What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is any approach or philosophy that instills the right mentality and condition for every employee in an organization to work to the best of their abilities, wholeheartedly committed to the values and aims of the organization, driven to contribute to the success of the organization, with a deepened sense of their personal well-being.
Employee engagement is largely built on the tenets of trust, communication, a two-way commitment and integrity between the organization and its employees. This approach greatly heightens the chances of growth in the business and fuels individual productivity. Employee engagement can be quantified, it can be grossly improved, it can be enshrined into the culture of an organization. Conversely, it can also be let to die and rot away.
Employee Engagement Differs from Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is generally only concerned with how happy employees are with their role. It has little to do with their level of commitment, motivation or mentality. For some employees, being paid for doing very little at the end of each month, is enough to bring them job satisfaction.
When organizations strive to improve job satisfaction, this will usually not prompt an increase in performance. This is chiefly due to the fact that the same factors that bring about employee job ‘satisfaction’ are the exact same factors that high performing employees are strained by. Motivated and dedicated employees always strive for improvement, are big advocates of accountability, and are motivated to go the extra mile if need be. On the contrary, low performers exhibit a strong affinity for accountability, never challenge the narrative and are happy to always uphold the status quo.
Why is employee engagement important?
There is more to employee engagement than organizing fun cocktail parties or end of the month office hangouts. Employee engagement boosts performance. Engaged employees understand their precise role in the company, are in tune with the aims of the company, and can identify how best to use their expertise for the benefit of the organization.
Organizations that boast of engaged employees will likely out-best their counterparts that don’t. Since engaged employees understand their role in the grand scheme of things, they tend to work towards the goal of the company and are more likely to mitigate the effects of financial mishaps and economic recession. To get a better insight into the needs of your organization, carrying out an employment engagement survey such as the one offered by our free organizational diagnostic survey is crucial. This diagnostic survey should not be mistaken for a satisfaction survey.
Nonetheless, employees now have a different idea of what a career should be. Today, many favor flexible roles over long-term life career roles. It is getting increasingly harder to convince outstanding employees to remain in one career. However, companies that have a well-structured employee engagement strategy stand a better chance of convincing top employees to stay put as well as swaying new ones to their team. Such successful organizations are highly driven by values that are centered around their employees and the society at large.
Employee engagement is basically about recognizing and understanding your role in an organization and aligning your own values and aims with that of the organization.
Employee engagement transcends just understanding your role, it also entails being fully aware of how your role contributes to the success of the company, and how relevant your input is to the success of the organization.
Employee engagement is about being a team player that recognizes their role both as an individual player and a team player. A team player that understands the goal of every action and move they make, constantly encouraging accountability, and open to constructive feedback and arguments. A team member that is given all the help and development they need to grow, one that is recognized and appreciated for a job well done.
Engaged organizations understand the true meaning of trust and commitment and are fully aware that any meaningful employer to employee partnership or relationship must first be built on both.
What does employee engagement mean for you and me as employers?
Employee engagement is the embodiment of positive behaviors and attitudes that can contribute positively to the success and growth of the business, in a way that they complement and aid each other.
Employee engagement is having employees that are fully committed, happy and proud to be working for our organization, being great ambassadors of the values we want to communicate to our clients, customers and users, motivated to work even harder when it matters most.
Employee engagement is about welcoming ideas from our employees and leveraging on them to improve the organization’s product and services.
Employee engagement is about pledging to the welfare of our employees, so that as sick leaves, abrupt absences, workplace conflicts and accidents reduce, productivity increases.
Employee engagement is about honestly mirroring to the values of the organization. Values that are constantly reflected in the actions of the company. It is about immense fidelity to our promises, or reasonable reasons about why they may not be met.
What employee engagement isn’t!
Employee engagement cannot be realized by playing a dictator role that entertains little to no regard for employees and their welfare, or one that attempts to take advantage of their commitment or loyalty. Employees will eventually get wind of such actions and may quickly adopt a sardonic and pessimistic mentality.