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Employee Satisfaction Is An Outcome Of Employee Engagement, Not A Leading Indicator

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It is possible for a company to have very high employee satisfaction scores and yet still not be effectively engaged.  For example, the employees might have high satisfaction scores because they are overpaid and not held accountable. You cannot take employee satisfaction scores and reverse engineer a conclusion that the organization is doing everything it can to increase employee engagement.  In our Employee Engagement “tool”, we never ask questions about “satisfaction” because it is an outcome of other conditions within the work environment (relationships, meaning & purpose, a felt sense of safety).

Remember, employee engagement should include alignment (company mission), lots of discretionary behavior (above and beyond what is required to get by), recognition and feedback, and a having sense of meaning and purpose about what they do, among a host of other key “drivers”.

When these key drivers are in play, engagement goes up in a way that is directly related to business value in addition to employee well-being. Measuring employee satisfaction alone could be very misleading as to what needs to be done to impact employees at an intrinsic level. Mind you, in companies where engagement is high, so is satisfaction.

And you don’t have to “know” much about “the business” you are in to make progress. These drivers are universal, regardless of the business you are in. Finding the right TACTICS for your business makes sense, but the reasons WHY the various tactics work are fundamental to all human behavior.

BEST PRACTICES TIP: I will be careful here because we have a proprietary tool for measuring engagement so that gives me a clear bias. There are DRIVERS of engagement and there are OUTCOMES of engagement. Too often these very different things are co-mingled. Your best bet, and highest ROI, will be focusing on the drivers.

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