The importance of nurturing employee engagement, experience and effectiveness

Employees sitting around a desk having a meeting

Workagile recently attended Unleash, a two-day conference in Amsterdam that explored the future of work, the workforce and technology.

According to research, 48% of people said that workplace design has a notable impact on their decision as to whether to stay with an employer. With so many companies competing to recruit and retain the same staff, it’s important to get this right. Talent retention is essential for any business, which is why so much research is being invested in providing collaborative workspaces, comfortable furniture and introducing biophilic elements that will encourage creativity on a daily basis.

Culture Amp, an employee feedback platform, offered an insight on how to make “The Three Es” work for your organisation: engagement, experience and effectiveness.


Engagement is defined by Culture Amp as “a mix of feelings, attitudes and behaviours that express your employees’ commitment, motivation and connection to their work.” It’s more than just salary; an engaged individual will be inspired, interested and committed to their work. Evidence confirms that 73% of actively disengaged employees will be looking for a new job, and the most engaged organisations are 21% more profitable than the least engaged organisations.

Culture Amp goes on to suggest how employee engagement concepts can be measured through recommendation (whether people are keen to recommend their workplace to others), motivation (observed when an individual will go the extra mile, whether that is through working extra overtime or supporting their colleagues), pride (how an employee speaks about their job to others determines their connection to the company), present commitment (not actively looking for another role outside of the company) and future commitment (where they see themselves in 3 months, a year, or even five years’ time).


Culture Amp defines employee experience as “what your people encounter, observe or feel over the course of their employee journey at your organisation.” Many companies forget that the employee experience begins as soon as they interact with your business. Your website, the application process, the interview, the induction at your workplace and the reviews. How employees experience your company can vary from day to day, but the overall consistency – whether that’s in a positive or negative way – will affect the employee lifecycle.

79% of business and HR leaders consider employee experience an integral trend, which is why the entire recruitment and retention strategies are being more carefully considered. People centric workspaces have been shown to be a tangible strategic lever to impact employee engagement. The rise of people-centred workplace design is being led by senior leadership now recognising the power of design too. The likes of Airbnb and Google are willing to invest highly in workplace design in their quests to boost staff productivity. Key to this has been research and being aware that one size does not fit all.


The final E is effectiveness, defined by Culture Amp as “how well managers, individual contributors and teams get the job done, individually and together, to meet the performance expectations and contribute to individual, team and organisational goals.” This explores how people can be encouraged to carve their own paths and demonstrate their skillset in new and innovative ways.

While increasing senior management’s awareness of the effects of workplace design on employee engagement and productivity is important, it must be employee-led to really deliver. Employees are now being given a far greater say not just in how and where they work day to day, but also how their workspace should look and function.

“When employees feel looked after by their working environment, they feel part ownership of that space,” says Emma Morley, creative director and founder of Trifle Creative, the company that redesigned print giant MOO’s London office. “However, the issue is how employees own a space if they can’t make it their own. So, along with moving away from the traditional method of a fixed desk towards hot-desking, there are other areas employees can have a sense of ownership over such as wonder walls, family walls and idea-sharing walls.”.

Overall these three Es are factors that can be combined with various other elements that will contribute towards retaining talent and providing optimum workspaces. For further insights on how to create a stimulating workplace, check out the review on Neil Usher’s 12 elements of workplace design, or how salutogenic design will change lives.

Work smart. Work well. Workagile.