FAQ: What Are Engagement Outcomes and Drivers?

Our engagement survey is comprised of two types of items: outcomes and drivers


Engagement outcomes are at the core of how we measure employee engagement. They help reveal the current state of employee engagement within organizations. Outcomes are not actionable because they are targets that organizations should strive to maintain or enhance. There are 9 Engagement Outcome items, although you are not required to include all 9 items in your survey.


Actionability comes in the form of drivers – items that help us figure out what can be done to maintain, improve, or otherwise drive those outcomes toward higher levels of favorability. 

Calculate overall Engagement for each respondent.

  • Overall Engagement = Sum of scores for all Engagement outcome items (typically 9 outcomes, each rated 1-6 on favorability scale, with 1 being "strongly disagree" and 6 being "strongly agree")
    • Example: If a respondent rates all 9 outcomes as “1,” we add the 9 scores of “1,” and the sum is 9. If a respondent rates “6” for all 9 outcomes, the sum is 54. Most overall Engagement scores will fall in between.
    • NOTE: If your organization used more outcome items or prefers different scales, the numbers used in the calculations change accordingly.

Determine which survey items (non-engagement outcomes) are most related to employees’ overall engagement ratings. These items are called “engagement drivers” and have the most potential for improving engagement, so we consider them to be the most actionable.

  • Method: Pearson product-moment correlation, or “Pearson correlation”
  • Higher Pearson correlation coefficient = item is more related to overall engagement
  • How it works: This analysis determines which items typically receive lower favorability ratings by less engaged respondents, and which items receive higher favorability ratings by more engaged respondents. When the high/low ratings match well with high/low engagement, these items receive the highest correlation coefficients and are considered “most related” to engagement (i.e. drivers).