The State of Employee Engagement 2023
24 Nov, 2022
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Behind every great business are motivated and engaged employees. We all know that employee engagement and motivation are key to business success, but do we know the difference between the two? Do we know why each is uniquely important and how to target both?
Employee engagement and motivation, while closely linked, are not quite the same thing.
In this article, we’ll explore the distinctive features and benefits of employee engagement and employee motivation, highlight their differences, and provide ideas on how to effectively target both within your team.
Employee engagement describes how employees feel about the organisation; their commitment and connection to the company, values and overall mission. Engaged employees enjoy their work, are more productive and take pride in their work. They are your biggest brand advocates and spread positivity throughout the workplace. They also make for more profitable business too!
If you want to take your employee engagement to the next level, consider using Seenit. Get employees feeling creative, connected, and engaged with User-Generated Videos. It’s a fantastic way to involve your employees to give feedback, welcome new teammates, share personal career journeys, celebrate successes and connect socially. See how having User-Generated Video can improve employee engagement.
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Employee motivation is the energy or driving force that pushes an employee to act. Motivated employees are hugely productive, put in their best efforts and invest in self-development — to benefit the individual and the company.
Motivation can be intrinsic, coming from enjoyment or satisfaction in the work itself, or extrinsic, spurred on by reward or punishment. This distinction is important as you’ll need to consider both to motivate employees effectively.
With intrinsic motivation, the relationship between motivation and engagement becomes clear. Engaged employees typically enjoy and take pride in their work and are intrinsically motivated. Focusing on intrinsic motivation through effective employee engagement will pay off in the long run. It’s essential to incorporate intrinsic motivators in your employee engagement plan. This can take various forms: clearly defined goals, opportunities to socialise and connect and channels to voice opinions and feedback.
With extrinsic motivation, employees are driven by external rewards such as pay awards. Extrinsic motivators can increase performance, but the employees will need more nudging, and their motivation will eventually burn out.
Employee engagement and motivation are often used interchangeably. On the surface, both can make for happier, hardworking, and more productive employees. But while there is a strong relationship between the two, they do have subtle but important differences.
Engagement is the emotional connection and sense of commitment an employee feels to a company, whereas motivation is the energy an employee has to act on that feeling. In other words, engagement is the feeling, and motivation is the doing. Both are essential if you want a high-performing and profitable team. Here’s what happens if you have one without the other:
To illustrate this, here are some examples of how engagement and motivation might differ:
By understanding the differences and targeting engagement and motivation, you can harness the power and benefits of both invested employees who want to do the best job they can.
There are lots of things you can do to boost employee motivation and employee engagement. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Keeping your team informed and connected is vital to keeping them engaged. Use different methods and communication channels to keep them interested and promote collaboration: instant messenger, newsletters, videoconferencing, User-Generated leadership videos and virtual team building are all good strategies.
Fostering a strong sense of team and community is essential to keeping employees engaged. Personal connection formed through social interactions and team building creates strong connections between employees and the company, as a whole.
Employees who feel like their boss genuinely cares are more likely to stay engaged. Encourage a healthy work-life balance and think about initiatives to promote well-being – office massages, lunchtime yoga or quiet spaces to recharge.
Employees that feel like they have opportunities to grow, will stay more engaged. Show employees their career paths and provide regular training and up-skilling opportunities.
A little thank you goes a long way. A public shoutout, a small gift or even a simple “thank you” keeps employees motivated to keep up the good work.
Reward employees for their loyalty. Pay awards, extra annual leave or even a work anniversary cake, all show your appreciation.
Find out what your employee’s personal motivations are and come up with a tailored development plan. This might involve a personal pet project or coaching to help them work towards a leadership role.
Think about ways to make the work environment more pleasant. Equipment that works, fun workspaces, good lighting, some greenery or local art all make it a more enjoyable and rewarding place to be.
Did you know that free food increases employee happiness? It’s not the most surprising revelation, but bringing in a few afternoon treats can keep staff feeling appreciated and motivated.
We’ve outlined some of the ways motivated and engaged employees are good for business, but let’s take a look at the key benefits of each in a bit more detail.
Their investment in the team means they are happy to work hard and go the extra mile to achieve a common goal.
Their happiness at work means they are more likely to stick around and invest their skills and time.
Engaged employees spread their passion and positivity in the workplace; it’s infectious!
Engaged employees love your business. Their genuine enthusiasm and passion for your company mission come across in their customer and client interactions – no sales pitch required.
They want to put their best effort into their work and take pride in doing a good job.
They are highly productive and will keep pushing through when things get tough to achieve success.
Motivated employees want to reach their goals and will put effort into achieving results – that’s good for them and for your business.
Failure is not an option. Motivated employees look for creative and innovative fixes to keep the project going.
Employee engagement and motivation are different— each can be an essential factor in the success of your business. Investing in a workplace where employees are both engaged and motivated can be the difference between a surviving company and a thriving one.
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