Understanding Employee Engagement

It seems rather obvious to suggest that people who are engaged in their work are more productive than those who are disengaged. Engaged employees are excited about doing good work, while those who are disengaged may just be doing the absolute minimum or not doing their jobs at all. And somewhere in the middle lie the non-engaged; these are people who are doing their jobs, but they have more to give, sometimes a lot more, and for whatever reasons, they’re not motivated to give it.

There is a direct benefit to BSA’s interest in facilitating employee engagement.  It is beneficial to the entire organization, your location and…to our employees.

BSA’s vision:

“The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

It is reasonable to assume that many BSA employees are inspired by this vision and that it drives them to support by bringing energy and excitement to what they do every day.  Who wouldn’t want to (as the saying goes) “Do something that you love- you will never work a day of your life”?!

All employees have a role in creating engagement.  BSA Leaders are tasked with identifying the ways and means to engage yourself and your team…because engagement matters- to the health of the individual employee, to all of BSA and to the youth and families that we serve.  All employees have a role in their engagement and serve to inspire others toward deeper levels of engagement.

Engagement and Satisfaction- What is the Difference?

While the exact definitions of employee satisfaction and employee engagement may differ from organization to organization, HR professionals would generally agree that satisfaction refers to how employees feel — their “happiness”— about their job and conditions, such as compensation, benefits, work environment, and career development opportunities.  Engagement refers to employees’ commitment and connection to work as measured by the amount of discretionary effort they are willing to expend on behalf of their employer. Highly engaged employees go above and beyond the core responsibilities outlined in their job descriptions, innovating and thinking outside the box to move their organizations forward — much like volunteers are willing to give their time and energy to support a cause about which they are truly passionate.

Can an organization have a satisfied employee who is not engaged and vice versa?

However, it is certainly possible to have a satisfied employee with a low engagement level — someone who shows up to work and goes through the motions, but does not demonstrate a lot of initiative or put in a lot of extra effort to further the success of the organization. That’s why focusing on satisfaction without addressing engagement is unlikely to foster the kind of exceptional workforce performance that drives business results.

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Daniel Pink’s look at what motivates people…