User engagement - Optimize business results

What is user engagement?

User engagement is about involving users in a systematic and thoughtful way. The goal is to gain important knowledge from the people who use the organization's core services - and to use this knowledge to change, improve or rethink what we do today. Users are involved, empowered and empowered as co-creators. This makes them more satisfied with the solution and increases the likelihood of them getting the full benefit.

Many organizations want to gather insights from their users, because who knows better how the organization is delivering on its core services than the users themselves?

However, almost as many need help with user involvement. Partly because it can be difficult to ensure representative and bias-free data, and partly because you can become blinded by your own knowledge - for example, your prior knowledge about the design of a product or the layout of a service - and therefore find it difficult to openly explore other ways of doing things. This is a kind of knowledge curse that obscures user feedback.

For this reason, it takes courage to invite users in, as you are typically challenged on your own assumptions. On the other hand, user involvement will reveal new solutions that will often be more sustainable in the long term, because the expert knowledge of the users is tailored to the specific context and because the users feel heard and seen in the process.

Examples of user involvement

There are countless forms of user engagement. What they all have in common is that they examine (either upfront or behind the scenes) the services that the organization is set up to deliver. Some examples are:

  • The hospital that wants to find out how patients experience being hospitalized


  • Public schools that want more co-creation with students and communities or want to try a new way of teaching


  • The company that wants to map user journeys: What do potential customers experience when they contact us? How do we meet them when they become customers? And how do they see the contact we have with them afterwards?


  • The company that wants to involve employee perspectives before, during or after a transformation process


  • The municipality that wants to qualify a core service by collecting citizens' experiences and perceptions

LEAD's approach to user involvement

At LEAD, we are experts in exploring how a group of users have experienced core services or want something to be. We have a special combination of expertise in fields such as anthropology and sociology, where we collect, analyze, interpret and systematize this knowledge and data. We also combine the anthropological and sociological methodology with insights from economics, political science and management to put the collected and analyzed knowledge into perspective and present solutions to the challenges identified by your users. Afterwards, we can help you implement the solutions.

We believe that there is no one successful path to user engagement. There are many different forms, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and therefore the best and most appropriate path to choose is highly context-dependent.

However, across all types of user involvement, we always recommend that you thoroughly consider and discuss the purpose, objectives and target group of the user involvement work before organizing the work. In addition, skills, tools and instruments are key to ensuring that users have a good experience and that their involvement leads to valid and usable data. They need to feel that their insights are welcomed and that their experiences are used to improve practice.


Our approach to user involvement is characterized by the fact that it must:

  • Ensure that users have real influence and that user involvement is not just a token gesture.
  • Embrace complexity and multiple perspectives because broad involvement leads to insight into differentiated needs.
  • From the very beginning and become an integral part of future practice. A successful engagement process relies on a clear strategy.
  • Done ethically by professionally competent people in a safe environment.
  • Continuously evaluated and adjusted based on new knowledge.

Four forms of user involvement

The figure below shows four main approaches to user involvement. They move between small and large influence on decision-making processes and between ad hoc and continuous involvement.

The four forms of user involvement are:


Users as advisors:

Users are continuously involved, e.g. in the form of steering groups that contribute perspectives.

Users as policy developers:

Users are continuously involved, for example by sitting on councils with political decision-making power, which gives them a high degree of influence.

Users as informants:

Users are involved on an ad hoc basis and for shorter periods through interviews and questionnaires. As an informant, the user tells us about their experiences and perceptions that can qualify services.

Users as practice developers:

Users are involved in specific initiatives on an ad hoc basis. This form involves a high degree of co-creation.


We teach you how to strengthen user engagement

We offer you management and organizational sparring, research-based training and presentations on user involvement, as well as training courses with a specific focus on giving you and your organization general management skills. Read examples of our services here.


Inspiring research-based presentations on user engagement for all levels of your organization.


Sparring in the development of your learning culture, decisions and initiatives.


Facilitation of active workshops focusing on competence development at management and employee level.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a cultural development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Claus Elmholdt

Professional Director | Founder

Cand.Psych.Aut. & Ph.d. Associate Professor in Management and Organizational Psychology

Phone: +45 26 14 51 57


Consultants working with user involvement

Marianne Hedegaard

Senior Consultant

Kirstine Føge Jensen

Senior Consultant