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Are Your Employees Engaged?

Posted on 01/23/2014 by Anna Sullins

What exactly is employee engagement, and why does it matter?

Great questions.  For the answers, let’s take a walk through your business.  What do you see?  Sure, your employees are present – they’ve shown up. And they appear productive. But are they engaged?

Before we go any further, it’s important we note that employee engagement is not the same thing as employee satisfaction.  Most likely if you ask an employee if he/she is satisfied with their job, they will respond positively.  But there’s a big difference between an employee who is satisfied and an employee who is engaged.  An engaged employee does more than just show up. They are committed to the mission and vision of your organization and know where they fit in. An engaged employee believes in the values of the company, takes pride in the entire organization, and is willing to go the extra mile. 

Why does employee engagement matter? Your employees’ engagement can have a direct effect on your clients – their satisfaction, repeat business, and referrals.  Ever been to a business, restaurant, or store and quickly realized that, not only did the staff not like their jobs, but they didn’t like each other either? It leaves an impression.

So, how can you recognize an engaged employee?

1. Engaged employees are committed to your company in good times and bad.  They desire to be part of the organization through thick and thin, and understand the success of the company may fluctuate at times.  They are not deterred by that. 
2. They advocate for your organization by referring potential employees and clients, and by creating positive relationships with coworkers. 
3. They exert extra effort and engage in behaviors that contribute to the organization’s success.  They go beyond the minimum.
4. They have a passion and feel connected to the company beyond their specific job or department.  The success of the company as a whole is their top priority.

What can you do to ensure your employees are engaged?

First, you should know that employee engagement doesn’t come from a paycheck.  Pay alone is not enough to sustain true employee engagement.  Your employees don’t go the extra mile because of their paycheck or health benefits or life insurance.  They go the extra mile because of you – their leader.

Ever heard the saying, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses”?  You have a direct impact on your team’s retention, productivity, safety, satisfaction, even their personal lives (it’s difficult to keep your work life from affecting your home life, too). You can ensure your employees are engaged by taking an interest in their well-being, and showing concern for their growth and development.  It starts with you.

For more information on how you can develop an engaged workforce, contact the Biltmore Center for Professional Development at 828-225-6158 or visit Biltmore.com/training. Or join us for our workshop, “Creating a Culture of Engagement” on February 25 at Biltmore. Seating is limited.

 

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