The Engagement Box: Which Quadrant Are You In?

In our previous article we shared about what employee engagement is. We pretty much summed up that your employees are your most important assets, and why it is a costly mistake to not keep them engaged.

Employee engagement goes beyond just employees KPI and punctuality. It is about how employees are willing to put in that additional effort beyond what is required of them to help the organization grow. Many organizations use employee engagement as an indication that they have the right work conditions, environment and culture for their employees.

This begs the question: How, then, can we identify if our employees are engaged or not? How engaged am I at work?

Here at StrengthsAsia, we’ve created a simple, non-scientific tool called the Engagement Box. The Engagement Box helps measure the level of engagement or disengagement employees are at. Some people also use the engagement box to measure the engagement level of their leaders, subordinates, team members etc.

Engagement Box

StrengthsAsia Copyright: Engagement Box

The engagement box is made up of 2 axis – The Satisfaction axis, and the Impact axis.

With this grid, employee engagement is measured based on 2 key factors – employee Satisfaction and Impact.

This defines engaged employees as “employees that experience high satisfaction and creates high impact in the work that they do.”

The satisfaction of an employee is about how happy and contented they are at work. Employee satisfaction is found in the areas of work environment, relationships with colleagues, job roles, functions or different aspects of the job.

The impact an employee creates is about the best contribution of an employee towards the organisation and the team. It focuses on the value and impact of the contribution, the KPIs met, and the achievement attained by the employee.

Based on the definition of satisfaction and impact, where do you think you or your employees will be in the engagement box?

The Quadrants

There are 4 different quadrants in the Engagement Box. They represent employee engagement in varying levels of Satisfaction and Impact. Employees may fall in any of the quadrants, or even possibly out of it. Let’s dive right into it.

Cosy Corner

In the Cosy Corner, employees experience high satisfaction in the culture and the work environment. It is likely that their values and goals are aligned with that of the organization. Overall, they feel positive about their place at work and also with the people they work with.

However, there is something missing. In the Cosy Corner, there is a possibility that they may feel that there is a lot more that they or their department can contribute to the organisation. The organisation is not tapping on their capabilities and strengths. They may be unsure on how their contributions directly impact or contribute to the growth of their organisation. The environment does not promote the use of their strengths. They and their team may even feel underutilised.

They may be constantly seeking out ways to do more but may not have the opportunity to do so, or your organisation may not know how to draw the best out of them.


In the Engaged quadrant, employees experience high-satisfaction in what they do. They contribute productively to their organization. They feel recognised and appreciated for their work. It is likely that they embrace challenges and are always seeking out ways to do better and improve.

They, together with people on their team, have shared alignment with the organization’s goals. They are accountable for the job that they have been given, and are focused on delivering results. There is a right fit between them and the organisation, and they are in the right role. Colleagues support them and the workplace environment encourages them. Their strengths can be utilised and they can be at their very best at work every day.

They feel positive towards their work and their fellow team members. They feel empowered to be able to make discretionary decisions and effort in their work, and they are emotionally committed. It is likely that they have also been given the opportunity for growth and development.


In the Burner quadrant, employees are highly impactful and productive. Their contributions greatly impact the results and the success of the organisations. They may be seen as top performers by the organisations. They are mostly dependable and reliable.

However, they seem cynical about work. They show signs of not feeling a sense of satisfaction on all their contributions and accomplishments. They may be experiencing burnout.

There are several factors that can lead to the burnouts:

  1. The organisations only recognise their work but do not care for them as individuals.
  2. They may feel that they are not compensated sufficiently or appropriately for the work that they put in.
  3. The resources or support they need is not being provided to them.
  4. They feel that they are bearing all the workload of the team and are drowning in the work.
  5. They struggle to be fully aligned with the company’s goals and mission.

There is a great sense of responsibility and at the same time, the burden of failure. They are holding on to too many tasks and responsibilities. It is difficult for them to delegate their work to others due to their high standards or the capabilities that seems lacking in other team members.

The organisation may provide an environment of development and growth for them, but it may be in areas that they are not interested in.


In the last quadrant, the Disengaged quadrant, it is likely that employees experience low satisfaction with the work environment and with the work itself.  They do not feel stimulated or energised in what they do. They may feel drained and de-energized by the work that they are doing.

There is a high possibility that their goals and mission are not aligned with that of the company. They do what is minimally required of them, but they struggle to find the motivation or the desire to do more. Most times, they do not feel useful or purposeful.

They lack the focus and the direction. They may feel that time passes slowly when they are at work and they are going through the motion of what is expected of them. There is a lack of emotional commitment to the organization and they focus on delivering the minimal results instead of focusing on achieving excellence.

One of the factors that may lead them to be disengaged is that they may not feel like leaders. Team members may not recognise their work and their efforts. They may feel like there’s no opportunity for them to grow or develop or they may feel stuck and feel there’s no hope for progress or advancement.

Actively Disengaged

When employees are not only disengaged but they are act out their unhappiness and dissatisfaction, they are then considered Actively Disengaged.

There are signs to see if they are actively disengaged. Things such as constantly complaining about people at work, or they are always picking faults with anything or everything. They may not trust their team members and they begin to question the intentions of people around them.

They are not able to see the relevance of their work and how it contributes and impact the organization. Their team members may feel discouraged by them due to their constant acting out. It may seem like they are trying to undo the good work that others have done for the team and the organisation. They may even undermine the work of their team members.

There may be a hint of resentment when others achieve or accomplish their goals. They may feel stuck with where they are at. They may also feel there’s no opportunity or potential for growth and advancement, and they will be vocal about it.

Often, if your team members are actively disengaged, they will complain about their unhappiness to people outside the organisation. They may potentially discourage others from joining the organization, or engaging in the organisation’s products or services.

What Can The Engagement Box Do For You?

The Engagement Box is important as it tells organisations where most of their employees are at. This can help organisations decide what to do with their employees to effectively create an environment of employee engagement.

Employees in each quadrant are to be treated differently too. If you would like to move all your employees into the Engaged Quadrant (that’s the ultimate goal), the way you motivate employees in the Burner quadrant, for example, should not be the same as the way you motivate employees in the Cosy Corner.

So where do you or your employees lie in the Engagement Box? Are most of you in the Engaged Quadrant?


StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.

Sign up for our upcoming StrengthsAsia Showcase Workshop to enjoy a world-class facilitated experience to learn how you can optimise performance with engagement strategies.

Aly is StrengthsAsia’s marketing and communications guru and lead editor. She's over the top inquisitive and everyone in the company knows her as “The Googler” as she practically googles everything. Honestly, we all worry for her… She is also the Principal Trainer for our one of a kind ice cream team building workshops in Asia.

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