Given the expense and effort required to find top talent that aligns with your organizational culture and values, it would seem equally important that employee engagement is carefully nurtured and managed. Ensuring that employees utilize their gifts and talents in a way they find personally satisfying, will yield maximum workforce contribution. When executed well, there is a high probability that when your human capital assets go home at night, they will happily return the next morning.

Understanding what motivates your people and drawing out the best in them is a key role for leaders today in creating an environment in which people can grow, develop self-mastery and gain a sense of purpose and value from their work.

An engaged employee is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work and will act in a way that furthers the company’s interests. The bottom line is that highly engaged employees provide higher value and are less likely to leave the organization. They are more effective at producing high quality, innovative products and services and have a greater impact on customer satisfaction, cost and revenue growth. Highly engaged employees are found to remain with organizations for what they feel they can contribute and for the positive difference that they feel they can make. In contrast, disengaged employees tend to stay only for what they can get from the organization.

Blessing-White conducted research and work around the world on the topic of employee engagement. They assume that the organization and each of its employees is moving toward their own definition of success. For companies, success is captured within their Vision Mission, Values, goals and strategies. Employees are moving toward their own personal definition of success based on their values, goals, interests, capabilities and work-life needs. A spectrum of engagement exists in all companies:

Engaged – those that are providing maximum contribution as an employee
Honeymooners and Hamsters – high on personal satisfaction and low on contribution because they are either new to their role, happy to be there, but contributing very little or content to coast along
Crash and Burners – high on company contribution but not receiving much personal satisfaction and are at risk of leaving or sliding into the disengaged category due to burnout and frustration
Disengaged – unsatisfied, not contributing and the ones most likely to spread discontent and negativity
Almost Engaged – make up the largest part of a company and an important group to address because they are decent performance who are often overlooked when it comes to training and coaching. Usually because organizations often focus attention on either “high potentials” or those toward to bottom who are causing the greatest issues.

The majority of organizational leaders say that retention has become a major priority. Losing people is extremely costly. Are you creating a healthy organizational culture where people can thrive, grow and contribute their best? Are your managers aware of their role and that 15 of the top 20 drivers of employee engagement are within their span of control?

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