Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Employee engagement isn’t just about whether an employee is happy or not at work. After all, an employee who gets to hang out all day and do nothing but play video games might be supremely happy. But what they’re not doing is being productive. It’s also true that employee engagement doesn’t just measure how satisfied an employee is. They could show up on time and do everything that’s asked of them in a day, but employees like that aren’t loyal. Developing true engagement and loyalty among your employees requires effort in a few areas.
What Is True Engagement?
If an employee is merely content at work, as soon as a headhunter comes around with a better payment package even if it’s only by a tiny amount, they will jump ship immediately. The maximization of employee innovation and output will only come when they truly like doing what they’re doing, and when the corporate culture is positive enough to support this outcome. Here are a few examples of characteristics of real engagement.
An employee who’s truly engaged in their work will feel attached to the organization, to their particular job within the organization, and to the work that their doing. They need to feel that the work being accomplished is in some way important or significant. Employees who aren’t convinced that their work will matter that much will never be truly engaged and you can never expect more than the minimum from them. They also have to feel like the organization is in some way looking out for them and their best interests. A sense of fairness is needed.
Other factors that have a huge role to play in determining employee engagement are the relationships they have with their co-workers and the people at the various levels of management over them. Nothing will kill employee management faster than managers who they don’t get along with very well. This is a good reason why you can’t just ignore engagement levels. This is especially the case with those in management who could negatively affect the engagement levels of everyone beneath them.
The motivation to invest effort beyond the minimum and to perform better is also important for engagement. This can be in the form of stock sharing programs, but it can come in many other different forms as well, such as employees simply feeling proud of their work.
According to recent studies, companies that have good employee engagement will have a shareholder return of 19 percent better than the average. On the other hand, organizations that do poorly in employee engagement will return as much as 44 percent less to shareholders than the average. This means that neglecting this element of any organization and is a spectacularly unwise idea.
Both the statistical evidence and the general consensus indicate that employee engagement is one of the most crucial factors in determining whether any particular business will be successful or not.