Employee engagement is the extent to which employees commit to their organization, how hard they work, and how long they stay as a result of that commitment. Engaged employees are not only more productive, but also they are more committed, more satisfied, and more motivated than employees who are not engaged. There are three different levels of employee engagement:
- Engaged employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company.
- Unengaged employees who are sleepwalking through their work day.
- Actively disengaged employees who act out their unhappiness and undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
Engagement affects employee retention, productivity, and loyalty. It is also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation, and overall stakeholder value. People want to work in an environment where they feel connected to the mission and engaged with their colleagues and the roles they play. Engagement is at the heart of retaining good people and includes establishing clear goals for the enterprise and communicating them to everybody. Once they engage with clear goals, people won’t stop until they cross the finish line.
Effective leaders get in motion to engage people. For instance, they improve career development, create objective and inclusive performance management systems, provide key developmental experiences, and offer mentoring and networking opportunities. They create an inclusive work environment, provide equal opportunities, and educate the workforce about diversity. Finally, they address work/life needs, provide role models and mentors, and guide career paths.
For more on employee engagement, I invite you to read my latest book, Energized Enterprise.