Employee engagement can be difficult to define or describe and people have different views and opinions. If I had to use one word to define employee engagement it would be “CARING”. Caring about performance and results, about company goals and objectives, about clients, about colleagues and caring about the success of the business. Engagement is “A strong, positive emotional connection between the employee and the organisation that fuels employee motivation, pride, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to supporting their company. This translates into meaningful action items that drive performance and productivity, and contribute to the success of the company.” It has been said that the number one driver of employee engagement is “The feeling by employees that their company ownership, executives and managers show interest and demonstrate support for employees as people and individuals. This includes their well being, goals and dreams, workplace culture and environment, families…”
People often use the terms “employee engagement” and “employee satisfaction” interchangeably. Although these terms have much in common there are important differences between employee engagement and employee satisfaction that have a significant effect on the success of an organisation.
An engaged employee is always willing to “go the extra mile”, to put in the extra effort without being asked. These employees take pride in their work and are fully committed to the growth of the organisation. When we talk about employee engagement, we are talking about employees who work hard, love their work, reach a level of satisfaction but are also actively involved and participating in the company goals and efforts to achieve success.
Most industries are extremely competitive and the difference between success and failure can be very small. At the same time, many customers feel their suppliers and the respective products bear very little difference from one another; resulting in many products, goods and services being treated like commodities. We believe that people can make the difference by building strong relationships with customers, providing exemplary service as well as demonstrating high levels of productivity that control costs and enable competitive product pricing. However this can only be done effectively by employees that are committed and engaged.
The following is a list of a few employee engagement benefits:
- Higher productivity through increased discretionary effort
- Cost control from new innovations, ideas and efficiencies generated by committed employees
- Higher team morale and enthusiasm which translates into greater customer satisfaction
- Improved company loyalty and reduced staff turnover
- Increased employee commitment to improve and grow as individuals in order to meet the challenges and obstacles ahead
- A culture that supports efforts to attract qualified professionals who will advocate the company.