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Employee Engagement 101

The concept of employee engagement hasn’t so much evolved over time as it has moved from a singular event or set of events to a process of changing the entire culture of an organization.

Tactics for Improving Employee Engagement

It is obvious that employers should be concerned about engaging their employees. But the bigger challenge is figuring out how to engage employees.

An Organizational Imperative

These tactics all contribute to creating an environment in which employees see the value of their work and a connection between their success and the success of the organization.

Employee engagement is your employees’ ability and willingness to contribute to organizational success, especially their desire to give “discretionary effort,” going beyond requirements within their position to make the organization successful.

It isn’t that the idea of employee engagement hasn’t so much evolved as it has moved from a one-time event or set of circumstances into an organized process of modifying the entire culture in an organization.

More simply put, if you are focusing on employee happiness or satisfaction, you are not quite getting it right. For example, an employee may always show up for work on time and not complain. They are reliable and do the job correctly, but is that really what will expand your organization over time? You’ve identified your high performers, and wouldn’t you like to sprinkle some of that ‘magic’ across your entire workforce?

Employee Engagement

More likely, you have identified your highly disengaged employees. They act as anchors, doing the minimum required to keep their job and “stay under the radar.”

Highly engaged employees are willing to do more than the minimum, they work with conviction, and they drive your business to higher levels of success!

Now for the good news: Engagement is not hard-wired. It’s not “programmed” into a person’s DNA. Your organization can dramatically improve employee engagement, and employee engagement surveys are genuinely foundational to that change.

One of the most significant challenges facing organizations today is successfully engaging employees. The concept of engagement is simple to understand yet more challenging to define and measure. Some definitions of engagement include emotional and behavioral components, such as how employees “feel” about their employer, its leaders, and working conditions. However, more important than agreeing on a definition for engagement is understanding its significance.

Engagement also is directly linked to employee retention. It seems pretty apparent that highly engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organization than if they are moderately engaged or not engaged at all. But how important is retaining employees to the success of an organization?