Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement
What are the differences between employee satisfaction and employee engagement?
Employee satisfaction is the extent to which the employment contract is fulfilled. Employees feel satisfied when basic hygiene factors are met. These factors include pay, benefits, job training, safety, and the tools and resources to do the job. Other things that drive satisfaction are perks such as free lunch, day care, or working from home.
Satisfaction elements help to attract new employees and retain existing employees. For example, if your company offers the best healthcare benefits in the area, you will probably receive more job applications and employees will be less likely to leave and forfeit their health plan.
Employee satisfaction is very important because it creates the foundation upon which engagement can thrive. Employees must first be satisfied before they can be engaged.
We define employee engagement as an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves—our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands—in the work we do.
The five drivers of employee engagement are Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection. Meaning is finding purpose in the work you perform. Autonomy is having the freedom to do your best work. Growth is feeling stretched and challenged in your job. Impact is about making a difference and getting things done. And Connection is about belonging to something greater than yourself.
So where satisfaction helps to attract and retain employees, engagement also helps with retention but it is the main driver of performance. Engaged employees want to do their best work and deliver results for the company. Satisfaction is more transactional– you pay me and I do my work- engagement is transformational – where I love my job and want to make a difference.
Both concepts are important. No matter how engaged employees are in their work, if they feel under-compensated, a satisfaction element, their engagement will suffer and they will probably look for other job opportunities.
If you would like to learn how to measure both the satisfaction and engagement levels of your employees, download the DecisionWise employee engagement survey. Thanks for reading or watching and best of luck in your efforts to create an engaging workplace.
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