Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs and are committed to the organization. This emotional commitment means engaged employees care about their work and their company. An employee is considered highly engaged if he is fully absorbed in his work or encouraged to perform his task beyond what typically is expected in his job role. These employees don't work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but on behalf of the organization's goals.
3 Types of Employees
Depending on the level of commitment, the employees can be classified into three categories: Actively Disengaged, Actively Engaged, and Not Engaged.
- Engaged Employees: The engaged employees are those who work with full passion and are emotionally attached to the organization. They are innovative and provide new ideas and consistent performance to move the organization forward. They personalize the company’s goals and objectives, and always work above and beyond their job requirements for the betterment of the organization.
- Not Engaged Employees: Such employees do put in their time, but not passion and energy into their work. These are the ones who do only what is asked of them. These employees can hold either a negative or positive attitude towards the organization. They consider their job as a paycheck, nothing more.
- Actively Disengaged Employees: These employees are unhappy, resentful, and spread negativity within the organization. However, despite doing less than the minimum, these employees last longer in the firm by removing employees whom they perceive will attain higher positions soon.
Supervisor Impact on Engagement
A supervisor's management style can have a crucial impact on employee engagement. As referenced in the Front Line module "Motivating and Engaging Employees,” managers who fail to engage their employees by creating positive relationships can lead to an exodus of top talent. This means that the actions of an employee's direct supervisor can make or break an employee's level of engagement. If employees perceive that their manager is too controlling or micromanages their work, they are much more likely to disengage. But by fostering a style that is more participative and facilitative, supervisors empower their employees to "get on with the job" rather than bogging them down with too much direction. According to a 25-year study by the Gallup organization, the relationship with a manager largely determines the length of an employee’s stay. In addition, roughly 50-70% of an employee’s perception of their environment can be traced to the actions of one person: their leader. More than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that determine people’s ability to work well.
How to Increase Engagement
How do managers know who is engaged? The steps for improving engagement aren’t complex, but they must be prioritized. By utilizing the following steps, engagement becomes a core function of the manager’s role.
- Put everyone in the right role: Get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right roles. This means that all talent acquisition and retention strategies have to be aligned with company goals.
- Train them right: Providing the proper training and development will allow employees to engage with you, ask questions, offer ideas, and voice concerns.
- Task meaningful work: Engaged employees do meaningful work and have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the company’s mission, purpose, and strategic objectives.
- Check in on employee development: Today’s workforce craves regular feedback, which leads to faster course correction. Use both formal and informal check-in strategies and use them often.
- Don't Micromanage: Employees can’t be engaged if they don’t have freedom in how to do their jobs. Leave the details up to your employees, and you’ll end up with workers happy to put their own methods and ideas into action.
The Bottom Line
It is a common understanding that employees are a company’s most important asset. But in reality, that is only true when the majority of the workforce is fully engaged in their work. If not, they are either adding minimal value or actively working against the organization. For more information about how the Front Line Leadership Program can transform your organization, or for pricing information, contact Robert Winter at 832-483-5535 or fill out a contact form on our contact page.