Following up on my comments in Monday’s post that there is no single definition for engagement, Aberdeen offers this one:
“Engagement is all about aligning individuals with the mission and priorities of the organization in order to deliver business results. Engagement only really matters if it is driving business results. In fact, this is what differentiates employee engagement from employee satisfaction (that personal needs are being met).”
I would argue true engagement goes a step further such that employees give additional discretionary effort. This additional effort, in alignment with the strategic objectives of the organization, is what delivers those needed business results.
Aberdeen goes on to identify three attributes of an engaged workplace – meaningful work, aligned goals/values, and strong leadership. These three are best summarized in the report with this statement:
“Organizations seeing the most impressive business impact from engagement strategies are those that are focusing time and attention on helping leaders and managers continually communicate the mission and priorities of the organization, setting individual goals around those priorities, and providing frequent feedback and check-ins on progress toward those goals.”
Per the report, achieving engagement requires executive sponsorship (“Best-in-Class organizations are far more likely to have a senior business leader, the CEO or President of the company, championing engagement efforts.”), measurement (“Employee engagement efforts must be managed and measured in terms of business impact. Best-in-Class organizations are 29% more likely than Industry Average organizations to have a standard process to measure engagement.), and a system to recognize the right behaviors (“When individuals are recognized for exhibiting the right behaviors and achieving business goals is reward visibly, it has a positive impact on that individual and serves as an example for others in the organization.’)
Would your organization be considered “Best in Class” according to Aberdeen’s criteria of meaningful work, alignment of goals and values and strong leadership? Do you have executive sponsorship of engagement efforts, a consistent measurement structure, and a tool to recognize the right behaviors? Where do you need help or improvement?