The following post serves as the first installment in our Employee Engagement Blog Series. This series will inform readers about the importance of employee engagement, and will provide best practices for how to boost both employee engagement and employee satisfaction.
The terms “employee engagement” and “employee satisfaction” are often used interchangeably, but in fact they are quite different when it comes to their definitions.
How are these terms different, you ask? Basically, it comes down to the commitment that employees have towards the company or organization that they work for.
- Employee satisfaction is the state of a worker enjoying their job — but not necessarily being engaged with it. Imagine the employee who shows up to work early and leaves late without contributing much or breaking a sweat.
- Employee engagement is something that occurs when workers are committed to helping their companies achieve all of their goals. Engaged employees are motivated to show up to work every day and do everything within their power to help their companies succeed.
Businesses function best when employees are both satisfied and engaged, so it’s important to benchmark and consistently measure both satisfaction and engagement amongst employees in order to best reach business goals.
It’s imperative to implement a systematic strategy for tracking and improving employee engagement in order to ensure that a company is creating a culture in which employees are not only satisfied, but genuinely engaged in the organization’s mission and goals.
Statistics Don’t Lie
While it has become fairly standard practice for organizations to measure employee satisfaction, fewer businesses measure employee engagement, despite the large amount of research that indicates that engaged employees are more invested in their work, are more productive, provide better service, and stay at companies longer.
How engaged an employee is affects customer behavior as well, as employee engagement leads to happier customers who buy more and refer companies, products, and services more often, says Kevin Kruse, New York Times best-selling author and keynote speaker. This drives sales and profits, which ultimately results in an increase in stock price — talk about a win-win situation.
For further proof of the value of employee engagement, consider that, “companies with high employee engagement scores had twice the customer loyalty (repeat purchases, recommendations to friends) than companies with average employee engagement levels,” Kruse says.
Sadly, the majority of companies today do not dedicate the appropriate resources and focus to increasing and maintaining employee engagement, meaning that the average employee is not very engaged. Gallup reports that only 30 percent of American workers, and 13 percent of global workers, are engaged in their jobs.
So, what’s a concerned employer to do? Start focusing on different ways you can improve employee engagement for every employee in your organization. The next post in this series will teach you how to do just that.