Updated: Feb 8
Employee engagement is the intersection of maximum contribution for the company and maximum satisfaction for employees.
It’s a sustainable level of high performance that benefits both parties. Employee commitment is the less enthusiastic cousin of employee engagement. Many times employers mistake an employees commitment to show up on time and work hard for true employee engagement, however when the work is no longer meaningful, these are precisely the people who leave. So the difference between employee engagement and employee commitment is the positive and the emotional attachment to the organization. One has it, and the other does not.
Now that the two are defined it is clear that employee engagement is the more beneficial way that a company can get positive results and feedback from its employees. To maximize employee engagement there must be an underlying “Why” that motivates employees to give you their very best. Allow us to break these down a little further for you. There are four intrinsic motivators (commitment, connection, contribution, and challenge) and eight extrinsic motivators (leadership, empowerment, management, innovation, reward, collaboration, communication, and purpose).
“Engaged employees are in the game for the sake of the game; they believe in the cause of the organization.” – Paul Marciano, PhD
The first and most important motivator for employees is a purpose or as mentioned above, their “Why”. Employees need to feel like what they are doing is impactful, and that they have meaning to their place of business. If the employee has a purpose they will feel empowered to do their work with excellence.
The second most important step is communication between leadership and the employee. If managers collaborate and communicate with their employees it will be easier to stay on the same page. When a manager and employee communicate effectively there will be far less confusion for the level of work that is expected.
If you can effectively learn to understand what motivates and inspires your employees, and create effective avenues for communication between leadership and employees, the good news is that the rest of the motivators will come over time. Once the employees feel they have a purpose they will naturally begin to work harder, give you their best ideas, and collaboration. As the employee to give their maximum effort, they will become more engaged because they begin to feel a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
One final motivator that will continue the progress of employee engagement is to continually recognize and reward employees for their hard work and contribution. When employees receive a reward they will naturally want to continue their progress and often will catapult them to reach for greater heights in their career.
Here are some final thoughts for creating a baseline strategy for employee engagement.
Employee engagement will not happen overnight, nor will the results. The improvements will start out incremental and may be discouraging at first. The goal is not to see huge results immediately, instead it is a long term strategy that will be achieved over time. Little wins are still wins and can be powerful for the company down the line. The goal must be for the company to incorporate more thoughtful approaches and communication into the very fiber of its culture. Ensuring that the engagement strategy is effective and lasting. Growth will never flourish if immediate results are the primary goal.
Once a baseline strategy is established, employees and employers know what is expected, and what to do if expectations aren't met to standard. With a solid purpose, employees will grow to become attached to their place of work. Employees will be motivated to stay on course and work hard for the betterment of the company. Employee engagement will be produced if the employee is given a purpose, and if they are rewarded for their contribution. Creating and following a baseline for intrinsic and extrinsic motivators will produce growth and community within the company.
And remember this always, the question isn’t why employees haven't engaged the question is what is the company going to do about it.
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The Mission HR is a leading partner in the PEO, HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing marketplace. We provide a valuable service for small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors, serving as a trusted partner in integrated human resource (HR) compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.