Managers want to fulfill their employee’s needs so that they are content with their pay, hours, and level of flexibility. These factors influence employee satisfaction. But how does satisfaction influence employee engagement?
Consider Connie. She is an 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 in the area). She starts at 7:00 in the morning and gets off in time to pick up her seven-year-old from school. It meets her needs. However, for Connie, it’s just a job. She can’t say she looks forward to coming to work, and she doesn’t find herself motivated to perform her best.
Job Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement
An employee can be satisfied with a job without being engaged in the job. Employee engagement is much more than being content with pay and the ability to leave at 3 pm. That contentedness is merely job satisfaction, and though satisfaction is generally enough to retain employees, it’s not enough to ensure productivity. On the other hand, employee engagement does promote increased productivity.
An engaged employee is an employee who is deeply involved and invested in their work. The factors that drive employee engagement, however, are different than those that drive satisfaction. Engagement factors include Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection. Employee satisfaction is the foundation upon which employee engagement can grow and thrive.
Organizations with genuinely engaged employees have higher retention, productivity, customer satisfaction, innovation, and quality. They also require less training time, experience less illness, and have fewer accidents.
Employee satisfaction is the minimum entry fee that needs to be met in order for an employee to be fully engaged.