MAGIC in the Workplace

January 23, 2018 | Thought Pieces


The war for talent is more competitive than ever. Given the rise of work options for a skilled worker, business leaders are quickly prioritizing employee experience and engagement to keep and attract employees. In the 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, 80% of executives rated employee experience as very important and yet only 22% reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience. It also showed that organizations’ ability to address issues on employee engagement has dropped by 14% since 2016 which shows how complex the work environment is now.

First, we must understand the employee satisfaction and employee engagement are not one and the same. Good governance in employee experience is what determines employee satisfaction. If an employee is satisfied with work, he is more likely to be retained but not necessarily encouraged to be more productive. An engaged employee is more productive and more invested at work. Having engaged employees ensures not only retention but also better work output. All it takes is MAGIC: Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection.

Source: Job Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement

Meaning. Does your company have its own values, mission, and vision (VMV)? Can the employees in your company remember what the company VMVs are? Do they believe in it? If the answer to those three questions are all “yes”, then you have no problem in this front. Your employees are aligned to your company’s goal which makes them invested in the work they do.

Autonomy. Empowering employees to shape their work allows them to perform their best. You do not have to give your employees a total free reign– of course some guidelines should be put in place. Striking the balance between freedom and responsibility will take a lot of trial and error but when you find it, it will be worth it.

See Related: Four Steps to Implementing Flexible Working Arrangements in Your Workplace

Growth. Engaging employees involves constantly challenging them. HR leaders must push employees to be better- both professionally and personally. The last thing you want is to miss the opportunity to help employees grow: the untapped potential is wasted resource for the company and the employee is more likely to find a better opportunity outside of the company.

Impact. At the end of the work day, do your employees feel like they did something worthwhile? Can they see their work’s impact on the company’s progress? It is important to make sure that the answer to these two questions is “yes”.

Connection. Belongingness is something that employees need to feel in their work environment. The job transcends into more than a set of tasks they have to do when they feel connected to the work they perform, the company’s mission, and the people they work with.

Engaging employees might mean rewriting the rules for employee management. Start here:

  1. Make employee experience a priority. Assign an ad hoc team to evaluate the whole employee experience- from the time they sign the contract to the time they sign their quit claim forms. It helps if the team members come from different levels and positions. Elevate the employee experience by including concepts of wellness and well-being in the strategy to combat the pain points from the evaluation done.
  2. There’s an app for that. Luckily, we live in an era wherein technology can help with human capital needs. From employee service platforms to productivity apps, there is a wide range to choose from. Pulse survey tools are available in the market as well as performance management apps. 
  3. Look outside. Benchmarking is an age-old practice to see how well you compare with market. Understanding what works for similar companies and industries would help you design your employee engagement plan.
  4. Measure it constantly. Understanding the ebbs and flows of employee engagement is the first step to embracing the design thinking methodology for employee engagement. Consider implementing an employee promoter score (taking from the Net Promoter Score concept) so you can move beyond the annual employee satisfaction surveys. Candidate interviews, stay interviews, performance management talks, and exit interviews are good sources for taking the pulse of the workforce as it gives complete, real-time insight.


Angeli Recella is the Head of People Operations at STORM Technologies, the largest flexible benefits and employee incentives firm in the Philippines. She is passionate about startups, travel, books, tech, TV, and psychology.


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