Engagement isn’t just a nice to have…

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Much has been written about employee engagement in recent years as this relatively modern phenomenon continues to evolve from its internal communication roots, with sites like the Employee Engagement Forum springing up to provide the passionate with a voice.

Although, as Tom Peters claims, there’s probably a little too much “talking” and worryingly little “doing” for my taste. While debating the state of employee engagement with forum members (in particular Paul Meshanko), despite being separated by an ocean and a common language we agree that, although often over-complicated, the general premise of employee engagement is simple.

Individual contributions of employees in the workplace are influenced by the strength of their emotional connection to their employer.

The stronger and more positive that connection, the more likely it is employees will contribute their best efforts for the sake of their organisation or brand.

At its core, employee engagement is based upon reciprocity. The employer works to create a work environment that is satisfying and rewarding for employees and stimulates their emotions and higher order needs.

It literally invites them to bring themselves to work and become similarly invested (engaged) in the long-term success of their organisations.
The concept is fairly simple to grasp, but not necessarily easy to implement.

One of the challenges is that emotional connections can be difficult to define and measure and are prone to shift in response to changes in the work environment.

More confounding is that these relations are influenced by multiple variables (line management relationships, organisational mission and values, workload, peer relationships, etc).

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