Employee engagement is widely viewed as being crucial to lasting business success. The logic underpinning it is simple: engaged staff are productive staff. Actually achieving a widely engaged workforce, on the other hand, is a little trickier. In this blog series, we explore employee engagement and how to measure it effectively through surveys. First up: what exactly is employee engagement?
Happy and satisfied?
Most experts in the field would say that employee engagement means more than simply employee happiness or satisfaction. Whilst these two elements are no doubt crucial in developing engaged staff, on their own they don’t quite give the full picture.
To illustrate, happy and satisfied staff may well readily come into work and complete their hours as necessary. But what’s to stop them taking a similar role at a different company that offers them a similar working environment but higher pay? If they aren’t “engaged” in their current role, then they’ll be more than half a chance of taking that bigger pay cheque.
A fuller definition of employee engagement
A more useful definition of employee engagement must go further. Typically, this definition would include the following points:
- Employee empowerment. This refers to employees having all the tools they need to do their jobs well.
- Buying into organisational goals and values. This refers to broader employee commitment to the organisation as a whole.
Adding these two elements to the mix provides a much more useful definition of employee engagement. Firstly, when employees are empowered to do their jobs more effectively and can see the results themselves, they are more likely to be productive in their role.
Secondly, when employees are committed to the organisation on a deeper level, then they are much more likely to go that extra mile. In other words, when staff believe in what the organisation as a whole wants to achieve then they will perform at their best in their role to contribute to that goal becoming a reality.
Measuring employee engagement
The cornerstone of implementing positive changes in your business to improve engagement is the survey. Known as an employee engagement survey, it offers employees the chance to give meaningful feedback. Employees are generally asked to evaluate their workplace environment and managers, with the ultimate aim of implementing future improvements.
So that’s employee engagement in a nutshell. Stay tuned for more on the subject including some top tips for carrying out effective engagement surveys!