The 4 E’s of Employee Engagement

Looking to make a big impact on engagement levels in your business fast? Focus your efforts on these four crucial areas.

February 21, 2024
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
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If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
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What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
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Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
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Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
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You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
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Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
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What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
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Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
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What movie defined your generation?
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Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
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What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
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Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
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When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Crack the employee engagement code and you could transform your company’s fortunes. 

Don’t believe us? Did you know:

  • Engaged teams are 21% more productive?
  • Engaged employees generate 43% more revenue – and are 87% less likely to leave their job – than disengaged ones?
  • Organizations with a highly engaged workforce outperform their competitors by a massive 147% in earnings-per-share?

Which all sounds great…

But employee engagement is difficult enough to define, never mind track and improve. 

Which is a big reason a measly 10% of people describe themselves as “highly engaged” in their work. Most leaders and HR teams simply don’t know where to start when it comes to this crucial piece of the people puzzle.

And that’s where the 4 E’s of employee engagement come in. 

They bake one of the most misunderstood phrases in the world of HR down to four levers you can pull to quickly boost engagement across your business. 

Read on to discover what the 4 E’s of employee engagement are – and how to start using them to improve engagement across your business today.

The 4 E’s of employee engagement

Want to boost team collaboration, employee retention, and employee happiness across your business – fast?

Look no further than these four cornerstones employee engagement:


Enablement is providing your people with everything they need to do their best work – and removing any obstacles that might hold them back. 

It’s giving them a budget to outsource specialist skills you don’t have in-house to contractors. It’s signing off the equipment they need to do their job properly. It’s letting your people work flexible hours around their other commitments to help reduce the stress in their lives.

This might all sound simple, but it’s amazing how many businesses get enablement wrong – sending work motivation plummeting. 

For example, let’s say a new hire asks their manager if they can have a second monitor for their workspace, as they think it will make their job a lot easier. You don’t have the budget to buy a second screen for everyone in the office, so you say no to avoid setting a precedent you can’t maintain. 

Seems like a reasonable choice on the surface. But what message are you sending to that employee by denying that request? That you’re not willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a second screen they’ve told you they need to do their best work? That a boost in their productivity and happiness isn’t worth the price of a computer monitor to you?

Respect in the workplace and staff appreciation start from the top. If you don’t enable your people to do their best work by listening to their needs and responding to them, your employee engagement strategies are doomed to fail before they’ve even begun. 

So, a shortcut to happy employees is to regularly ask your teammates what you can do to make their lives easier in your engagement surveys – and by asking the right questions during one-to-ones

Then a simple – but often not easy – way to show staff appreciation is to do whatever you can to deliver on those requests. 


Empowerment is all about giving your people the autonomy to do things their own way. 

This is absolutely essential to engagement. After all, flexibility would be the deciding factor between two jobs with identical pay for a whopping 75% of workers. And research shows job autonomy has a huge impact on both job satisfaction and performance. 

In other words: giving your people a say in how they do their work will send engagement through the roof across your business.

Want to supercharge empowerment across your organization? Set your teammates’ KPIs, but then leave them in charge of:

  • What the best way to achieve them is
  • When – and where – they work
  • What resources they’re going to need to deliver the results that are expected of them

60% of people say micromanagement is a demotivating factor at work. Empowerment has such a big impact on employee engagement because it’s the polar opposite of micromanaging. Instead of telling their reports exactly what to do – and how to do it – your managers’ should simply ask “what blockers are holding you back from doing your best work?” and “what can I do to help you hit your KPIs?”.


Your people aren’t going to get real, lasting job satisfaction from a job where they’re expected to do as they're told and not ask questions.

That’s where expression comes in. And it comes from you regularly inviting your teammates to voice their opinions, share feedback, and contribute ideas. 

This can have a huge impact on your business. First of all, businesses that give their people a voice and act on their feedback are 8.4X more likely to inspire a sense of belonging. And your people are a lot more likely to go the extra mile when they’re playing their part as part of a team they feel like they belong to than when they’re going through the motions in a job that pays the bills. 

Secondly, businesses that listen to their people and act on their feedback are 3.6X more likely to innovate effectively. Innovation doesn’t often come from the same people tackling the same problems again and again, after all. Give your employees a say in how you could be doing things better and you might be surprised how effective the ideas they come back with are.

Businesses that let their employees express themselves are also 12X more likely to retain them. Which is no surprise, really. If your people have a say in how things are done within your organization, they can help create their dream job – which isn’t something they’ll want to leave in a hurry.

Last but not least, 74% of people feel more engaged at work when they feel their voice is heard. Which is why expression is one of the four pillars of engagement.

Want to start reaping the benefits of giving your employees space to express themselves in your business? Be careful to create a company culture that leaves your people comfortable opening up what they don’t love about their job. Then be sure to give them a platform to express their opinions through engagement surveys, one-to-ones, and annual reviews.


Last but certainly not least when it comes to employee engagement is environment.

This begins with where your people work from. And with 59% of workers preferring hybrid working, that means working from home at least some of the time for most employees. Given the option, the majority of workers would actually prefer to be in the office between one and three days a week.

Accommodating this environment for your employees comes with all kinds of benefits, including:

  • 81% of hybrid employees are highly engaged.
  • 78% of employees say a hybrid work plan leads to a better work/life balance.
  • Hybrid workplaces have seen an average 12% reduction in employee turnover.

But environment isn’t just about where your people work from. It also encompasses your company’s overall organizational culture, the kind of behaviors that are (and aren’t) considered acceptable in your workplace, and your people’s work-life balance. 

A toxic workplace environment is a one-way ticket to sky-high employee burnout and turnover rates – and rock-bottom engagement. And once a toxic company culture sets in it's almost impossible to reverse. So, be very careful about the environment you set within your company or it could cause irreversible damage.

The final word

Looking to make a big impact on engagement levels in your business fast? Focus your efforts on the 4 E’s – enablement, empowerment, expression, and environment – and your team will be getting more done, sticking around for longer, and generating more revenue in no time.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered