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Employee Engagement Definition

What is employee engagement?

Most people working in the area of human resources have heard the term employee engagement, but don’t actually have a clear idea of what it is. While the name itself is descriptive, a good employee engagement definition encompasses more than simply engaging employees in their work or workplace.

So what is employee engagement? It includes employee interaction, retention, and company culture.

Components of employee engagement include: 

  • Commitment, or the level at which individual feel connected to the job. Individuals who have this feeling of commitment take on the organizational responsibilities and objectives as their own, and work head on to meet the challenges they face. Committed employees will work harder and they will be more likely to show up when they are required.
  • Motivation, or the reasons individuals have for doing their jobs. Working for a paycheck is a minimum amount of motivation; companies can provide greater motivation by recognizing individual achievement, giving promotions, and rewarding hard work. 
  • Loyalty, or the support or allegiance an individual gives an employer. A company needs to earn loyalty because it isn’t a quality which comes automatically. It can be simple enough to earn loyalty by treating employees with respect and recognizing what they do to help the company.
  • Trust or the confidence employees and employers have in each other. Employees need to be able to trust that they will be taken care of, but there is also a need for them to feel that the company trusts them to do their jobs well. Allowing at least some amount of autonomy will help employees gain the sense that they are trusted, which will, in turn, help them to trust their employers.

There are a growing number of employee engagement articles as it becomes more obvious how important employee engagement is in all areas of work. Employee engagement theory includes aspects of employee/employer relationships, building up to a totality where all parties involved are able to work together better because they are more involved with each other in positive ways. An employee engagement definition by authors in different fields will focus on the same important concepts of commitment, motivation, loyalty, and trust.

Anyone wanting to improve company morale and productivity can start with an employee engagement introduction. Instead of looking at the end result where some companies have a high turnover rate, an employee engagement definition CIPD will start with treating all employees fairly, empowering them and giving them a way to voice their concerns, and helping every employee achieve at the highest level possible.


Misconceptions about employee engagement

Even after seeming to understand the basic principles of employee engagement, many still harbor misconceptions about it. Here are some of the most common misconceptions found to be associated with the idea and practice of employee engagement:

1. Turnover is a bad thing in and of itself

High turnover is often the symptom that makes managers realize that there are problems in the corporate culture. They see that they are training people, investing heavily in them as valued employees, and then those employees are leaving or being let go because of inadequate performance within relatively short periods of time. Most people think only of retention rates when they consider employee engagement meaning, but this is just an element to consider. Managers need to consider also if the turnover is voluntary or involuntary, and why it is happening.

2. When people quit, it is inevitably linked to pay

Studies show that other factors are at least as important as pay, if not more so. When individuals are making the decision whether to stay at a job or leave, they will compare their situations to others. The relationships employees have with their supervisors is often cited as one of the most important reasons they might choose to stay or find a better opportunity.

3. When people quit, it means they weren’t satisfied with their jobs

It would be difficult to find a group of people who didn’t complain about their jobs at least sometimes, but job dissatisfaction is given as a reason for quitting less than half the time. Even highly satisfied individuals might choose to leave because of a single negative incident, like getting passed over for a promotion they thought they deserved or finding out someone who has been at the company for a shorter time is making more money.

These particular examples would be dealt with effectively if the principles of employee engagement were practiced rigorously. Transparency in pay and promotion decisions could give individuals the information they need so hard feelings could be avoided.

4. Managers have little power to influence turnover

The relationships managers build with employees can be the biggest factor for many individuals when it comes to deciding not just whether to stay at a job, but how hard to work while there. Workers who feel engaged with the company and the managers will work to please them, and recognizing that can help companies build better relationships. 

5. A one-size-fits-all strategy works best when dealing with employee engagement problems

One of the biggest barriers to employee engagement is the belief that problems can all be dealt with the same way. Measuring employee engagement can be difficult, and many employers don’t realize there is even a problem until they are seeing the effects of high turnover. Employee engagement in theory and practice can be quite different, but it is worth understanding the principle drivers of employee engagement in order to build relationships and make the company stronger.

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Why is employee engagement important?

The benefits of employee engagement are obvious but go far beyond retention and personal satisfaction. Building employee engagement leads to other effects that can benefit everyone at the company. Developing and sustaining employee engagement can lead to better employee retention as employees are satisfied, higher customer satisfaction, and a better chance for your company to succeed. 

Lower Turnover

The first and most obvious benefit is that a company heavily committed to employee engagement will start to see the effects with lower turnover. As workers begin to experience the feelings of commitment, trust, and loyalty, they will become more motivated to stay at the company and work hard to help achieve the company’s goals. Their own attitudes will help them achieve more, turning it into a cycle where they reap the benefits of the culture.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

When the employees are working hard and feeling engaged with the company, they take responsibility for the tasks they do. They will be able to get their work done more quickly and more accurately, meaning that the customers will experience that benefit directly. Employees who show up every day, stay with the company and work hard to achieve provide a better product that the customers will appreciate.

Greater Chance of Success for Your Company

Because customers are satisfied with the company’s service and products, they will come back to the same company again, knowing it will meet their needs. They will also tell others how great their experience was, leading to an increase in business.

Managers who start investigating the definition of employee engagement normally expect to achieve certain specific goals related to human resources, but find that the company will benefit and even grow as a direct result of those efforts. Improving employee engagement to drive business performance isn’t the first goal of employee engagement, but is usually a result of good practices.

How to Improve Employee Engagement

Unfortunately, most people simply don’t feel engaged in their places of employment right now. In some places, their companies simply don’t see the need for employee engagement. Some companies don’t even have a cohesive mission their employees could focus on.

It is obvious how important employee engagement is to the individual, the management and to the company itself. Management at every level should constantly be thinking about how to improve employee engagement and offering activities to improve employee engagement.  The best way to manage employee engagement would be for a company to have a cohesive plan to achieve goals in that area.

Employee Engagement Activities

From the first day of work to the last, a company should be instilling its individual culture and engaging its employees. In the beginning, employees can go through onboarding, where they learn about specific aspects of their new work environment and get a chance to ask questions. Even if there are a large number of people involved, it is important to set the scene and let the new employees know that they are valued as individuals. An employee engagement pdf can give employees an overview of what is expected and how the company wants to help.

Employee Engagement Survey

As time goes on, a company can use surveys on a regular basis to keep track of how well the job is going. An employee engagement survey doesn’t have to be very long, and generally consists of between 30 and 50 questions. The questions can give managers an idea of how satisfied employees are and how loyal and committed they are to the company and its goals.

Employee Engagement Strategies

The most important principle to keep in mind is that every employee should feel like a valued individual, so giving one-on-one training and attention will provide the biggest benefits. Employee engagement initiatives can be as simple as having an ice cream social or coffee hour on a regular basis, where all employees and managers will mingle and socialize. Another great strategy is having a way to regularly recognize everyone who has gone above and beyond. That kind of attention can make the difference between a satisfied employee and someone who decides to leave.

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