Employee Engagement Glossary

Teamspective’s Employee Engagement Glossary is your comprehensive guide to the world of employee engagement. This glossary is designed to demystify the jargon and provide clear definitions.


Actionable People Analytics

Whether you're a seasoned HR professional, a newly appointed manager, or a business leader striving to cultivate a vibrant workplace culture, grasping the key terms and concepts related to employee engagement can help build a more motivated, committed, and satisfied workforce.

Teamspective’s Employee Engagement Glossary is your comprehensive guide to the world of employee engagement. This glossary is designed to demystify the jargon and provide clear definitions.

360-Degree Evaluation

A 360-degree evaluation, also known as a 360-degree feedback, 360 review, or 360-degree appraisal, is a performance appraisal method that gathers feedback on an individual from all directions in the organization. This includes the individual's manager, peers, subordinates, and sometimes even clients. Additionally, the individual being evaluated usually completes a self-assessment, which is included in the feedback process.

The primary goal of a 360-degree evaluation is to provide a comprehensive overview of an employee's performance, strengths, and areas for improvement. 


A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress at work. It's often a sign of disengagement and can lead to high turnover rates.

For more on burnout, see “Job burnout: How to spot it and take action”.

Career Development Opportunities

Programs and initiatives offered by an organization to help employees grow professionally. Such opportunities can significantly boost engagement and retention.

Change Management

The approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state. Effective change management can maintain or increase engagement during times of change.

Change management can also be facilitated with software solutions, such as Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), which can help estimate connections between teams and individuals, as well as analyze how changes in the organization might impact its overall effectiveness.

Conflict Resolution

The process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side's needs and addressing their interests. Effective conflict resolution can prevent disengagement and turnover.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing CSR, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental, which can enhance employee pride and engagement.

Diversity and Inclusion

Policies and practices that ensure all employees, regardless of their background, identity, or orientation, have equal opportunities and feel valued and included in the workplace. Also known as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

If you want to learn more about DEI, see this article from McKinsey & Company.

Employee Advocacy

The promotion of an organization by its own employees, who share their support for the company's brand, products, or services on their personal social networks. It's a sign of high engagement and commitment.

Employee Autonomy

The degree to which employees have the freedom to make decisions about their work processes, tasks, and time management. Autonomy can significantly enhance job satisfaction and engagement.

Employee Empowerment

Giving employees the power, resources, and opportunities to make decisions and contribute to the company's success. Empowerment can lead to higher job satisfaction and engagement.

Employee Engagement

The level of an employee's commitment, passion, and loyalty towards their organization, which influences their willingness to go above and beyond in their work. 

Measuring employee engagement is critical for understanding how committed and motivated your employees are as gut feeling is not enough to accurately assess it. Measurement also helps in identifying improvement areas, which is critical to boosting productivity and employee satisfaction and reducing turnover for example.

Employee engagement is most commonly measured through different kinds of surveys. This is also where Teamspective’s solutions, such as Pulse Surveys, can be extremely helpful as they make measurement, analysis, and identifying development areas easy for manager and HR leaders.Teamspective pulse survey can be fully integrated with Slack or MS Teams and require minimum admin work.

Employee Experience

The sum of all interactions an employee has with their employer, from recruitment to exit, including their feelings, perceptions, and attitudes about the company culture, workspace, and work-life balance.

Employee Feedback Mechanisms

Tools and processes that allow and encourage employees to provide input or feedback to the management about their job satisfaction, engagement, and concerns. 

A great way to achieve this is to use engagement surveys and personal feedback tools that integrate with the company’s communication systems. For example Teamspective integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams so can answer engagement surveys as well as request and share feedback directly in there without needing to navigate to another platform.

For more information on how to encourage feedback, visit the Teamspective blog.

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

eNPS is a metric used to measure employees' willingness to recommend their workplace to friends and acquaintances as a good place to work. It is derived from asking employees a single question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?". Based on their responses, employees are categorized as promoters, passives, or detractors. 

  • Promoters are those answering with a 9 or 10. 
  • Detractors are those who respond with a score lower than 7. 
  • Passives are those who gave a score of 7 or 8 and are only counted in the total sum of responses.

eNPS can be very useful for businesses seeking to understand and improve their workplace environment. It serves as a barometer for employee sentiment, impacting factors such as retention, productivity, and overall company culture. High eNPS scores are often correlated with a positive work environment and a committed workforce. 

For more on eNPS, see “Understanding eNPS: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses”.

Employee Recognition Programs

Formal and informal programs designed to reward and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of employees to motivate and engage the workforce. While recognition programs can be complex company wide processes that include a bonus system for instance, they can also be very simple such as providing a public channel to give praise in. Teamspective’s praise feature for example allows employees to send praise to each other directly through Slack.

Employee Retention

The ability of an organization to retain its employees. High employee engagement typically leads to higher retention rates.

Employee Satisfaction

A measure of how happy or content employees are with their job and work environment. While related, it's distinct from engagement, focusing more on happiness than on active participation or commitment.

Employee Surveys

Tools used to gather feedback from employees on various aspects of their work experience, including engagement, satisfaction, and workplace climate. Commonly used survey types include for example engagement surveys, pulse surveys, eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) surveys and 360-Degree Feedback Surveys.

For more information about different kinds of employee surveys, see our guide to the 7 key employee surveys.

Employee Turnover

The rate at which employees leave an organization and are replaced by new employees. While some turnover is normal, high turnover can indicate low engagement and dissatisfaction.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

The unique set of benefits an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to a company. A strong EVP can attract and retain talent, boosting engagement. 

Employee Wellbeing

The overall physical, mental, and emotional health of an employee. Employers may offer programs and initiatives to support employees' well-being as part of their engagement strategy. Employee wellbeing can be measured through pulse surveys for example.

Engagement Strategy

A plan designed by an organization to increase the level of engagement and commitment of its employees through various initiatives, practices, and policies.

A good starting point to an effective engagement strategy is to measure engagement often, at regular intervals using tools like pulse surveys. This allows you to have effective monitoring of how engagement develops and allows you to take actions quickly. After the right systems are in place, it’s also crucial to establish a culture of continuous improvement and to empower leaders on all organizational levels (from team leads to the C-level) to take action without direct supervision from the People team.

Engagement Survey

A tool used to measure employees' feelings and engagement levels within the organization. Surveys typically include questions about job satisfaction, emotional investment, and commitment.

For more on engagement surveys and how they differ from other key employee surveys, see: “7 Key Employee Surveys for Organizational Growth

Feedback Culture

A workplace environment where regular, constructive feedback is exchanged between employees and management. This culture supports continuous improvement and employee development.

For more on the benefits of feedback culture, see: “The ROI of investing in feedback culture”.

Goal Alignment

The process of ensuring that employees' individual goals and objectives are aligned with the organization's mission and strategic goals. Alignment helps increase engagement and productivity.

HR Surveys

The term “HR survey” usually refers to a more comprehensive survey that covers a range of topics related to HR, such as benefits, compensation, employee onboarding, and training and development. HR surveys are usually conducted annually or bi-annually and consist of several questions (usually 20 or more). The goal of HR surveys is to gather feedback from employees to HR about their overall experience and identify areas for improvement.

For more information about HR surveys, see our blog post.

Internal Communication

The transmission of information between organization members or parts of the organization. It plays a crucial role in building transparency, trust, and engagement.

Job Enrichment

The process of making a job more rewarding, stimulating, and satisfying for the employees by adding more meaningful tasks and duties.

Languages of Appreciation

The five languages of appreciation concept stems from the book “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. It groups the ways in which people communicate appreciation into five different categories, and different people prefer and respond better to different languages.

For more on the five languages of appreciation, see “What makes you feel appreciated? Learn the 5 Languages of Appreciation at the Workplace”.

Leadership Effectiveness

The ability of an organization's leaders to inspire, influence, and guide individuals or teams in achieving their goals. Effective leadership is critical for fostering a culture of engagement.

Learning and Development (L&D)

Programs aimed at expanding employees' skills and competencies, preparing them for future roles within the organization. L&D initiatives are key drivers of engagement.

Mentorship Programs

Initiatives where experienced professionals provide guidance, knowledge sharing, and support to less experienced employees, enhancing their professional development and engagement.

Onboarding Process

The mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members. A positive onboarding experience can significantly impact employee engagement.

Organizational Culture

The set of shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and practices that characterizes an organization. A positive culture can significantly enhance employee engagement.

Organizational Development (OD)

A field of research, theory, and practice dedicated to expanding the knowledge and effectiveness of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance.

Organizational Network Analysis (ONA)

ONA is based on social network theory. More specifically, it is an application of dynamic network analysis. ONA is a method for studying communication and networks within an organization by creating statistical and graphical models of the people, tasks, groups, knowledge and resources. Its ultimate goal is creating a better-performing organization through better understanding of the true relationships between employees. 

Typically, this means creating a visual representation of the connections of teams and people across the organization. With ONA, you can identify areas for improvement and support the teams that are left too detached. You can ensure that new teams fit well into the organization and existing ones are able to adapt their ways of collaborating with others.

For more on ONA, see: “What is Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), how it works and what are the key benefits?

Performance Incentives

Rewards tied to the achievement of specific performance targets or milestones, intended to motivate and engage employees by aligning their interests with organizational goals.

Performance Management

The ongoing process of communication and feedback between a supervisor and an employee throughout the year to achieve strategic objectives. It includes setting expectations, continuous feedback, and performance evaluations.

Learn more about performance management in our blog: “Creating a Culture of Performance: Elements of a Good Employee Performance Management Process”.

Psychological Safety

The belief that one can speak up, take risks, and be creative without fear of punishment or humiliation. High psychological safety contributes to better team engagement and innovation.

For more information on psychological safety and how to strengthen it, see “Strategies for creating psychological safety”.

Pulse Surveys

A pulse survey is a quick, concise survey sent to employees on a regular basis (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly) to gauge the health of employee engagement, satisfaction, and well-being within an organization. Pulse surveys are designed to be short and easy to complete, often consisting of just a few questions. This allows organizations to collect and analyze feedback frequently to identify trends, monitor the impact of changes or initiatives in real-time, and respond swiftly to issues.

For more on pulse surveys, see “The Definitive Guide to Pulse Surveys”.

Recognition and Rewards

Systems and processes aimed at acknowledging and rewarding employees for their achievements and contributions to the organization. Recognition can be monetary or non-monetary.

Remote Work Policies

Guidelines and principles that govern the ability of employees to work from a location other than the office, such as home, affecting work-life balance and potentially employee engagement. Remote work can also impact the difficulty of gauging employee engagement.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis is the process of determining the emotional tone behind a series of words, used to gain an understanding of the attitudes, opinions, and emotions expressed. In employee engagement context sentiment analysis is used to determine whether the sentiments of the organization and teams and individuals are negative or positive. Employee sentiment is typically analyzed using employee engagement surveys. For example, pulse surveys using both open and closed questions are a great tool for gathering this data. 

See our blog for more information on how traditional and modern employee sentiment analysis is conducted. Teamspective offers AI Sentiment Analysis, which automatically analyzes sentiment from survey answers and provides leaders the main points without them needing to do manual analysis.

Succession Planning

The process of identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. It ensures career growth opportunities and enhances engagement.

Survey AI

The process of using artificial intelligence tools in building and analyzing surveys. For more on using AI in employee surveys, see our blog post.

Team Cohesion

The degree to which team members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the team. High cohesion often leads to increased engagement and productivity.

Team Dynamics

The behavioral relationships between team members that influence the team's performance and members' satisfaction. Positive team dynamics contribute to higher engagement.

Turnover Intention

The likelihood of employees leaving the organization. A high turnover intention rate can indicate low engagement levels.

Turnover Contagion

Turnover contagion refers to the phenomenon where the departure of employees from an organization triggers a chain reaction that leads to additional employees leaving. This can happen for several reasons, including decreased morale, increased workload for remaining employees, or perceptions that there are better opportunities elsewhere.

For more information, see our blog post on turnover contagion.

Work-Life Balance

The equilibrium between personal life and work life. A favorable balance can positively affect employee engagement and satisfaction.

Workplace Ethics

The moral principles that guide behavior and decisions in the workplace. Strong ethical standards can foster trust and engagement among employees.

Workplace Flexibility

The ability of employees to have a say in how, when, and where they work. Flexibility can improve work-life balance and lead to higher engagement.