The Importance of Employee Engagement

Michelle Donohoe 15.01.2015

It's time to engage your employees! A new year with new expectations! Looking forward to 2015 we consider these expectations and the work that needs to be done to achieve these goals.

As an employer, a hugely important factor that you need to consider is how well your employees are engaged? If you don’t know the answer to this, then you need to find out and fast!

Remember keep it simple - If an individual wants to do the job and understands the importance of why it needs to be done, this in turn will lead to more engaged employees, increase productivity and, as a result, higher profits.

So what exactly is employee engagement and how should this engagement be fuelled?

“Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation's goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being”

And how should this be fuelled?

According to Tracey Maylett from decision-wise.com there are five factors that have been identified for employee engagement. These factors simply add up to MAGIC:

Meaning: What I do must have some significance to me; it must mean something to me personally, and on more than just a surface level. To me, my work is something of value -something of worth. If I’m only focused on a pay check, I am willing to put in as much work as is commensurate with the pay check. However, when my work has meaning to me, what I do has greater purpose.

Autonomy: Do I have the freedom and empowerment to perform my job in a way that I do best? Autonomy involves a degree of self-governance. It allows me, as an individual, to create or shape my role and environment in a way that is best for me and for the organisation.

Growth: There was a time years ago when one could maintain a base set of skills or level of development, and that base could carry that individual throughout his or her career.  However, our internal speed of change and growth must match (or exceed) the external rate of change. Particularly with rising generations, the ability to develop, grow, and progress in a job provides challenge and excitement that benefit not only the individual but also the company.

Impact: Have you ever worked for a company where employees give their all, only to face each fiscal quarter with a dismal report of their business performance? The adage “nothing breeds success like success” holds true here. When an employee puts in his or her all, yet has little impact on the organisation’s or team’s success, engagement is difficult to cultivate. On the other hand, if what I am doing is making an impact (on the company, the world, patients, etc.), I am often willing to go through tough times if I have hope of making an impact. This is also where recognition and feedback fit in. I need to understand what kind of impact I am having; feedback from a customer, peer, boss, etc., will help me understand that level of impact.

Connection: This factor is clear throughout many of our employee engagement surveys. Quite often, one of the highest-scoring questions on the engagement survey is related to a version of the following question: “I like the people I work with.” Employees need to feel a connectedness to those around them. Similarly, my connection to the organisation -whether or not I feel a part of the organisation - will often dictate my level of commitment.

So, as you roll out your company goals for 2015 remember that the essence of employee engagement is “magic” !

If you would like any further information on the process details above or you are interested in exploring the HR market for a new opportunity please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Michelle Donohoe's picture
Talent Acquisition Specialist
mdonohoe@morganmckinley.com