What do engaged employees actually look like?
Engagement 4 minute read

What do engaged employees actually look like?

Julie Bevacqua | August 24, 2021

Engaged employees are key to a thriving organization. A highly engaged employee embodies your company vision and is central to success, but what does engagement actually look like?

Experts often talk about spotting the signs of a disengaged employee: taking more sick days, coming in late, showing disinterest in projects, etc. 

What we don’t talk about as much is how to recognize engaged employees—employees who are crucial for business success especially since many organizations plan to continue with remote or hybrid work models. Employees must be tethered to your organizational goals and feel that their own work contributes to these goals. 

Employee engagement is best defined as “the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals”. However, engagement at work isn’t always easy to determine. It’s about the employee experience. We know that driving employee engagement doesn’t come easily across the employee journey. It requires creating a consistent employee experience at every stage. 

Happiness at work is not the cause of employee engagement. It’s the result.

A satisfied and happy employee is not necessarily an engaged employee. While someone might be happy at work, that doesn’t always mean that they’re focusing on the right outcomes or choosing the best course of action. A satisfied employee may not be putting the extra effort in on their own, or may still potentially leave your company for a better offer. 

Here are a few of the ways that you can identify engaged employees. 

Engaged employees are autonomous. 

Forbes writes that if you love your employees, you should set them free, and that “autonomy is key to employee engagement”. Empowered employees are engaged employees. 

Support your employees’ autonomy by ensuring that they understand what’s required of them, they have what they need to do their work, and they feel supported by their manager to take risks and try new things. Employees who are highly engaged will take initiative because they’re confident in their role and the part they play in your organization.  

Engaged employees care about more than just the bottom line—they’re emotionally committed to the organization and its goals. 

Studies show that employees who find meaning in their work, and whose personal values align with company values, are significantly more satisfied with their jobs (by up to 73%). 

Employees who are highly engaged will have personal goals that work towards departmental and organizational goals, and they’ll work extra hard to get there. Research shows that engaged employees actually tend to work longer hours, not because they’re overworked, but because they enjoy their work. 

An engaged employee doesn’t just hit targets, they’re also a brand advocate for your company. 

An engaged employee will sing praises of your company—whether on social media, on job review sites, or in person. They might not even do it intentionally. Engaged employees are excited about the work they do and the company where they do it so they naturally talk about their projects and successes. 

Engaged employees tend to be top performers. 

Performance can be measured in a multitude of ways. Whether it’s through sales metrics, customer satisfaction, self/peer reviews, or project successes, performance is directly tied to engagement.

Statistics show that engaged employees are 44% more productive than employees who are only satisfied with their role. Highly engaged employees perform better because of their commitment to company values and goals. 

Want to learn more about increasing engagement and improving performance management? I invite you to explore our new Performance Management solution.

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