Staffing Management

What Exactly Is Employee Engagement?

By Staff Report

Jul. 14, 2015

Dear Puzzled,

The historical definition of employee engagement is twofold. First, engaged employees have an intellectual and emotional bond to the organizations at which they work, as well as to their organization’s mission and purpose. As such, they exhibit extreme loyalty in the sense that they intend to remain employed there as opposed to seeking employment elsewhere (commonly referred to as “intent to stay”). The second description regards willingness to exert extra (discretionary) effort in one’s job, and a great indicator of this is the likelihood of volunteering for extra tasks or assignments.

The third and newer definition regards the question of ownership of engagement. Up until 2001, the entire employee engagement industry (employee engagement survey companies) only delivered survey results to employers and managers expecting them only to be responsible for building action plans to enhance engagement. We changed that at the company I founded, HR Solutions, when we pioneered the first-ever deliverable of survey results to the employee themselves, encouraging them to take some responsibility for their own job engagement. The results were revolutionary. One key discovery was that employees who are engaged in their job are eager and willing owners of their job engagement; disengaged and ambivalent employees are more likely to eschew ownership for their own engagement and place responsibility back on their manager and employer, which I call “conditional engagement.”  Like “conditional love,” that one-sidedness is unhealthy and not good for either party.

SOURCE: Kevin Sheridan, chief engagement officer, Kevin Sheridan LLC, Winnetka, Illinois, Jan. 18, 2015.

What’s New at

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Staffing Management

Managing employee time-off requests: A guide for business owners

Summary Vacation, sick time, PTO banks, and unpaid leave are only a few forms of employee time off — Mo...

workforce blog

Staffing Management

4 proven steps for tackling employee absenteeism

Summary Identifying the cause of employee absenteeism not only helps uncover deeper-rooted issues — Mor...

absence management, Employee scheduling software, predictive scheduling, shift bid, shift swapping

workforce blog

Staffing Management

Employee or contractor? 6 worker misclassification FAQs

Misclassification of employees as independent contractors led to overtime violations, according to a La...

compliance, Department of Labor, employee engagement, FLSA, HR technology, Worker misclassification