Written by: Rianto Nurtjahjo, SE,MM
A person can be happy at work or satisfied with their job and not actually do any meaningful work. Job satisfaction and happiness do not in themselves create high performance.
Employee engagement is sometimes used to describe ‘engaging with’ employees. Effective internal communication, consultation with employees and employee representation are all important elements of employee engagement. But an effective communication plan, or a successful consultation exercise does not amount to employee engagement in the context of this resource.
The Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort – exceeding duty’s call – to see that the organization succeeds. Employers are interested in those employees who will do their best work, or ‘go the extra mile’. Employees want interesting work that they find absorbing and enjoyable. When these factors combine you have a win-win solution that meets the needs of the business and the employees’ needs at the same time. It goes beyond job satisfaction and is not simply motivation.
Employee engagement also affects the mindset of people. Engaged employees believe that they can make a difference in the organizations they work for. Confidence in the knowledge, skills, and abilities that people possess – in both themselves and others – is a powerful predictor of behavior and subsequent performance.
Engagement also can be defined as an employee’s drive to use all their ingenuity and resources for the benefit of the company.
On a more intuitive level, employee engagement is about how people behave at work. It refers to the extent to which people in an organization know what they have to do, and willingly give of their discretionary effort to do that. It is the difference between people coming to work and doing an adequate job, and people coming to work and really giving of their best, displaying creativity and using their initiative.
Engagement can be seen as ultimately about performance, because harnessing the discretionary effort of people does improve performance. If individuals are performing at the top of their potential, then it makes sense that teams, divisions, departments and organizations will work more effectively.
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