Here is a diagram which is a summary of some research we undertook into engagement a couple of years ago. We mapped the levels of engagement of in excess of 2000 people across Australia and in a range of different jobs and industries. We discovered that we had personality and values profiles for in excess of 500 of them, which allowed us to undertake a study to assess whether personality and values could predict a person’s level of engagement.

You see the box which says “model summary” in the top right-hand corner. The figure under “R Square” shows that 30% of the variance in a person’s engagement was accounted for by a combination of their values and personality. I found this an intriguing finding at the time and still do because it suggests that 30% of a person’s levels of engagement are determined before they walk in through the door of your organisation.

The box in the bottom right-hand corner shows the six best predictors of engagement in this study. There were some findings here which were not surprising, such as the fact that diligence and liveliness – a tendency to be hard-working and cheerful – proved to be two of the best predictors of a person’s level of engagement. This relationship has been discovered previously.

More interesting was the fact that the value of conformity was a good predictor of engagement – research into the ability of values to predict work engagement of employees has not yet been fully explored.

I thought it was very interesting that two of the strongest predictors were greed avoidance – a tendency to not be overly focused on wealth and status, and altruism – a tendency to be sympathetic and softhearted towards others. This suggests that work engagement has a strong streak of generosity to it – that employees who are highly engaged tend to be kind and helpful to other employees and to their stakeholders. Just one more reason why people are working hard to create highly engaged workplaces.

Leader behaviours are also a strong driver of people’s levels of engagement. Click here to see how to measure leader behaviours which cause highly engaged employees.

Andrew Marty
Managing Director

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Andrew Marty