As we have researched over 15 years of employee survey results from clients in various industries, we find that there are many different drivers of employee engagement that change from one organization to the next. However, these drivers can be grouped into three common areas that include: Satisfaction, Motivation, and Effectiveness. Engagement occurs when these three components intersect. While each of these components is important on its own, it is only when all three are present simultaneously that true engagement occurs.
- Take, for example, the assembly line employee who is satisfied with her job. Her job means steady employment. She feels satisfied with her pay (at least it’s better than most of the jobs she could find down the street). She starts at 7:00 am and gets off in time to pick up her seven-year-old from school. It meets her needs, but she is not engaged. She would not say that she looks forward to coming to work each day, nor is she motivated by her work environment to perform at her best. It’s a job.
- Her co-worker enjoys coming to work each morning because he has recently been given the responsibility to ensure the assembly line is producing at record capacity. He is motivated by this challenge, and has been able to meet, and even exceed, effectiveness targets. Yet his manager rarely recognizes him for this, and his pay is not reflective of his contribution. In fact, he is so dissatisfied with his pay and lack of general recognition that he has recently interviewed for a similar position with a competitor.
- Another employee who works as a programmer recently joined the company. Lack of motivation is certainly not an issue, as she has been excited to come to work each day and to put into practice the skills she recently learned in college. She’s very satisfied with her job. She considers herself fortunate to have landed such a good job straight out of school. Yet, every day she runs into the same problem—the one that her boss has been telling her (since the day she began) would be taken care of as soon as the budget request came through. Her computer does not run the applications she needs in order to effectively use her time. In fact, she estimates that as much as half of her day is wasted. She is not effective.
While each of these employees possesses two of these components, a critical third is missing which prevents them from being engaged. Satisfaction, Motivation, and Effectiveness provide managers with a simple framework for identifying the underlying causes of engagement or disengagement of their employees.
What do you think? How have you seen Satisfaction, Motivation, and Effectiveness impact employee engagement in your organization? Are there other broad factors that you would add to the list?
Related Webinar: The 3 Essential Components of Employee Engagement
Related Blog Post: Employee Satisfaction vs. Motivation and Employee Engagement
See a Sample Employee Engagement Survey and Report. The Leadership Intelligence Employee Engagement survey is based on over 15 years of research with hundreds of companies. This survey accurately measures overall engagement as well as the drivers that contribute to it.