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3 Types of Employee Engagement

Types of employee engagement have different classifications based on the level of engagement and desired end results. Here is all you need to know.

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Written by Krishan Patel

16 Mar, 2023  –  4 min read

An engaged employee can make a massive difference to your company’s profits, culture and employee turnover. According to research by Harvard Business Review, more than 90% of managers believe that employee performance, success and outcome are directly related to employee engagement. You need to find out exactly what it means to keep an employee engaged and learn all about the types of employee engagement. 

There are many different frameworks to describe the types of employee engagement and each of them can help you understand how engaged your employees are and where issues lie, if any. Let’s get started.

3 types of employee engagement based on the levels of engagement

A great way to analyse engagement among employees is by focusing on the attitudes and performance levels of the employees when it comes to engagement and dedication. The 3 types of engagement based on this are:

1. Actively engaged employees

These are employees who are passionate about their role, what they do on a day-to-day basis and are entirely dedicated to the goals of your business. Actively engaged employees spread positivity in the workplace, serve as advocates for your brand and rarely allow distractions to interrupt their work. They also serve as encouraging forces during times of distress or negativity. 

These types of employees are the biggest asset for a company. So, meet their consistency with rewards, appreciation and new goals at regular intervals. Make sure to always keep them informed.

2. Not engaged

Unfortunately, employees who are not engaged can make up a large part of a company’s workforce. They typically only complete the tasks at hand, usually one at a time, and do not take a proactive approach to do any more than required. They rarely show emotion, whether happy or unhappy, are generally disengaged and may not show interest in anything else going on in the company. 

As an employer, you might need to invest a bit of extra time and effort in getting to know these employees, finding ways to inspire them, motivate them and make them feel special. Help them see beyond each task and encourage them to push their potential not just for the growth of the company, but for their personal growth as well. 

3. Actively disengaged employees

These are the most unhappy set of employees in your company. Actively disengaged employees can encourage unhappiness, spread negative news and inspire others to abandon their jobs and tasks. They underperform and can resent those who perform better than them while struggling to find the desire to do better or more.

It can be tough to deal with, or even identify, actively disengaged employees as most stay in a company for many years without being noticed. You should attempt to overcome negativity as soon as you notice it before it proves harmful to your work culture and company.

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3 types of employee engagement based on the desired end result

Another way to classify types of employee engagement is in terms of the desired end result. This framework looks at the way employees feel while at work. It takes a more holistic approach to employee engagement by looking into their psyche. The framework classifies these into cognitive, emotional and physical engagement.

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Cognitive engagement 

This is when an employee is fully and keenly aware of the company’s values, goals and mission. They also are completely aligned with them and channel all their efforts into completing each task to meet the goal of their manager and company.An employee’s confidence levels and creativity play key roles in making them engage with their work at a cognitive level.

2. Emotional engagement 

Emotional engagement refers to an emotional connection that an employee has with their work, their team, their manager or the company. It is how mentally attached the employee is to the organisation and how much of their personal feelings and emotions they bring into their professional life. A happy, trusted and secure employee will be able to easily emotionally attach themselves to their work.

3. Physical engagement

This can be both physical and mental energy and can be seen in the types of activities that the employee takes part in, who they interact with and how much energy they invest in their work. Physical effort requires an employee to take an active interest and personal initiative when it comes to their job and this comes when they feel fully secure in their role and with the expectations set for them.

The bottom line

More than 50% of employees around the world are said to be ‘engaged’ when it comes to their work, with the UK sitting on the top 10 list of countries with the highest employee engagement. Analysts often attribute these high levels to excellent feedback loops offered by companies, as communication is a vital component to employee engagement — staff want to feel like their voices are heard and that their opinion matters.

Organisations that prioritise the mental health, happiness, satisfaction and growth of employees are the ones who are more likely to see long-term success and productivity from your team. Use these employee engagement frameworks outlined in this article to understand how engaged your employees are and what more you can do to make them feel an integral part of the organisation.

Why not use Seenit employee-generated videos to improve employee engagement? Involving employees in video production is an excellent way of keeping them engaged with your organisation.

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