Happy Employee = Engaged Employee = High Performance?

What does a happy employee mean? Who is a happy employee? Does happiness at work place relate to the engagement level of the employee, which in turn leads to high performance? Are all of these correlated or is the equation skewed? While organizations are going crazy about having employee engagement as a core value, are they doing it right is something that we need to ponder over. Another question that needs to be answered is whether a high level of engagement leads to higher performance?

Well, according to The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, a study by HBR, 71% of respondents agree that “employee engagement is very important to the overall success of the organization”.  This means that if the employee is engaged it will directly improve their individual performance thereby resulting in accelerated growth for the organization. While the survey clearly points out the relationship between engagement and better performance, it makes even more sense to decode what actually engagement means?

Is happy employee an engaged employee?

Well the answer is NO. Happiness is a subjective issue. Team lunches, outings, recreation rooms, state of art infrastructure etc. can be some of the things that can lead to happiness at workplace, but engagement is different. Also while ensuring happy employees is important for any organization, organizations need to understand that it does not have anything to do directly with the performance. Employee happiness is important, but it doesn’t produce impacts to the bottom line. Happy employees will definitely result in low attrition rates for the organization, but to get the numbers rolling you need something extra. That extra here is Employee engagement. To garner results, the team needs to be engaged in order to affect performance. And that is the point most of the organizations are missing out. While most of the companies have employee engagement teams, all they end up doing is acting as event managers who foster short term energy boosters. Engagement is deep rooted and so has a direct impact of performance and hence needs to be invested into.

What drives employee engagement?

If employee engagement has such a lasting impact, it becomes imperative to understand what factors impact engagement. Is engagement only related to monetary and associated benefits or are there softer aspects that nurture engagement? Rewards and recognition, goal clarity, performance linked pay, communication, leadership and training and development opportunities etc. have come out as some of the major drivers of engagement amongst employees. Leaders, who want to work towards improving overall organization performance, need to not only invest their money but also their time and effort towards improving the organization health. When implemented properly employee engagement initiatives can yield quick results.

A few things that need to be remembered while driving employee engagement are –

  • Understanding the engagement drivers – what works for one organization may not necessarily work for every organization.
  • Engagement is not a onetime thing. It’s a virtue that has to be imbibed into organization culture to produce lasting results
  • Evaluation of present engagement levels – while driving engagement is wonderful, understanding the present scenario is critical before strategizing for improving employee engagement
  • Understanding what to evaluate is also critical. Merely conducting a review on engagement levels is not sufficient. Evaluation/ measurement of the aspects that really affect employee engagement and business performance are needed.
Measuring Employee Engagement

Developing an effective employee engagement survey can be a formidable task.Creating an employee engagement survey that will bring value to your organization requires a detailed project plan, effort and takes time. Right from interacting with stakeholders to understand the pressed need, to designing the questionnaire, creating associated communication, execution and all other intermittent steps can be quite a task.

HR Footprint’s detailed employee engagement survey is a tried and tested tool which not only helps you understand and measure the level of engagement of your employees but also gives a specific and customized report of the findings. The customized set of questions in the survey relate to the major engagement drivers thereby bringing out sharp data points with specific suggestions and next step- action items.

To know how can you run the employee engagement survey within your organization, reach out to us at info@hrfootprints.com

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