The notion of Employee Engagement has been with us for a while now.
I noticed in a meeting last week that everyone was passionate when we started discussing "engagement". But the longer we talked, the less I was convinced that we were talking about the same thing. In fact, we all had a personal, sensible, gut level idea of what it meant. But the "definition gap" emerged when we began talking about how to approach the issue.
How Do You Define Employee Engagement?
The Conference Board researched the issue of definition and came to the same conclusion: different studies reflected different definitions of Employee Engagement. So they came up with a "blended" definition and some key themes that represented all of the studies.
The definition of Employee Engagement: "a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work".
That makes sense and is easily understood.
What I think is truly helpful to those involved in creating Employee Engagement is the Conference Board's synthesis of 8 key drivers of engagement. These offer concrete targets for development:
- Trust and integrity – how well managers communicate and 'walk the talk'.
- Nature of the job –Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day?
- Line of sight between employee performance and company performance – Does the employee understand how their work contributes to the company's performance?
- Career Growth opportunities –Are there future opportunities for growth?
- Pride about the company – How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company?
- Coworkers/team members – significantly influence one's level of engagement
- Employee development – Is the company making an effort to develop the employee's skills?
- Relationship with one's manager – Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager?
Can You Work With Those Eight?
What do you think?
For those of us who have to turn theory into practice, I like the simple and concise one-liners that can lead to purposeful action. They provide starting points for meaningful discussions as well.
Bonus: If you want an ongoing look at what's happening in employee engagement, a terrific resource is my friend David Zinger and his Employee Engagement Network.