Employee Engagement: Manager's Toolkit

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is important for anyone who works at UO, including faculty, officers of administration, classified employees, graduate employees, and student employees.

To take meaningful action that positively impact employee engagement, it is important to first understand its definition. Gallup, Inc. defines employee engagement as:

  • The measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues, and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work.
  • The employee's faith in the mission, purpose, and values of an organization. It can be proven by their attitude, actions, and effort towards their employer and the people they serve, which will be translated into their commitment.

Employee Engagement

The manager-employee relationship is one of the most important in the workplace. Based on Gallup research*, local supervisors and managers account for at least 70% of the factors affecting employee engagement and play the most significant role in building engagement. Anyone who supervises the work of others, directs work, or is responsible for managing an academic or administrative program, unit, department, or team should incorporate engagement strategies into their interactions with employees and integrate them into their daily work. Proactively using employee engagement strategies IS NOT about creating additional work. Rather, it IS about enhancing and building on the work you are already doing. The recommended actions are intended to reinforce strategies you already use or generate new ideas.

*The Gallup Manager Assessment: Technical Report, Gallup, 2013


Engagement strategies are based on core principles we share as colleagues and as a community. Each of these guiding principles should be exemplified within the framework of each strategy:

  • Focus on the people not just the process.
    Make room for the human element in every project and task.
  • Seek to understand.
    Find out where people are coming from and learn more about their point of view and perspective before drawing conclusions and passing judgment.
  • Recognize and embrace difference.
    Remember and remind others that it is our differences that make us stronger; our varied backgrounds and experiences give use more insight and knowledge to leverage.
  • Create and promote an inclusive culture.
    Provide safe spaces for employees to be themselves so they feel welcome and have a sense of belonging.
  • Lean on each other.
    Reach out to others to get a renewed sense of purpose and to offer others encouragement and support.


Employee engagement strategies are categorized by key areas that positively impact an employee's experience and promotes engagement.