Employee Engagement Checklist

Employee engagement is a critical driver to an organization’s success. The below checklist is a starting point to help you gauge your strategy within the framework I use with clients. No strategy checks every box, but if you have a solid method to measure and respond to employee feedback, you should hit at least 80% of these both overall and within each section. 

Feeling overwhelmed? If your organization has very few of these things, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are my First Three – the first three things you should work on to measure and strengthen your employee engagement.


1. The organization collects feedback from employees regularly, and can analyze this feedback in a systematic way (e.g. data analysis from a survey). You should collect feedback at least twice a year to measure growth and improvement. 


2. You have a way to ensure a high response rate to employee feedback surveys or activities. If your participation rate across the org or across individual schools/departments is less than 80%, you should work on a plan to increase participation. 


3. Leaders review feedback and make changes in response. Surveys and town halls aren’t just performative. Your organization’s leaders review feedback and action-plan to address growth areas and improve the lives of staff. 

Ideal State

Vision, Goals & Strategy

  • Goals are aligned to overall talent philosophy and vision statement,
  • Historical employee engagement data was utilized to set realistic yet ambitious goals that meet the organization’s need
  • Goals are rigorous and have a clear impact on student impact across the organization (e.g. >90% of employees report they have the resources and training needed to do their job well)
  • Leadership and relevant teams buy-in to goals and played a role in developing goals (if relevant for their role)
  • Clear strategy is in place to achieve goals; includes specific tactics, milestones, metrics, and owners
  • An overarching employee engagement calendar is published for leaders to visibly see critical deadlines
  • Individual employee engagement tactics can be tied to employee feedback or data received

enabling Structures & mindsets

  • Data is quickly and clearly analyzed by a data team (internal or external)
  • There is a culture of feedback where staff feel comfortable providing feedback through formal and informal channels
  • A review process is in place to prioritize and action plan based off the data
  • Managers value the data and believe in the importance of seeking employee feedback
  • If anonymity is promised, it is always honored
  • Leaders do not shy away from making bold changes to remedy employee concerns

Process, Systems & Tools

  • System is in place and is effectively used to collect feedback (both qualitative and quantitative) from employees at least twice a year
  • A review process is in place to prioritize and action plan based off the data
  • There is a process for pro-actively seeking input from all staff levels on major decisions and changes that will impact staff (e.g. separate surveys, town halls, comment forms, focus groups, etc.)

Manager Training & Execution

  • Managers receive training and coaching on how to: 
            • analyze and determine root cause for data on their own teams 
            • use org-specific processes and tools
            • lead change management initiatives
  • Managers support the processes and structures utilized to collect employee feedback (e.g. encourage staff to complete surveys, provide time for employees to join focus groups, etc.)

Staff Training & communication

  • Staff have access to see aggregated data from employee feedback initiatives or surveys
  • Staff know which changes and actions are in reaction to specific staff feedback
  • All staff have access and are accommodated so they provide input when requested (e.g. focus groups held in multiple locations or at different times to accommodate a variety of staff members, surveys in multiple languages, etc.)
  • Staff who are asked for a high lift on their time, energy, and expertise in a given topic are compensated (e.g. a year-long teacher advisory committee)


  • Employee engagement data is analyzed for trends across lines of race, gender, age/tenure, disability, and any other demographic collected by the org
  • Discrepancies discovered through the above data review are addressed
  • Employee engagement surveys have been edited for language that is characteristic of white supremacy culture or sexist, ableist, or ageist in nature.
  • Employee engagement surveys directly ask staff for their experiences with equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • When employees are asked for qualitative feedback through focus groups, town halls, etc., leaders ensure there is equitable representation across all staff demographics; when there is not, leaders separately seek out feedback from underrepresented demographics

Impact & results

Impact and results will largely be determined by an individual organization’s current data. Some sample impact metrics could include: 
  • >X% of staff complete their employee engagement survey
  • >X% of staff participate in 1-2 employee feedback forums per year
  • X% of staff answered the following question(s) with ‘Strongly Agree or Agree’: “XXXX….”
  • The organization’s net promoter score increased by X.XX from previous year
  • The following questions showed an X% improvement YOY of staff answering ‘Strongly Agree’ or ‘Agree’: XXXXX (with X being a selection of the critical questions where the organization wants to improve)
  • X% of staff say their opinions matter at work.

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