Employee Engagement vs. Employee Satisfaction

Recognize This! – Engagement and satisfaction are not interchangeable – in goal, measurement or outcome.

Employee engagement is not employee satisfaction. It most certainly is not employee communication. Yet these terms continue to be used – and measured – interchangeably.

You at Work recently shared:

“A new book [The Engagement Manifesto] published this month asserts that employee engagement initiatives are often misunderstood or wrongly applied.

“[Author Alan] Crozier: “I have seen companies measuring employee satisfaction and calling that engagement. I have seen three published ‘engagement’ surveys in the past 18 months that only measured communication effectiveness.”

What’s the Difference?

Employee satisfaction measures only the employee’s contentment in coming to work every day. Many employees are quite satisfied to come to work and surf the web. That’s a far cry from employee engagement.

Employee engagement is a combination of employee understanding of what needs to be done and willingness to go the extra mile (give discretionary effort) to make that happen. But employee engagement doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Employees engage with people – their colleagues – and with a culture they believe in.

Strategic recognition makes creating that culture and building those relationships possible – across geographic and position barriers. Recognition also can provide a measurement of employee engagement by assessing and reporting how frequently an employee is recognized for demonstrating your values (understanding what needs to be done) and contributing to success (making it happen). Equally important is noting how often an employee recognizes others for those same behaviors.

Do you measure employee engagement or employee satisfaction?

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