Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to apply a group norm approach to explain how average engagement across an organization is related to an individual’s level of engagement. Design/methodology/approach - Survey data were collected from over 46,000 participants from 140 organizations. Multi-level analysis tested the hypotheses that similarity (in terms of shared status) and likely interaction would determine the extent a group’s norms affected individual engagement. Normative data and the dependent variable data were provided by different participants. Findings - Results supported the aggregation of individuals’ measure of engagement to form three norms within an organization: an employee norm, a manager norm and a senior leader norm. These engagement norms were significantly related to an individual’s engagement at work beyond the effect of both organizational resources and manager support. Individuals were more strongly influenced by the norm of those in the organization with whom they were most similar and with whom they were likely to interact. Originality/value - Provides evidence that engagement exists at the group level and that status groups within the organization have norms that independently affect individual-level engagement.