Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage!…4 Stages of Employee Engagement

Do you know these four rules to employee engagement?

The 6 Nations Championship is almost upon us, it always brings an air of excitement to the beginning of Spring and gives us rugby supporters something to look forward to. 

A thought occurred to us in Simon Shirley advisors as we look forward to this seasons 6 Nations that linked the now familiar cry of the referee of Crouch, Touch, Pause….Engage! to the challenge of the HR Manager driving employee engagement.

What do employee engagement and a rugby scrum have in common? It is an unusual question, to be sure, but bear with us for a bit.

While the pause phase of the scrum has been removed from the rules in recent years to speed up the process, we’ll keep it here, as it applies to today’s topic of the four rules of employee engagement.

So, how do the old pre scrum laws apply to employee engagement? Here are the four laws of employee engagement, as inspired by the rugby scrum:


In driving employee engagement, preparation is key. When you’re looking into ways to drive engagement among employees, you need to get ready, much in the same way rugby players get ready during the scrum’s crouch phase.

Checking the state of employee engagement among your workers takes time and effort, but it can be well worth it to identify the cause of disengagement amongst your workforce. By preparing ahead of time, you start your efforts to address engagement with an advantage that can help you take more effective measures to engage employees.

Failure to prepare can lead to actually doing more harm than good, just as a scrum that is not properly executed leads to increased risk of player injuries.


When trying to drive employee engagement, putting yourself beyond arms reach is not likely to inspire trust and engagement. Sometimes, the best way to find out what is obstructing engagement is to go to the trenches and engage with front-line workers.

As an HR manager, reaching out to employees to identify their biggest frustrations is key to handling employee engagement issues that could be limiting productivity. For example, do employees feel that they are being denied the basic tools needed to do their jobs? Or, are they frustrated with a lack of communication from management where project goals are concerned? Perhaps they feel that the employee benefits schemes used by the company aren’t right for them.

By getting in touch with employees, you encourage better coordination, and can help to eliminate causes of disengagement.


After you’ve done your prep work and started to diagnose the causes of disengagement in your workforce, take a brief breather to go over your initial findings.

Examine your options for driving engagement, and try to come up with strategies for doing so quickly and efficiently, just as a forward in a rugby scrum tries to find ways to get the ball to his team’s backend as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep the other team from getting ahead.

Taking a time-out to examine your options can help you find the best solution by allowing you time to make a choice based on a thorough assessment of the merits of the plan. This, in turn, helps you avoid making rash, knee-jerk reactions to an issue that you might regret later.


After proper preparation, identifying the issues blocking employee engagement, and carefully planning your response to said issues, it’s time to put your plans into action and kick the ball back to the rest of your team.

With the right approach, you can reliably improve employee engagement so that your company can attract and retain top talents and keep your employees working at peak efficiency.


We hope you enjoyed the post and this years 6 Nations Championship. 

Learn more about how you can drive employee engagement in your company with the help of Simon Shirley Advisors today!

Naturally, everyone here in the Simon Shirley Advisors office is rooting for our own Irish team to win the 6 Nations Championship to repeat last year’s win.

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