What is employee engagement? Taken from the book, ENGAGEMENT MAGIC: Five Keys for Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations:
“Employee Engagement is 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 heart is about meaning, passion, fulfillment, even finding joy in what you do. Spirit is about attitude, energy, and excitement. It’s something that can be felt when you walk into a room or work with a highly engaged team. Heart and spirit imply that we must feel the work that we do.
Unfortunately, that’s where most engagement models stop, and that’s a mistake. There is more to engagement that just “feeling something.” The mind is about intellect, interests, curiosity, and creativity. The hands are about effort, productivity, and self-determination- using your skills and sweat to produce something of value. Mind and hands imply that we must do something. In order to be fully engaged, we must act. To put it simply:
Heart and Spirit = Feeling
Mind and Hands = Action
Engagement requires that we bring both our emotions and our actions to the table- our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands. To be engaged, we must feel something and take action on what we feel. Take one away and you don’t have engagement. You can think of feelings and actions as two oars in a rowboat. They are complementary opposites. Both are necessary. Row with one and you’ll travel in circles. You might work up a sweat and feel as though you should be getting somewhere, but you won’t. Pull with both at the same time and you’ll make progress.
Think of this in terms of your own experience. Have you felt the energy that comes with doing something you feel is worthwhile, something that really floats your boat? How did it feel? What did it cause you to do?