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09/03/2010

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Hi Laura,

Interesting post. I'm not sure if you have followed any of Gallup's work around Employee Engagement, but I thought it might be of interest to you. They differentiate between satisfaction and engagement and their work links engagement to the bottom line:

http://www.gallup.com/Consulting/52/Employee-Engagement.aspx

I spent some time working there and found the topic to be interesting and somewhat controversial in the HR ranks.

I hope you are well!

Aaron

Thanks for providing this link, Aaron - lots of great information there.

Great post, Laura. Like Aaron points out, Jay and Wanda in your example seem to be satisfied, but certainly not engaged -- and that is a very significant difference as you illustrate so well. Unfortunately, many companies still do not differentiate, surveying and measuring for satisfaction, but not engagement.

As I wrote elsewhere (http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2010/03/understanding-difference-between.html):

Why does this matter? Employees can be quite satisfied with their job, your company and their place in it without ever engaging in the work. Think about it. Have you ever had an employee or colleague who was perfectly satisfied to come to work every day where they could happily surf the web, Facebook with their friends or play computer games? Perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but we all know employees who are satisfied with being left alone in their mediocrity.

Engaged employees, on the other hand, are passionate and alive with the desire to perform well and do so in alignment with your strategic objectives. These are the employees you need to be focused on. These are the employees for whom you need to be creating an environment in which they want to engage for the long-term. Measuring employee engagement with a goal for improving that environment is always worthwhile.

Thank you for weighing in, Derek. I couldn't agree more and I'll even take it a step further and say that companies need to first create an environment where people are encouraged to care about their work. Companies that fail to encourage passion shouldn't be surprised when they go looking for their passionate employees and don't find any. How do you encourage passion? Let people to do what they care about. Let them be proactive. Let them try stuff. And of course recognize people for their contributions.

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