Floor Tape Store

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Defining Employee Engagement

Researchers and firms have developed varied definitions of employee engagement. Although the concepts of employee engagement and job satisfaction are somewhat interrelated, they are not synonymous. Job satisfaction has more to do with whether the employee is personally happy than with whether the employee is actively involved in advancing organizational goals.

Many leaders mistakenly think that increasing employee satisfaction will increase employee engagement and motivation. Satisfaction is transactional and contractual. In return for their work, you promise to provide employees with the basics: compensations, tools, and resources, physical safety, dignity, and respect. Both the organization and the employee must continue to make constant deposits in the relationship “bank account.”

Satisfied employees put out as much effort as they are compensated for, and no more. They deliver what is asked of them, as long as you deliver on your part of the deal. They show up and do their work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to say no to other offers. A satisfied employee does not equal workforce engagement.

Employee engagement is the degree to which employees invest their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral energies toward positive organizational outcomes.

So what do engaged employees look like? Generally, they:

  • Are absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work
  • Find a greater sense of meaning in what they do
  • See a stronger connection between their strengths and their role
  • Look for opportunities to learn and grow
  • Expend discretionary effort in their performance

In sum, engaged employees bring their best selves to work. They are enthusiastic and have a sense of urgency. Engaged behavior is persistent, proactive and adaptive in ways that expand the job roles as necessary. Engaged employees go beyond job descriptions in, for example, service delivery or innovation. They are more likely to do their best work and contribute to the success of an organization.

It’s a powerful engine for not only improving your company culture but for growth and profit. When defining employee engagement, it is important to recognize that it is a 50/50 proposition with the responsibility to become engaged between the employee and the responsibility to create an engaging environment on the organization. Employee engagement is creating a workplace culture where both the organization and the employees become engaged.

As much as we wish employee engagement could be boiled down to a simple mathematical equation, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. Here are the factors that tend to drive employees’ engagement:

  • Meaningful work
  • Career growth
  • Empowerment
  • Belonging
  • Recognition
  • Leadership
  • Fulfilling work relationships

Employers can encourage employee engagement in many ways, including communicating expectations clearly, offering rewards and promotions for excellent work, keeping employees informed about the company's performance, and providing regular feedback. Other strategies include making efforts to make employees feel valued and respected, and feeling that their ideas are being heard and understood. Engaged employees believe that their work is meaningful, believe that they are appreciated and backed by their supervisors and that they have been entrusted with the success of their company.

If there’s one thing you come away with after reading this post, let it be this: Employee engagement is NOT the same as employee satisfaction. An employee can be satisfied, but not necessarily engaged. Engagement requires an alignment of values, a commitment to career development and a sense of purpose.

Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel SlideShare

No comments:

Post a Comment