Relevance of Employee Engagement

Relevance of Employee Engagement and Reasons behind Engagement Gap


In organizational context, employee engagement these days has become a popular buzzword. Before delving into the details of employee engagement, let us clarify a prevalent misconception – employee engagement is not same as employee satisfaction. A particular employee may feel satisfied if he or she is assigned very easy tasks which do not require much effort or time. But that employee is not an engaged employee and effectively does not contribute towards the success of the organization.

An engaged employee shows complete involvement with the work that he is responsible for. He is enthusiastic and passionate about getting the job done in the desired manner. The employee cares to know about the relevance and importance of his job, how does the job fit into the larger context of organizational goals and objectives and  how the way its executed can translate to superior or inferior organizational performance. The employee cares about the overall success of the organization and shows commitment and sincerity in spending effort for achieving this success. This employee is always willing to walk an extra mile for ensuring the interests of his organization.  Now, when an employee shows this level of commitment and involvement towards his job as well as his organization, it can be concluded that he receives enough satisfaction by performing the job, it provides him with ample scope of professional growth, he feels suitably rewarded both in monetary and non monetary terms, and he feels that his organization cares about him and treats him as an integral part of it. So, we can summarize by saying that an engaged employee is essentially a satisfied employee who is willing to put forth more than what is expected of him, and this willingness, dedication and additional efforts shown by the engaged employees transform an organization from good to great. Employee engagement is thus a superset of which employee satisfaction is only a subset.

How to increase employee engagement in an organization? To answer this question, let us examine few factors that lead to ‘engagement gap’, i.e. result in lack of involvement or effort on part of employees. Taking care of these factors will certainly help in bridging the engagement gap. These factors can be:

  • Lack of clarity about what exactly is expected from one in one’s job – an employee may be putting in his best efforts to execute a task and then he learns that it’s an irrelevant task or it does not come under his set of responsibilities. This mismatch can be frustrating and lead to lack of interest in getting involved with the job.
  • If employees perceive that the job expectations are not very realistic or achievable, they may get disappointed even before trying to accomplish the job.
  • Lack of recognition or praise for work accomplished brings down the morale of employees and acts as de-motivator.
  • If regular feedback about performance is not given, employees are not in a position to know if they are heading in the right direction or not. It leaves no scope for performance improvement at an early stage.
  • Monotonous work can siphon off the energy and enthusiasm of employees. The more challenging and exciting a work is, the better it is.
  • Employees will feel de-motivated if they feel that their work does not provide them with any scope of professional growth.  It’s very tough to make one feel enthusiastic and passionate about a job that faces a dead end.
  • Clear idea about how one’s contribution is influencing the organizational performance acts as a booster. An employee is probably not walking that extra mile because he does not know his performance and execution of his assigned job is ultimately helping in achievement of the organizational objectives.
  • Dissatisfaction will result if employees perceive that unequal treatment is being meted out to them.
  • Lack of awareness about the reward policies, promotion and increment policies of the organization will fail to spark interest in employees.
  • Guidance and support from supervisor and colleagues can go a long way in increasing the morale of employees.

These are a few major factors that can be held accountable for not having employees who show the highest level of engagement. Organizations need to come up with proper strategy and action plans to eliminate these factors and to ensure that every employee it has is a highly engaged employee.

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