Managers often mistake employees that are happy while they are taking part in staff meetings or company events, as being engaged employees. We explore the definition of employee engagement and more.
Employees could appear contented at work but this does not necessarily mean that they are engaged in the true sense. These employees may turn up at work without complaining and get along to doing their tasks of the day. However, making them happy is far different from making them engaged.
You can try to find the ‘definition of employee engagement’ online and you will get a variety of explanations. This often leads to confusion on the true meaning of what employee engagement really is.
Definition of employee engagement
Employee engagement is a property of the relationship between an organisation and its employees. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests. (Wikipedia)
Kevin Kruse from Forbes.com says the definition of employee engagement is;
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals. (Forbes.com)
Employee engagement is actually the level of enthusiasm and dedication an employee feels toward his or her job. To these engaged employees, it is far more than a pay cheque – it is the eagerness towards their task that makes them passionate in their work, and this passion is often reflected in their individual outcomes.
An engaged employee cares about their work and about the performance of the company, and they want to feel that their efforts could make a difference. It is generally seen as an internal state of mind; physically, mentally and emotionally that binds together the work effort, commitment and satisfaction in an employee.
For further tips on achieving this, read our article on how to motivate your employees.
Commit. Engage. Excel
A committed employee tends to go an extra mile for the company without being asked or wanting recognition or credit for it. They often establish a common responsibility for themselves to the roles they took up. At the same time, they do want to feel appreciated by the company.
When a good manager recognises a committed employee, they have to find ways of keeping them involved. The company needs to practice more employee engagement in order for the employees not to feel as though no one cares about them and their duties.
Related article: 10 Factors Contributing to Employee Engagement
Management needs to remember that engaged employees lead to productivity in the workplace and this creates better understanding of customers, higher customer satisfaction and definitely an increase in sales and profit in the company.
The trust and communication between both employees and management are also important as it shows the employee their abilities and how their own work has contributed to the overall company performance. This union between the company and the employee is a necessity as both are able to excel in performance.
A hard worker, a team player, an engaged employee
A hard worker is not one who thinks that it is just a job and does enough to keep it while complaining about what is unfair or not right at work. They are the one who are fully immersed and enthusiastic about their work and takes positive action to further the company’s reputation and interests.
A team player works positively together with the rest of their colleagues to get the job done with the best way possible. The more engagement an employee has with his/her company, the more effort they put forward. An engaged employee lead to better business outcomes and at the same time are able to improve their own sense of well-being.
“When an employee commits, the management engages with them and both the employee and company excel.”
Regardless of your preferred definition of employee engagement, it all goes back to understanding your employees and providing for them. Knowing whether employees are engaged or disengaged is only the initial step. Management can look into how to engage employees in order to be able to cultivate a positive company culture.
Good companies also need to be able to understand what drives employees and take action on the results in order to have the great impact on increasing engagement.