Redefining The Rules Of Employee Engagement

What is employee engagement anyway? Let’s start with what it’s not…

Employee engagement is not about how smart or happy or satisfied ones employees are.

It is the X factor that can differentiate your engaged and disengaged employees. Would it surprise you to hear that an employee can be happily disengaged and that job satisfaction and employee engagement are not the same?

So let us figure out how job satisfaction is different from employee engagement.

Job satisfaction is a measure of how employees feel about what they get from their employer whereas, employee engagement is more about what they give to the employer and the mission.

Today, the focus of HR and delivery is to check how we can engage with our employees better. Employee engagement is not a new segment that is in focus. It’s been there since ages but the approach has changed.

If you ask me, employee engagement is measurement of an employee’s emotional commitment to an organization; it takes into account the amount of discretionary effort an employee expends on behalf of the organization.

Can it be measured? Yes and it should be! A well-defined engagement metrics give leaders information on specific areas of potential focus that can help increase staff loyalty, improve retention, and even amp up employee’s performance.

You may wonder am I responsible for ensuring successful engagement of my team? The answer is simple: YES. Employee engagement is everyone’s responsibility. An organization can identify 4 different groups acting as pillars to ensure successful engagement at all levels.

  1. Senior level management – Management plays a key role as they have to lead by example and follow bottom up approach to make sure that the entire organization is up to date on the progress along the way.
  2. Human Resources – It all starts with hiring a right candidate. Employee turnover is costly. Hiring based on shared values and cultural beliefs leads to winning results.
  3. Team Leaders – They are the cultural ambassadors who bridge the gap between the top and bottom layer of the organization. They play an important role while identifying both critical areas of opportunities and challenges. They are the ones who are connected with their teams on regular basis and are the right connects for senior management to understand the teams’ concerns, feedback and suggestions.
  4. Team members – They are the heart and soul of the organization who work hard and holds the maximum percentage in your Organization Pyramid. Effective communication with the team members brings in a sense of belonging and confidence. Understanding and building an employees’s clear and defined career path is what will become the organization’s key retention strategy. One important aspect to be worked upon is to build IDP (Individual Development Plan) for each employee, in order to help the organization capture and address employee s aspirations and priorities which can be further aligned to the business goals.

Even after following all the above mentioned points can an organization have a satisfied employee who is not engaged?

Yes, it is certainly possible to have a satisfied employee with a low engagement level — someone who shows up to work and goes through the motions, but does not demonstrate initiative or interest in performing everyday tasks. That’s why focusing on satisfaction without addressing engagement is unlikely to foster the kind of exceptional workforce performance that drives business results.

The ROI of Engagement – Disengagement costs companies billions of dollars every year as shown by some of the surveys done by Gallup. It’s because that disengaged employees make teams less productive, less profitable and less likely to be loyal. So the ROI is pretty evident and straightforward.

Effectiveness check – To measure the effectiveness, the organization must conduct regular pulse surveys in addition to the Employee Satisfaction Survey. Participation in external surveys helps the organization benchmark its effectiveness to its peers based on the available market inputs.

To accurately track employee engagement you can rate all your employees on the below pointers and get the index score for your organization.

An engaged employee will:

  • Feel a strong personal connection to their team and the whole organisation
  • Have a complete understanding of his/her role, which should be clearly defined
  • Understand how they contribute to the organisation
  • Hold themselves accountable for their own work and are self-guided
  • Have a desire for professional development

Conclusion – Employee engagement drives performance by improving retention, customer loyalty, productivity, safety, and ultimately, profitability. Engaged employees care about their organisation and work to contribute towards its success. They are more likely to work better, faster and more safely. Importantly, they are also more focused on the customer experience, ensuring that customers are happy and profits are maximised.

In today’s world of economic uncertainty, engaging employees is critical to ensuring an organisations longevity and profitability.

Comments 3

Smita

May 30, 2017

Very well written Sarabjeet. As you rightly mentioned
En kigaged employees care about their organisation and work to contribute towards its success.

Ninad Bokade

May 31, 2017

wonderful write up Mr. Sarabjeet. This will surely help professionals to understand real glimpse of employee engagement.

Sarabjeet Singh

June 16, 2017

Thanks Ninad for your kind words.