Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that employees have to an organisation and its goals. They are motivated to contribute towards the organisational success of their company, while also having an enhanced sense of wellbeing.
Focusing on employee engagement is crucial for all organisations as outlined in Why your business should focus on employee engagement. Unfortunately, there are a few misconceptions when it comes to engaging employees. Some leaders think they’re doing the right thing, when perhaps they’re hindering employee engagement. Here are 3 things you may not have known about employee engagement.
Higher salaries don’t create engaged employees
Yes, a higher salary will engage employees to a certain point, but companies need to realise that not everyone is motivated by money and different people value different things. In a FlexJobs survey, 84% of working parents said work flexibility is the number one most important factor in a job, with work-life balance a close second at 80%. 86% of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align their own.
Employees want more development, flexible working and recognition to name but a few. If every time an employee was disengaged, an organisation gave them a pay rise, it would become very expensive, but it would also create bad morale amongst the engaged employees. When times are hard in an organisation, it’s not the money that makes you stay – you can get money from any organisation – it’s the people, culture and passion for the job.
Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction and employee happiness
A common misconception about employee engagement is that it is synonymous with employee satisfaction and happiness. An employee can be satisfied with a job, without being engaged in the job. Employees may be happy at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are working hard for the company. The factors that drive a satisfied employee are different to those that drive an engaged employee. Some engagement factors are growth, impact, connection and meaning. Employee satisfaction nurtures employee engagement, but they are not equal.
Reward and recognition play a vital part in employee engagement
Employers often overlook reward and recognition when engaging employees. No matter how much money an employee is paid, they will always seek appreciation, gratification and respect, in fact 78% of employees would work harder if they were better recognised by their employers. Recognising employees can be inexpensive and very effective – but it’s important to ask employees WHAT they want and HOW they would like to be rewarded. Release an employee survey that asks about their needs, expectations and any improvements. If the survey is anonymous, employees may be more honest with their responses. Rewards don’t have to cost the world, a simple ‘well done’ can instill a huge sense of pride in an employee.
To create an engaged environment, it’s important that employers understand what employee engagement IS and what it IS NOT. By clearing up misconceptions, employers can better implement employee engagement tactics within an organisation. The truth is most people like working and value being part of a team; they just need a positive environment, recognition and development possibilities to flourish. For some top tips on how to better engage your employees read our blogs on How to boost your business' employee engagement levels and How to keep your team motivated when remote working.