Low Engagement Score and positive heatmap

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The information contained in this article has been combined into our "Analyze Engagement results: Engagement Score and Drivers" article and this article will be archived in Q3 2023.

To understand why a group can have a low Engagement Score and higher Engagement Driver scores, we'll start with understanding these two components measured by 15Five.

The 55 statements in the engagement survey result in two types of results - the Engagement Score and Engagement Drivers.

The Engagement Score has been rigorously validated to accurately represent employee engagement. Employee Engagement exists when employees are motivated and committed to positively impact company goals. To reach this state, there are aspects that an organization can impact and there are areas that an employee controls.

Many of the elements that an organization can influence are captured by the 17 drivers in the engagement survey. These are measured separately from the statements that create the Engagement Score. The drivers point to areas that people leaders can address to improve engagement for employees.

While the 17 drivers provide a clear picture of the way employees feel about aspects of engagement, it is not the complete picture as employees still have aspects of engagement that they control as individuals. Because the Engagement Score and the Engagement Drivers are measured as separate scales, there are situations where the Engagement Score is low, but there are not clear drivers that appear "on fire" to address the issue.

What are the next steps when this happens?

Don't worry, this does not mean that the data is incorrect. There are three things to focus on in this situation:

  • Understand the root issue: This situation typically points to employees who are satisfied, but not engaged. The difference between satisfaction and engagement can be hard to distinguish. Satisfied employees are content with what the organization provides, as demonstrated in the higher driver scores. However, they lack engagement, which is reflected in the lower Engagement Score. When employees are satisfied instead of engaged, they are comfortable. They show up, often perform to meet expectations, but lack the commitment to lean in and push forward. Settling for satisfaction instead of engagement can have a significant impact on your business. To address the satisfaction issue, the next thing to do is look at the influential drivers for your organization.
  • Focus on influence: The Engagement Score and the Engagement Drivers are measured on separate scales so they have independent scores, but these scores are strongly correlated. The strength of the correlation is unique to each organization and is represented in our Influence feature. Often, when a group has a lower Engagement Score and higher driver scores, the areas they score higher in are not the most influential. In other words, those drivers do not impact engagement as strongly. Find the areas that have the highest influence to focus your next steps.
  • Act on the identified issue: Often, there are several drivers that need attention and your Consultant helps to determine how to prioritize next steps. In this situation, there are likely only a few low drivers. This does not mean that the data is not accurate. In fact, this simplifies next steps as leaders can be really focused on just a few areas. Continue to use the driver scores, Influence, and Dynamic Feedback from employees to identify these focused areas for action.
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