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Having engaged employees leads to a higher level of service and productivity, which leads to improved customer satisfaction, which leads to more sales, which ultimately leads to increased revenue. But how do you activate and capitalize on this state?

Employee satisfaction ≠ employee engagement

The term employee engagement is often used interchangeably with employee satisfaction. The fact is these concepts are not synonymous. Employee satisfaction is more of a surface level characteristic, while employee engagement is a deeper and more critical component of a workforce.

Employee engagement is defined in terms of employees’ emotional commitment to a company and their willingness to “go the extra mile” to drive towards organizational goals. Engagement is characterized by employees’ energy and effort they put into their work (vigor), sense of pride and enthusiasm about their work (dedication), and level of saturation in their work (absorption).

Engagement cycle = recruit + engage + retain

The engagement cycle begins before employees are technically employees. Focusing recruitment efforts to find and hire the best candidates who possess the necessary competencies and align with the cultural fit of your organization sets the stage for engagement and puts the candidate on an engaged trajectory.

Engaging your employees requires knowing your employees. Surveys are a critical part of the communication process between employers and employees, fostering a culture that engages workers by making them feel connected to and valued by the organization. Engagement surveys should focus on assessing employees’ perceptions of the key areas that drive employee commitment:

  • Career development
  • Relationship with management
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Work environment

Survey results can highlight successful engagement initiatives and identify opportunities to improve engagement practices. The benefit of utilizing engagement surveys is twofold: it gives employees a voice and adds to their sense of belonging, and it gives employers real time feedback.

However, simply surveying employees is not enough. Survey results provide insights into the pulse of an organization, but in order to reach that goal of truly two-way conversation that surveys can unlock, employers must show a commitment to responding to the feedback, quickly and meaningfully. To retain employees, organizations must be able to efficiently analyze survey data to track trends and proactively manage their workforce to build loyalty and passion for their company. Measuring workforce attitudes and knowing what is important to them helps organizations gain a deeper understanding of their employees and optimize their people investments to balance the needs of the organization with those of its employees.

Engaged workforce = valuable asset

The purpose for championing employee engagement stems from the correlation between an engaged workforce and organizational performance. While a satisfied employee will work from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm without complaint, an engaged employee will work overtime without being asked. Engaged employees perform as if their work is worth more than a paycheck and value the role they play in achieving the company’s goals. It is this commitment to the company that results in increased individual- and business-level performance.

Creating a culture that engages workers provides your organization with a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top performers. So, survey your employees regularly—on things that matter and on things you can really change.

Personify is hosting an event with Peakon, a real-time people analytics and employee engagement software, on Thursday, October 19th. Register for the event here

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