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The Benefits of Engaged Employees

A relatively new school of management thought, since the 1990’s, is that engaged employees are better employees.  There has been some amount of confusion about this softer metric ever since, which this handy infographic by Ceridian helps to clarify—what exactly does engagement mean, anyway?

Nope, It’s Not Employee Happiness

Engagement does not mean employee happiness or satisfaction, although this can be a side-effect of employees feeling engaged (and, therefore, the reason for that common misunderstanding), but rather an employee who is committed to their organization’s goals and objectives.

A better term may be ownership.  Engaged employees actually take personal ownership of their work, going above and beyond.  The result, per a recent Gallup study (full report/PDF available to download), is increased employee performance as measured by harder metrics which include customer ratings, profitability, productivity, turnover, safety incidents, theft, absenteeism, and quality (defects).

Really, It’s About Supporting Your Most Motivated Employees

Per the infographic, successful engagement is one part employee ownership and, then, two parts corporate support via ‘Enablement’ and ‘Energy.’  A well known example of this would be Google’s policy of allowing employees to spend 20% of their time pursuing projects that interest them.

Engagement is simply about providing the tools, the environment, and the leaders to help your employees care about their jobs and the future of your company.  It’s not some HR catch-phrase that distracts from your core business, but a legitimate way to improve it. As the infographic concludes, companies with engaged employees experience a five times higher rate of shareholder returns.