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The ‘X’ model of employee engagement: Maximum Satisfaction meets Maximum Contribution

Employee Engagement can be a vague term. In this model, BlessingWhite details a specific and compelling model for articulating what Employee Engagement is – and what it means to the individual and the organization they work for.

More resources on Employee Engagement can be found at – see:

© BlessingWhite 2013 – animation by


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  1. Great set of definitions and parameters – not one would disagree…. so the response is "Yeah… I agree… But HOW?" Training that continue to present models and concepts and pretend that these lead to changes in bahaviour still haven't got it – this is a great model, compelling argument, and a necessary component to change. But many managers need a structure or pattern to start from: concept, action, feedback, repetition, practice… lets re-apply the cycle that used to be known as 'training'.

  2. This is a great model! I'm advising my colleagues at TNS Employee Insights to watch it. I also want to add that I believe employees, managers and subordinates alike who are not only fully engaged, but high performers as well, almost always tend to care about the company at large as though it were their own and that's what drives them. What do you think?

  3. It sounds good, just not practical. It is like saying we are going to have all "A" players in the company. If all employees are always engaged and satisfied, who do you fire when the business is low?

  4. Actually it's more like saying "We are going to help give every employee the chance to be an A player by focusing on where they can add the most value and where her or his interests lie." But in every employee population you have a distribution – both in terms of satisfaction and contribution. Then again, if you concern is about being able to fire people when the business is challenged…

  5. Yes, it does apply to non-profits. But as we touch upon in the book (The Engagement Equation), not-for-profits face some interesting dynamics when it comes to mission, vision and employee engagement. Google "Revitalizing Engagement. Starlight Children's Foundation Strives for 100% Advocacy" for an example.

  6. Agreed! Make sure that you’re accurately utilizing each employee’s knowledge and skillset. Not only will taking advantage of your workers’ uniqueness increases your team’s level of contentment on the job, but it will also have positive effects on your company’s bottom line.

  7. The X model is a very clear way of describing a complex set of dynamics.  I am making this the center piece of my current newsletter.  This video does a great job of summarizing their book with is definitely worth reading.

  8. Very useful and makes a great training resource. Because we enjoyed this and rate it so highly, we've embedded this in our MTL Course Plans on ManageTrainLearn and on our online courses on My Learning Log so it's available to a bigger audience. Thanks!

  9. This video is an excellent example of what it "really means to engage your employees through the "X Model". The key component of this demonstration is that it takes a combined effort from Seniors Leaders, Managers, and the Employees to accomplish this critical component of organizational growth. A company in order to elevate themselves must engage their employees.

    On the other side the employees have to want to be engaged. They must feel like they are a part of the structure and feel valued within the scope of their individual job, and when working as a team to meet organizational goals. In order to do so they have to communicate and evaluate themselves in order to take appropriate action towards increasing opportunities within the scope of personal and professional growth. 

    Managers and Senior Leaders have a key function in this process as well. These eight aspects as discussed are critical to moving forward as an organization and being able to establish differentiation between themselves and competitors regardless of the industry. Having an abundance of Veterans who are involved in this process is key as well, as they possess the fundamental values that are critical in the area of globalization as a way of life that we are operating under in the majority of organizations around the world. 

    Coach- Allow employees to learn and give feedback as appropriate to keep them on track.
    Align- Give clear direction through communication towards individual and company goals.
    Recognize- Give positive feedback as appropriate and when warranted.
    Engage- Become involved in the process as well (do not sit on the sidelines without encouraging growth).
    Community- Help instill the team concept in all employees. 
    Authentic- Be real and true to what the company values are. 
    Significance- Make differences that really matter in the lives of your employees.
    Excitement- Bring the highest level of passion and enthusiasm on a consistent basis to everyone that you encounter throughout the day.

  10. Excellent short video that says it all. I am a Vancouver-based engagement consultant who has seen the engagement concept from inception via Harvard Business School back in the mid-90s all the way to present day. Really enjoyed this. Kudos!

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