are available in the engagement dashboard when the survey closes. They are available to the Account Owner and other authorized users with total or partial results visibility. Your Executive Advisor will guide you through an executive summary of results on a live conference call typically within a week of survey close.

How did you come up with the survey questions?

There's a lot of science behind this! We spend time with university psychologists, we review scholarly research, and we validate survey scales in the marketplace in order to have the most effective standardized survey questions. Every question is intentionally worded. We run reliability and validity tests regularly. In total there are about 55 Likert scale statements taking an average of 6 minutes to complete in total. From these questions, we show results for the important components of engagement related to the work itself, the relationships around the work, and the mission/impact of the org. Our methodology strongly recommends sending this survey 3-4x/year--so the questions might start to feel familiar--as this allows us to trend results for your leaders so they can tell what's working and what's not.

Science 🔬: Reliability and Validity of the Engagement Score Questions

I'd like to share comments on the survey. How do I do this?

After you complete the Likert portion of the survey, you will have an opportunity to share comments through our Dynamic Feedback feature. We will ask you to provide feedback on an area that you scored higher or lower than other areas on the survey. This feedback will be shared anonymously with management at your organization.

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