Skip to content

Positive Engagement: From Employee Engagement to Workplace Happiness

4 minute read

By Stavy Papasotiriou, Organisational Psychologist and Founder of Work Unlocked

In today's fast-paced and cutthroat business arena, savvy organisations are wising up to the importance of fostering a workplace culture that's as delightful as a box of surprise donuts on a Monday morning. It's not just about getting employees to show up – it's about creating an atmosphere where they walk in with a grin, a spring in their step, and a sense of fulfilment that goes beyond mere clock-punching. The paradigm is shifting towards crafting an environment where employees aren't just clock-watchers but time-travellers, losing themselves in the flow of meaningful work. This transformation from employee engagement to workplace happiness is akin to businesses giving their workforce a high-five inspired by the golden principles of positive psychology.


Employee engagement, as per the definition put forth by Maslach and Bakker, is a multidimensional construct comprising three core elements: vigour, dedication, and absorption.

  1. Vigour: This refers to employees' high levels of energy and mental resilience while working. Engaged employees are enthusiastic, proactive, and willing to invest effort in their tasks.
  2. Dedication: Dedication is characterised by a sense of significance, enthusiasm, and pride in one's work. Engaged employees feel a strong connection to their work and are deeply involved in their roles.
  3. Absorption: Absorption is a state where employees are fully engrossed in their work, losing track of time and feeling a sense of flow. Engaged employees find their work absorbing and immersive.

This comprehensive understanding of employee engagement sets the stage for a new-age mindset that encompasses not just engagement but also the overall well-being and positive vibes of employees in the workplace.


Positive engagement is the gold standard where employees aren't just engaged but are also riding the happiness express, singing songs of joy, purpose, and corporate unity.

In this state of engagement:

  • Employees are still bringing the vigour, dedication, and absorption like seasoned pros.
  • They're experiencing a rollercoaster of positive emotions – think joy, gratitude, and enthusiasm – while slaying their daily tasks.
  • There's meaning and purpose, not just in their morning lattes, but in their work, as they see how their efforts dovetail with the organisation's grand vision.
  • The office vibe is positively electric, with a sense of camaraderie that rivals a sitcom ensemble. It's like Cheers, where everybody knows your name and is always glad you came.

Positive engagement goes beyond being 'satisfied' with one's job. It encapsulates a deeper level of fulfilment, where employees feel a sense of happiness and overall well-being associated with their work.


The shift towards positive engagement yields numerous benefits for both employees and organisations:

  • Job satisfaction skyrockets: Employees in a state of positive engagement are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, leading to improved retention rates and reduced turnover.
  • Productivity goes through the roof: Positively engaged employees are more productive, creative, and focused on achieving organisational goals, ultimately boosting overall performance.
  • Healthier workforce: Positive engagement contributes to improved mental and physical well-being, resulting in reduced stress levels and a healthier, more vibrant workforce.
  • Attractive employer brand: Organisations that prioritise positive engagement become attractive to potential talent seeking fulfilling and meaningful work experiences.


To foster positive engagement, your organisation can implement strategies that align with the principles of positive psychology and employee well-being:

  • Promoting a Positive Work Environment: Creating a workplace that encourages positive interactions, celebrates achievements, and fosters a sense of belonging can significantly impact positive engagement.
  • Facilitating Growth and Development: Providing opportunities for personal and professional growth allows employees to utilise their strengths and skills, leading to a sense of accomplishment and engagement.
  • Encouraging Work-Life Balance: A healthy work-life balance ensures that employees have the time and energy to engage fully in their work and personal lives.
  • Recognising and Appreciating Contributions: Regular recognition and appreciation for employees' efforts and achievements instil a sense of value and positivity, enhancing their engagement with the organization.


In conclusion, the transition from employee engagement to positive engagement reflects a shift towards a more holistic and fulfilling approach to the workplace. By nurturing a culture that emphasises engagement and overall well-being and happiness, your organisation can create an environment where employees thrive, contribute optimally, and find true fulfilment in their work. This evolution signifies a strategic move toward building a harmonious and prosperous organisation where employees are not just engaged but positively engaged.

So, dear organisations, it's time to crank up the positivity dial, throw a happiness party, and watch your workforce turn into a force of nature that's unstoppable, unbeatable, and unequivocally awesome!



Stavy Papasotiriou is an organisational psychologist and the visionary behind Work Unlocked — a leading HR consultancy on a mission to revolutionise employee engagement, performance, and retention in businesses worldwide. With a profound understanding of HR practices, Stavy leverages psychological principles to unleash the untapped potential of workforces. At Work Unlocked, Stavy crafts bespoke strategies that are grounded in research and tailored to each organization's unique needs. These strategies are designed to yield remarkable results while requiring minimal resources.

Keep up to date with the latest events, resources and articles.

Sign-up for the Engage Employee Newsletter