Employee engagement describes the deep emotional connection an employee can feel toward a company and its values or goals.
When employees are sufficiently engaged, they invest time and effort into their job with passion driven not just by personal gain, but by the desire to truly contribute to the good of the company. Engaged employees are typically more satisfied with jobs, less likely to resign, and are more effective, which often transfers into being more thoughtful when it comes to spending company money, producing higher-quality work, and dedicating longer hours, if necessary.
It can be challenging for companies to measure and foster employee engagement, as emotional connection is a product of multiple independent factors. To affect change in employee enthusiasm requires a clear understanding of the causes of disengagement and strategies to mitigate issues.
Four sources of job engagement that businesses should address include as follows:
1. Job fit
Job fit refers to the alignment between an individual’s personality and behavioral characteristics and the requirements of a particular role. A person might have the skills needed to perform the tasks associated with a role, but if the job fit is not right, dissatisfaction and frustration could accumulate over time, thereby impacting effectiveness and performance. In fact, a survey of over 10,000 people found that 54% of employees are dissatisfied with opportunities for advancement, significantly affecting performance.
Managers must pay particular attention to how roles and functions change over time. A person might be hired as a great fit for a role, but, as company structure and needs evolve, the nature of that role might transform into a situation that no longer meshes well with the individual. Managers should evaluate team member needs and desires as well as the shifting nature of roles, taking action where necessary to curb disengagement.
2. Manager impact
Managers are the second and potentially most important impact on employee engagement. As the saying goes, “employees don’t leave companies – they leave managers.” A 2019 report by the Predictive Index found that workers are less satisfied with their managers than with their jobs.
Managers are responsible for motivating employees and encouraging excellence in performance. Doing so requires a keen understanding of each employee’s needs, motivations, and behavioral preferences. Many managers mistakenly assume that the needs of employees mirror their own; an effective manager coaches based on each individual’s preferences.
3. Organization culture
In a perfect world, all members of an organization feel aligned with company culture; believe their decisions, actions, and behaviors are aligned with management’s vision; and experience recognition and reward as a result. Unfortunately, some employees may feel that in order to function in their roles, they have to behave in ways contradictory to a personal value system. A disparity between organizational culture and employee values results in individuals feeling disconnected and disenfranchised.
Feeling disconnected or disenfranchised can manifest for entire groups within an organization, such as when company culture doesn’t mesh with the function of a specific division. For example, the accounting department at a sales-focused company can often feel like generating revenue is viewed as more important than controlling costs. To mitigate cross-departmental friction, management should focus the necessary effort to proactively address concerns as soon as identified.
4. People and teams
Feelings of isolation can arise when individuals feel separated from their peers by personality or work style. An individual in question may find it difficult to work effectively in conjunction with the team and feel alienated as a result. If appropriately recognized, differences between individual contributors and team dynamics can be channeled into synergies and serve as strengths instead of liabilities.
Having a comprehensive understanding of employee engagement and experience is vital to ensuring the smooth functioning of an organization. The Predictive Index Employee Experience Survey offered by Roebuck Technologies enables managers to review each dimension of the employee experience and be equipped with the information needed to take effective action.