Employee engagement is a buzzphrase that’s recently taken over the world of HR and workplace management. But employee engagement is often mistakenly interchanged with employee satisfaction, which – while the two generally overlap – differs in both its definition and the methods used to achieve it.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the difference between employee engagement and satisfaction, and how you can increase the former in your workplace. 

employee engagement and satisfaction


The Differences Between Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

You can be satisfied with your job without being actively engaged in your workplace. It’s easy for employees to come to work, do the job to an acceptable standard and leave, perfectly satisfied with the workplace and their role. But engagement is a different question. 

Satisfaction constitutes a one-way street, where an employee finds satisfaction from the job, whereas engagement constitutes a two-way street, where the employee and workplace work together in a partnership. 

Employee engagement focuses on the extent to which employees are enthusiastic about their work, committed to the values of the organization, and have an interest in the workplace that goes beyond just doing their job. 

In fact, a whopping 85% of employees claim to not be engaged in the workplace, whereas 65% of employees say they’re satisfied at work.  

Too many companies make the mistake of focusing on employee satisfaction alone, when they should be aiming to increase employee engagement. Not sure how? Here’s a guide to the best strategies for successfully engaging your employees

The best part is, these engagement-boosting techniques will improve employee satisfaction, too. 

Create Clearly Defined Job Roles

Many managers are guilty of blurring the lines between employees’ job roles, and it’s easily done when the workplace experiences busy periods. 

But asking an employee to send an email that’s slightly out of their remit can quickly turn into asking them to take on entire tasks that don’t form part of their job description. 

When your employees are asked to step outside of their job’s defined remit, they might go through the motions, but it’s unlikely that they’ll be genuinely engaged unless they’ve previously expressed an interest in taking on these extra tasks. 

If you want to take on a new project and nobody in the workplace currently has the skillset or experience to work on it, consider outsourcing instead. Outsourcing companies like Yourway to take on specialized projects allows your employees to focus on doing what they do best – the job they’ve been hired for. 

Install a Listening Culture

Encouraging employees to share ideas and become more engaged won’t work if these ideas aren’t properly listened to. Having a leadership team that actively listens not only improves employee engagement, but it can actually increase job performance by 74%.

What’s more, your finances will benefit. Employees know your business better than anybody, so their insights will prove valuable for boosting profits. 

To install a listening culture in your organization, host regular meetings between employees and management for the sole purpose of listening to feedback and suggestions. 

Try and implement as many of these suggestions as possible, and if you can’t, give employees the courtesy of explaining why not. 

Celebrate Employee Success

Hard-working employees are what make your company successful, so recognizing their contribution and rewarding it accordingly is a necessity for improving engagement. In fact, 31% of employees across the UK said more praise and a greater sense of being valued would motivate them to do more. 

When employees don’t feel adequately rewarded for their work, they’ll resort to doing the bare minimum, which is the opposite of being engaged. 

You can celebrate employee success in multiple ways – whether it’s through financial remuneration, social events, or other perks. What matters is that you let employees know how much you value their hard work and dedication. 

Encourage Buy-in to Company Goals

One of the main reasons why employees feel disengaged at work is because they don’t have a stake in the consequences of their work. When we’re personally invested in the success of a project or the achievement of a goal, we’ll work harder to make it happen. 

The same goes for work. If your employees don’t feel invested in your goals, they won’t work as hard to make them a reality. Of course, employees will never feel the level of commitment to company goals as a CEO does, but by clarifying how employees fit into your company’s wider purpose, you can encourage them to see their role as part of something bigger. 

Financial incentives work, too. If your company offers shares, give a small portion to your employees for free. When the company’s financial success means their financial success, they’ll feel more committed to working hard. 

Final Thoughts

Employee engagement and satisfaction are both crucial to the success of your company, but engagement can improve your staff retention rate, boost productivity, and allow your company to benefit from a diverse pool of ideas. 

To improve employee engagement, make sure you listen to employees, implement their ideas, celebrate success, and give them reasons to root for your organization’s success.