Last week, we talked about mental health in the workplace. Now we can draw a line directly between positive mental health and employee engagement. This is simply due to the basis of a person who is engaged, generally has a greater sense of purpose in their daily practices. And, purpose along with employee engagement, drives performance.
Which, ultimately leads to better decision-making.
Companies that rank high in the employee engagement area are Google, Virgin, Cisco, Salesforce, Hilton, Dreamworks Animation, American Express, and the list goes on.
Employee Engagement By Definition
“Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.”
That being said, employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction.
So what’s the difference?
Employee Satisfaction only indicates how happy or content your employees are on a daily basis. For some employees, being satisfied means working close to home and with nice people. Others are just collecting a paycheck and doing as little work as possible.
Examples of employee satisfaction are
- Work hours
- Office location
- Commute length
- Company culture
- Office politics
- Leadership tone
- Social status
- Health & Safety
The list is extensive and we could go father than those listed above.
As a result, job satisfaction is how employees think and feel about their jobs.
A satisfied employee may view their job as enjoyable, fulfilling and meaningful. Whereas, a dissatisfied employee can view their job as pointless, demeaning and stressful.
So, why is employee engagement important?
Employee engagement drives performance which goes beyond the day to day normals. Going further, employee engagement drives performance. Engaged employees look at the whole of the company and understand their purpose, where, and how they fit in.
In addition to this, employee engagement addresses their level of motivation, involvement, and emotional commitment to the job, the company, and their co-workers.
So how is this achieved? Here are a few examples:
1. Assign company values
Assign one of your company’s values to a certain employee, every month, based on a peer voting process. The person who best represented that value can be set as an example and properly acknowledged for their actions.
2. Encourage personal projects.
Dreamwork Animation does through a short story initiative. Designers pitch short stories where the winners are awarded the time and team resources to bring the animation to life!
Depending on your company, personal projects can bring different departments together and connect employees outside of the on-going routine. All of which benefits the overall engagement of everyone involved.
3. Assign a buddy/mentor for every newcomer.
If your organization is on the large side, this engagement tip can make a HUGE impact. Onboarding, as we know, is critical to your new employee’s ability to adapt and gain an early sense of achievement. As a result, a trustworthy relationship is built with someone more experienced in the company that can guide the newcomer.
4. Encourage charity.
Perhaps there’s a cause that aligns with your company’s mission. You can empower employees to team up and raise money for that cause, in a friendly but competitive manner.
5. Encourage volunteering
Volunteer-for-a-cause is a great way to allow the team to gain a deeper connection to their jobs.. Give your employees dedicated time to volunteer for a cause they support.
6. Celebrate achievements
Big or small, they are the solid proof that the work people are putting in has meaning. No one can go through tasks and assignments for months or even years without burning out. Refill the team’s energy tanks with some recognition and celebrate hard work. This is also a great way to foster a stronger team function.
7. Have themed office days.
For the more open-minded companies, this initiative can bring a lot of fun.. Have a Hat Day. Maybe a March 14th, Pi Day where people can bring in pie-like treats. Seasonal Theme Days can help break up the looping annual routines.
The range is diverse and can really boost up employee morale. Not to mention, pleasantly fracture monotony in the work routine.
8. Celebrate your people!
Birthdays, promotions, retirements, newcomers welcoming, there are plenty of important moments where people can be put at the front of the company. They literally make the company and it’s a great and relaxing way of showing them that they matter.
Cultivate Top Performers.
The goal of Customer Engagement practices is to develop as many top performers as possible.
Top performers embrace change. They search out ways to improve themselves and challenge the status quo. These achievers hold themselves accountable for delivering results.
Whereas, low performers avoid accountability, cling to the status quo, and resist change.
Outperform the Competition.
There’s plenty of stats out there on organizations with an engaged workforce outperforming their competition. Companies have reported higher earning per share (EPS) and faster recovery after recessions and financial setbacks. Engagement is a key differentiator when it comes to growth and innovation.
As a result, a company that has an effective employee engagement strategy and a highly engaged workforce is more likely to retain top performers as well as attract new talent.
Moreover, the expectations of employees have changed. Mobile professional careers are much more common than “job for lifers”. Also, the retention of top talent is more difficult than before.
The bottom-line, successful organizations are value-driven with employee-centric cultures.
How does your organization measure up?
Tune in next week when we goo deeper into how employee engagement is measured in the workforce. We’ll discuss how to measure employee engagement. Along with what is needed to prepare a readiness assessment and embark on a value-added engagement survey.