The term employee engagement was coined over three decades ago by William A. Kahn, a Boston University professor of organizational behavior.
His ground-breaking research revealed a shocking lack of workplace motivation and involvement, with employees doing just enough to stay employed. Kahn also observed that employee engagement could transform disgruntled employees into productive workers who made more meaningful contributions to their organization if they:
- Truly believed they were contributing to the organization's success
- Had positive and gratifying relationships with their co-workers and supervisors
- Were provided the physical and psychological resources needed to complete their tasks.
Employee engagement is more critical today than ever before. Here's why:
- Almost 80% of today's global workforce consists of disengaged employees.
- Most disengaged employees are open to accepting new jobs and opportunities. If you don't meet your employees' needs and expectations, someone else will.
- Skilled talent is scarce, and the cost of replacing a disengaged employee can be as much as twice their base salary.
- Employee engagement is a critical component of fostering a positive work environment. It influences valued attitudes such as innovation, active learning, adaptability, and knowledge sharing.
Employee engagement (EE) and employee experience (EX) – what are they, and why must they matter to you
1. Employee engagement
Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel enthusiasm, passion, commitment, and connection to their job and organization. It's a measure (usually calculated by surveys) of how motivated and willing employees are to put in extra effort to provide greater value to the organization.
From a managerial perspective, employee engagement is about going the extra mile to understand what motivates your employees and then creating conditions where they can perform their best.
2. Employee experience
In the most basic sense, employee experience is an employee's day-to-day experience with the organization. It includes how employees interact and perceive their work based on their interactions from the first to the last day with the organization.
The relationship between employee engagement and employee experience
Employee engagement is the ultimate goal, but employee experience is how you get there.
Employee experience refers to how employees feel about the various aspects of their job. It is the sum of everything they see and hear daily at work. Employee engagement is their emotional attachment, commitment, and dedication to the organization - its culture and goals - resulting from that experience.
So, does employee experience influence employee engagement? Yes. Employee and team engagement can be positively influenced by an organization that does everything possible to ensure a better employee experience in the workplace.
Drivers of employee engagement that help build a successfully engaged team culture
When it comes to employees, research has shown, time and again, that engaged employees are more productive than disengaged ones.
Drivers that influence employee engagement are:
- Accomplishment: Employees who feel accomplished at what they do and believe their work meaningfully contributes to the organization are more engaged and produce higher-quality work.
- Autonomy: Employees crave autonomy (the opportunity to make decisions and choices). Autonomous employees want to prove their capabilities at the workplace and are 79% more engaged than those without autonomy.
- Alignment: Alignment with the organization creates more transparency, less ambiguity, greater engagement, and more productivity.
- Fairness: Fairness in the workplace involves ensuring clear expectations in all situations. Fairness drives engagement and dedication, improves morale and motivation, builds positive work relationships, and retains top talent.
- Growth: Opportunities for learning and organizational development initiatives build employee confidence and motivate them to be more engaged.
- Manager support: Fostering close connections with team members, building trust, addressing employee concerns, and helping the team meet their goals increases employee engagement.
- Value: Organizational values that correspond with an employee's values act as agents for continuous engagement.
- Recognition: Recognition from peers and managers supports employees' psychological and physical well-being and drives engagement.
- Relationships at work: An open and supportive environment and trusting interpersonal relationships make employees feel safe, fully engaged with their responsibilities, and willing to take risks without fearing the consequences.
What is a virtual employee engagement platform?
Your employees are your true partners, and their success is critical to your company's success. But how do you know what they need to stay engaged and successful in their jobs?
In an increasingly remote and mobile workforce, connecting with employees to get a quick sense of what is important to them is challenging.
From an employee's perspective, the larger the team or company, the more difficult it is for them to approach management and express controversial opinions or feedback without feeling threatened. Remote employees feel detached and less valued because they are away from the office.
To retain your best employees, you must foster a work environment where they believe their opinions are valued. That's where a virtual employee engagement platform will help.
A virtual employee engagement platform is a tool that assists managers like you in gathering employee feedback, ideas, and information about what they value most. The platform then uses this knowledge to help you identify opportunities to engage employees, drive growth, and build remote teams that feel connected.
The right platform will ensure your employees feel connected with the company and aligned with its goals – no matter their role or location. It will keep them engaged, focused, and motivated by making work meaningful.
The key benefits of an employee engagement platform
An employee engagement platform is designed to help you:
- Listen to your employees in real-time about how they feel about work
- Gather employee feedback to understand your employees better
- Measure employee experiences and engagement with advanced analytics
- Bridge cultural divides and create a better and a healthier workplace culture
- Identify what matters most and develop meaningful action plans
- Make informed, data-driven decisions
- Discover opportunities to create better employee experiences
- Get real-time analytics, predictive analytics, and customized reports
The right virtual employee engagement platform will:
- Drive employee engagement
- Improve staff retention
- Protect employee confidentiality
- Increase team productivity
- Accelerate profitability
- Uncover hidden obstacles
- Ensure employee, team, and company success.
Features to look for when choosing an employee engagement platform
An employee engagement platform must allow you to listen to your employees and take the best actions to create a better work experience to increase engagement and achieve your business goals. To do that, it should be able to collect employee feedback, recognize performance, track and set goals, and connect engagement data to your employees' performance.
The following employee engagement platform features will help you uncover what really matters, give you actionable insights, and help you make informed and intelligent business decisions:
1. Pulse surveys
Short, highly effective surveys so you can frequently check in with employees (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly).
Track progress on any focus area
Regularly monitor employees' engagement levels
Get a sense of the "health" of your company with regard to its employees.
2. 360-degree feedback
Measure employee performance based on employee feedback across the company.
Increase employees' self-awareness
Build confidence and boost morale
Create a culture of transparency and openness
Increase accountability and enhance performance
Promote dialogue and increase confidence
3. Rewards & recognition
Designed for higher employee engagement, increased retention, and to create more positivity in the workplace.
Encourage friendly competition
Foster company loyalty
4. Performance management & benchmarking
Measure your employee engagement benchmarks and compare them against industry standards.
Establish a performance-based culture
Measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels
Provide real-time, data-driven feedback to employees
Frequently Asked Questions
Is virtual employee engagement software expensive?
No. Some of the best virtual employee engagement software is affordable. EngageRocket is a very cost-effective solution, even though it is one of the fastest-growing employee engagement solution platforms available today.
Are virtual employee engagement software any different from regular employee engagement software?
One of the most important differences is that virtual employee engagement software is designed to help managers manage virtual teams in a virtual workplace. Virtual teams face challenges like insufficient and ineffective communication, poor management, and incompetent team members. Virtual employee engagement software can ensure better engagement, more productivity, higher retention, and better customer satisfaction to ensure the company's success.
What are the strengths (or advantages) of virtual employee engagement software?
Get clear and actionable insights with cutting-edge analytics to make informed decisions.
Customize reports in a variety of formats.
Identify drivers of engagement, retention, and attrition
Use key metrics to track your team's engagement scores
Have access to a vast repository of scientifically validated surveys designed to be used across employee lifecycles.
Improve HR processes and systems by maximizing the strength of your HR data
EngageRocket is an employee experience technology provider that empowers organizations to enable human connections at scale. Companies across 14 countries and 20 industries such as Sephora, Toyota, Nikon, CGS-CIMB and Epson use EngageRocket to drive sustainable people and business outcomes with relevant and timely people-insights.
Get started on your journey to improving your employees' experience and engagement at the workplace.
Request a demo or speak with our workplace strategist today.