Foreword Communications

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What is Employee Engagement?

Filed under: BUSINESS, HUMAN RESOURCES — Tags: , — forewordcommunications @ 11:40 pm


One of the latest catch phrases recognized in Human Resources circles is the term Employee Engagement.  As interesting as the term is, few HR professionals actually know what it is or what it entails – only that it seems to be important.


The Random House Dictionary (2006) defines engagement as “the act of engaging or the state of being engaged” or “a pledge; an obligation or agreement”.  So, simply put, employee engagement is the connectedness that an employee feels with the organization that he or she is a part of.  In theory, the more connected an employee feels, the more productive and satisfied that employee becomes.


Ah, but there’s more…


Employees, no matter how much they try or how much they desire, do not automatically feel connected to an organization merely by virtue of receiving a regular salary.  The days when employees were part of the workplace “family” are over.  Employees now expect more from an organization and employers have to meet employees halfway in order to attract and retain talented professionals.




So what, exactly, makes an employee feel connected?


Most sources agree that an employee’s relationship with his or her manager might be the most important component that determines the level of engagement that an employee experiences.  This makes sense.  An employee that feels connected to his or her manager is understandably more invested in the workplace environment and the success of the organization.  In essence, if the employee feels that he has an impact on the success of management, and therefore an impact on the success the organization as a whole, that employee would understandably consider himself an integral part of the organization.  It is this investment in the employee/management relationship that managers must foster.  Employees who do not consider themselves an integral part of an organization and who do not enjoy a satisfying relationship with management are simply not engaged.


The bottom line…


Although there are several other factors that determine employee engagement, the end result is all about retention.  Employees that are not engaged are difficult to retain, regardless of the salary, benefits, and perks offered by an organization.  The workplace has become a global talent market and employees have far more options than in years past.  Employees now demand a level of satisfaction in their jobs that requires that employers invest a great deal of energy and resources into understanding what makes happy employees tick.  Without this investment, employees will be more motivated to look for greener pastures than to consider themselves engaged and connected.



©2008 ForeWORD Communications     All Rights Reserved


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1 Comment »

  1. Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

    Comment by Allen Taylor — Tuesday, June 17, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

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