Employee engagement. We’ve all heard the term, and we’ve all likely used it from time to time in a relatively non-specific way. For example “having engaged employees is important to any organization.” At face value, this is a perfectly fine sentiment. But the problem is, sometimes there is little understanding of what the statement reallymeans. A follow up question might be something like “what exactly do you mean by ‘engagement’?” Issues arise when the answer is “well, you know, happy, satisfied employees.”
Individuals and organizations who value and seek an engaged workforce understand three critical things about engagement; they know what it is, what it is not and why it is important to an organization. The understanding is not merely at a conceptual level, it permeates every aspect of the organization, from the workplace environment to policy setting to the very culture of the organization. What, then, is employee engagement?
Wait. Let’s start with what it’s not.
Employee satisfaction is often used synonymously with employee engagement. While there is certainly overlap with satisfaction (and happiness), they are not the same. For example, one can be happy or satisfied with their job, yet have no issue consistently doing the bare minimum. An employee may like their benefits and compensation, they may enjoy their coworkers, but they may contribute in an underwhelming way. When the customer calls at 4:59 pm, the satisfied employee just might not answer that call. So this leads us to what it is.
Engagement on the other hand is a measure of commitment to the organization and the brand. Engaged employee are passionate about their jobs, their customers, and the company for whom they work. They will answer the customer call at 4:59, and go the extra mile for their customers and turn away other offers of employment. They are an organization’s true ambassadors.
Why does it matter?
For the next 3 days, we will provide additional infographics to highlight why having engaged employees is so critical to organizations.
Stay tuned in this space!