21 Employee Engagement Buzzwords

Are you feeling confused by the ever-growing list of employee engagement buzzwords? Do terms like ‘pulse surveys,’ ‘engaged workforce,’ and ’employer branding’ leave your head spinning? If so, fear not – this article will help make sense of it all. 

We’ll unpack twenty-one key employee engagement buzzwords redefining employee engagement, clarifying what they mean, and how to apply employee engagement buzzwords in the workplace. From gamification to dynamic goal setting, get ready to develop a more informed understanding of today’s vocabulary!

Here is an overview of the employee engagement buzzwords we are going to cover:

What is a buzzword?

A buzzword is a term or phrase popularly used in a particular industry, field, or context. These terms are often catchy, attention-grabbing, and designed to sound impressive or innovative. In addition, buzzwords can describe new technologies, business practices, or cultural trends.

Buzzwords can help communicate complex ideas in a simplified manner. They can also be overused and lose their meaning over time. For example, some people may use buzzwords to sound knowledgeable or up-to-date with the latest trends without understanding their concepts.

Why do people use buzzwords?

People use buzzwords to join the conversation around a workplace trend or topic. In the world of employee engagement, which is rapidly transforming with new methods and technologies, buzzwords have become more prevalent as they help capture conversational energy so people can talk about different topics in a unified way. 

By using commonly accepted terms or phrases, people reduce misunderstandings and increase clarity when speaking with one another. 

For example, suppose someone asks for “dynamic goal setting” in an organization instead of quarterly reports with static goals. In that case, everyone will better understand what’s being asked for because these words are part of established workplace and HR terminology.

Engaged Workforce

An engaged workforce refers to actively involved, committed, and enthusiastic employees about their work and the organization’s goals. 

Engaged employees are motivated, productive, and willing to go the extra mile to contribute to the success of their team and the company. They have a sense of purpose, feel valued, and firmly connect to their work. As a result, organizations with an engaged workforce tend to experience higher levels of employee satisfaction, retention, and overall performance. 

Creating an environment that fosters engagement involves clear communication, recognition of achievements, opportunities for growth, and a positive work culture.


Gamification is an emerging buzzword reshaping how we think about employee engagement. It refers to a method of encouraging employees to complete tasks through rewards and incentives, including badges, points, awards, certificates, and other virtual rewards. 

The idea behind gamification is that when people are given something tangible in return for their work. Such as access to exclusive prizes or recognition from peers or management. In addition, they will be more engaged in what they do and motivated to achieve success.


Employer Branding

Employer branding is a key concept in employee engagement that companies have embraced over the last few years. It involves creating an attractive workplace environment nurtured by strong internal and external corporate identities that people associate with long-term success and job satisfaction. 

Employer branding goes beyond simply listing your company name in recruitment documents. It helps to create an engaging, memorable experience for potential recruits by positioning your organization as one of the top employers for their particular sector or region. 

By talking about what makes working at your company unique, the distinctive benefits you can provide new hires, and how engaging work practices build employee loyalty. Employer branding allows you to package up all these elements into a single message.

This process helps attract top talent who can be valuable assets not just for their technical skills but also for being team players driving innovation across departments.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing our emotions while acknowledging and responding to others’ emotions. 

Enhancing self-awareness, empathy, and social skills is essential for personal and professional success. To improve your emotional intelligence, try engaging in self-reflection, practicing empathy, actively listening, and mastering emotional self-control.

Emotional Intelligence


Gaslighting in business refers to a form of manipulation in which a person or group uses psychological tactics to make another person question their thoughts, feelings, or perceptions. 

It is done to gain control or power over the individual. It is often used in the workplace to achieve specific outcomes, such as to discredit an employee or avoid accountability for certain actions.

Examples of gaslighting in the workplace:

  • Being convinced something was not said, even though it was
  • Hearing negative gossip
  • Blaming other colleagues for something that is not their fault
  • Denying the validity of employees’ experiences and perceptions
  • Dismissing an employee’s concerns as irrational or unfounded


Complacency in the workplace refers to a state of being content with the status quo or the current level of performance without any desire or effort to improve or change it.

It can manifest itself in different ways in the workplace, such as:

  • Lack of innovation: when employees become too comfortable with the existing processes and methods, they may become resistant to change and fail to suggest or implement new ideas.
  • Reduced productivity: when employees are not motivated to work hard and achieve better results, they may take shortcuts, miss deadlines, or deliver subpar work.
  • Increased risk: when employees become complacent about safety protocols or quality standards, they may overlook potential hazards, errors, or defects, leading to accidents, rework, or customer complaints.

Hustle Culture

Hustle culture refers to a mindset that glorifies and encourages excessive work, often at the expense of other aspects of life, such as personal well-being and relationships. 

It promotes the idea that constant productivity and long hours are essential for success and achievement. But, unfortunately, people influenced by hustle culture often prioritize work above all else, neglecting rest, self-care, and a healthy work-life balance. 

While hard work is important, hustle culture can lead to burnout, stress, and a diminished quality of life. Therefore, balancing work and personal life is vital to maintain well-being and happiness.

Hustle Culture

Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is when employees disengage from their job and organization without explicitly resigning. Rather than confronting their supervisor or colleagues about their dissatisfaction or expressing their intention to improve something, the employee disengages by doing the bare minimum asked of that person, not going above and beyond for their workplace, and not being defined by their labor.

You could say that quiet quitting is the opposite of hustle culture.

It can be a result of several factors, such as:

  • Lack of job satisfaction: Employees may lose motivation and interest when they feel their work could be more meaningful and challenging.
  • Poor management: when employees perceive their managers as unsupportive, unapproachable, or unfair, they may feel discouraged and disengaged.
  • Toxic work environment: when employees experience bullying, harassment, discrimination, or other negative behavior from colleagues or superiors, they may feel unsafe and unwelcome.

Quiet Firing 

Quiet firing refers to managers failing to adequately provide coaching, support, and career development, pushing employees out of an organization.


  • Not giving regular performance feedback to employees
  • Demoting employees without justification
  • Micro-management
  • Changing job conditions that negatively impact the employee’s performance or well-being

Quiet Hiring

Quiet hiring refers to an organization’s practice of leveraging the skills and abilities of existing employees to acquire new skills or take on additional responsibilities rather than recruiting new full-time staff.

It involves identifying talented individuals within the organization and providing them with training and development opportunities to expand their skill sets and take on new roles or projects. 

This approach can be cost-effective and helps to build a more versatile and adaptable team, but it also can lead to burnout and overburdening of your employees.

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation refers to a trend in which many employees voluntarily leave their jobs in a short period. The term was coined in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many employees re-evaluated their career goals and work-life balance after remote work and economic uncertainty.

The Great Resignation is fueled by several factors, such as:

  • Burnout and stress: many employees have been working long hours and facing increased workloads during the pandemic, leading to physical and mental exhaustion.
  • Re-evaluation of priorities: the pandemic has prompted many employees to re-evaluate their work-life balance and seek more fulfilling careers that align with their values and interests.
  • Improved job market: as the economy recovers from the pandemic, job opportunities increase, giving employees more options and bargaining power.


Another one of the employee engagement buzzwords is Anti-perks. Anti-perks are workplace benefits or practices perceived as negative or undesirable by employees or undermining their motivation, engagement, or well-being. 

They can include:

  • Overwork can lead to burnout, stress, and decreased productivity when employees are expected to work long hours without adequate compensation or recognition.
  • Limited flexibility can make it harder for employees to maintain their work-life balance and manage personal responsibilities. These flex arrangements can include remote work and flexible schedules.
  • Toxic work culture: when employees experience harassment, discrimination, or other forms of negative behavior from colleagues or superiors, it can create a hostile work environment and damage their morale and well-being.
  • Poor compensation and benefits: when employees feel that their salary and benefits are not competitive or fair, it can lead to dissatisfaction and turnover.


The term absenteeism refers to an employee’s absence from work habitually or intentionally, whether for a legitimate reason like illness or an unexcused absence. Absenteeism is, most of the time, an unplanned absence.

Absenteeism can negatively affect the employee and the organization, such as decreased productivity, increased costs, and lowered morale.

There are several causes of absenteeism, such as:

  • Health issues: Employees who are sick or injured may need time off to recover or seek medical treatment.
  • Personal issues: when employees are dealing with personal problems. For example, family or financial issues, they may need to take time off to address them.
  • Work-related stress: when employees experience high levels of stress or burnout, they may need to take time off to recharge and recover.
  • Poor work environment: Employees who work in a hostile or toxic environment may feel demotivated and disengaged. That can lead to increased absenteeism.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover refers to the number or percentage of employees who leave a company and are replaced by new employees over a specified period. It can be voluntary when employees leave the organization alone or involuntary when employees are terminated or laid off.

High employee turnover can negatively affect the organization. Negative effects are: increased costs for recruiting and training new employees, decreased productivity, and reduced morale among remaining employees. 

However, some level of turnover is average and can have positive effects. Bringing in new perspectives and skills and creating opportunities for career advancement for existing employees.

Pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are short, frequent, and anonymous surveys that employers use to regularly gather employee feedback and insights. They are typically conducted weekly or monthly, designed to quickly and easily capture employee sentiment and feedback without requiring much time or effort.

Pulse surveys differ from traditional employee surveys, usually conducted annually or semi-annually, and are more comprehensive and in-depth. 

Pulse surveys typically focus on a specific topic or issue, such as employee engagement, job satisfaction, or workplace culture, and they are designed to identify trends and changes over time.

Pulse Suvey

The benefits of pulse surveys include:

  • Timely feedback: pulse surveys provide real-time employee feedback, allowing employers to identify and address issues as they arise quickly.
  • Improved engagement: pulse surveys help employees feel heard and valued, which can improve their engagement and morale.
  • Better decision-making: pulse surveys provide data-driven insights that can inform strategic decisions and improve organizational performance.
  • Cost-effective: pulse surveys are typically less expensive than traditional employee surveys, requiring more time and resources.

Rage applying

Rage applying is the act of submitting job applications as a way of expressing anger or frustration towards a current employer or work situation rather than as a genuine job search. It is typically done impulsively and without much thought. Additionally, it may involve submitting multiple job applications to different companies quickly.

Rage applying is often a symptom of a deeper issue, such as dissatisfaction with a current job or workplace. It may also be a sign that an employee is considering quitting or seeking a new job. However, rage applying can also have negative consequences for the employee, such as damaging their reputation or burning bridges with the potential employer.

Tech shame

Tech shame is an act of feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed while having trouble using common office tools. It occurs mainly with Gen Z, which is used to all the intuitive and user-friendly tech.

Employee Experience (EX)

Employee experience is the sum of all the interactions, perceptions, and feelings an employee has about their work environment, colleagues, and job tasks. It encompasses all aspects of an employee’s experience with an organization. That includes the recruitment and hiring process, onboarding and training, work environment, culture, leadership, compensation and benefits, and opportunities for growth and development.

A positive employee experience is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, increasing employee engagement and motivation, and improving organizational performance. When employees have a positive experience at work, they are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs, perform at a high level, and stay with the organization for the long term.

Employers can improve the employee experience by creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, providing opportunities for professional development and growth, promoting work-life balance, and offering competitive compensation and benefits.

Employers can also solicit employee feedback through surveys, focus groups, or other forms of communication and use this feedback to make changes and improvements that align with employee needs and preferences.

Overall, employee experience is essential to creating a positive and productive workplace. Employers prioritizing employee experience will likely attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement and motivation, and achieve greater success and growth.

Dynamic Goal Setting

Dynamic goal setting is an approach to goal setting that emphasizes flexibility and adaptability rather than rigid adherence to a specific set of goals. With dynamic goal setting, goals are not seen as fixed targets but as evolving and adaptable to changing circumstances and priorities.

The goals of dynamic goal setting are continuously revised in response to new information, changes in circumstances, and stakeholder feedback. This approach allows individuals and organizations to respond to unexpected challenges, take advantage of new opportunities, and adjust goals to remain relevant and achievable.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance means finding a good mix between your job and personal life. It’s about making time for work and things you enjoy outside work, like family, hobbies, and relaxation. It’s important because it helps prevent burnout and brings happiness and fulfillment. Of course, everyone’s balance is different, but setting boundaries, managing time well, and communicating clearly can help. 

Employers should support work-life balance through flexible policies and programs that promote well-being. Finding a balance benefits individuals and improves overall company performance.

Work-life balance

Employee Empowerment

Employee empowerment is when employees are given the authority, autonomy, and resources to make decisions and take actions that influence their work and contribute to the organization’s success. 

It involves trusting employees and giving them the power to be proactive, innovative, and accountable. 

Empowered employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged, increasing productivity and job satisfaction. It’s about creating a supportive and collaborative work environment where employees have a say in decision-making and feel empowered to make a difference.


We hope you found these employee engagement buzzwords interesting and useful. If there are any more employee engagement buzzwords you think we should add, feel free to contact us at marketing@jenz.app.

If you want to read about employee engagement, how to improve it, and what steps to take, read this article.