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Employee Engagement and Satisfaction – How to Drive Business Performance Higher

Your employees have a wealth of information about what it is like to work at your company, and what your customers are telling them about your company and your competitors.

Your employees also have considerable knowledge about what can be done to improve your company’s productivity, quality, customer service, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, growth and profit, and what can be done to improve your risk profile.

Equally important, your employees know how satisfied or dissatisfied they are working at your company. They also know how engaged they are and what can be done to increase their level of engagement.

While most companies are aware of the need to take action and make improvements to become more competitive, they often miss important hidden actions that can really make a difference for customers, employees and the bottom line. That’s where employee surveys come in, uncovering the hidden information, suggestions and insight you need from across your organization.

Highly satisfied employees are more engaged in their jobs, their productivity is higher and they do more to generate profit for your company. While company financials and other “hard data” measurements are important for assessing your company’s/organization’s performance, they are missing important information, insight and perceptions that can only be gathered by directly asking your employees. Employee engagement surveys and employee satisfaction surveys are the best, most cost-effective way to gather comprehensive information accurately from a large portion of your employees about how satisfied and how engaged they are, and what needs to be done to increase employee satisfaction and engagement.

Definition of Employee Engagement

An organization’s employees are engaged when employees at all levels of the organization are fully committed, involved and enthusiastic about their jobs and their organizations.

* Engaged employees are willing, able and actually do contribute to company success.

* Engaged employees regularly go the extra mile, putting effort into their work above and beyond what is expected of them. They willingly and eagerly work extra hours and focus their inspiration, energy, intelligence, skills and experience to achieve success for themselves and their organization.

* Engaged employees thrive when they are working in a positive, supportive corporate culture. Their inspiration, energy and enthusiasm in turn enhance the corporate culture.

How Engaged are your employees? How do you know?

How many of your employees are disengaged, how many are somewhat engaged and how many are highly engaged? Assessing employee engagement levels and then taking action to shift disengaged and somewhat engaged employees up the curve will significantly increase employee and company performance. Employee engagement surveys / employee satisfaction surveys measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels and provide actionable information for driving employee engagement to significantly higher levels.

Employee Engagement Surveys or Employee Satisfaction Surveys? Which is the right survey approach for your organization?

The best approach for companies and other types of organizations is to conduct surveys that include both employee engagement and employee satisfaction issues. It is possible for employees to be satisfied but not engaged, and it is also possible for employees to be engaged but not satisfied.

Surveys that include a wide range of questions about both employee satisfaction and employee engagement gather comprehensive information, opinions, perceptions and insight for assessing employee satisfaction and engagement. Dual-focused surveys identify shortfalls in employee satisfaction and employee engagement levels, and the reasons for the shortfalls. The surveys also generate extensive information, insight and suggestions for diagnosing problems across your organization and for taking action to address shortfalls in employee engagement and employee satisfaction.

So to answer the question, should you conduct an employee engagement survey or should you conduct an employee satisfaction survey, you should conduct a survey that focuses on both employee engagement and employee satisfaction.

Characteristics of Engaged Employees

Engaged employees exhibit many of the following characteristics, enabling them to achieve significantly higher personal performance levels than disengaged employees:

1. Achieve consistently high levels of performance
2. High energy and enthusiasm
3. Committed to customers and exceeding customer expectations
4. Understand the desired outcomes of their job/role
5. Professionally and emotionally committed to their job and whatever they do
6. Expect and perceive a direct connection between their effort and reward received
7. Initiate problem-solving, challenge things that need to be changed
8. Innovate and strive for process and product excellence and efficiency
9. Focused on achieving goals, committed to completing tasks and assignments
10. Expect and enjoy autonomy and the ability to make decisions when needed to do their job
11. Initiate and participate in special projects and positive things to act on
12. Expand what they do and build on it
13. Committed to the company, their group and role
14. Proactive building of supportive relationships
15. Would recommend their company, products and services
16. Attention to details
17. Typically prefer complex, challenging work (as they perceive complexity and job challenge)
18. Communicate willingly and effectively with employees at all levels
19. More likely to identify risks and take appropriate risks
20. Committed to and demonstrate personal and professional improvement
21. Proactive conflict resolution
22.They get things done!

Performance Metrics of Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Employee Engagement Surveys and Employee Opinion Surveys

Employee Satisfaction Surveys and Employee Engagement Surveys should be customized to meet your organization’s special needs. The surveys should include sections and questions that gather information, perceptions and insight about both employee engagement and employee satisfaction issues. Following are some of the measurements included in Employee Satisfaction Surveys and Employee Engagement Surveys:

1. Having resources needed to do the job
2. Confidence in management’s ability to lead the company
3. Clarity and effectiveness of communications within and across organizational units
4. Management’s availability and openness to upward communications
5. Teamwork effectiveness
6. Demonstrating integrity
7. Encouragement for innovation
8. Consideration given to ideas and suggestions
9. Empowerment to make decisions
10. Commitment and effectiveness of diversity initiatives
11. Maintaining balance between work and personal life
12. Respect for and from manager/supervisor manager
13. Manager understanding what motivates employees
14. Fair treatment from manager/supervisor
15. Recognition from manager/supervisor
16. Commitment to quality excellence and customer service
17. Communication of performance expectations
18. Performance evaluation and feedback effectiveness
19. Effectiveness of training and mentoring
20. Effectiveness of recruiting, hiring and on-boarding processes
21. Opportunities for development and growth
22. Satisfaction with career prospects within the company
23. Satisfaction with compensation and benefits
24. Commitment to work at the company for the foreseeable future
25. Pride in working for the organization
26. Understanding of the company’s direction, mission, vision and values
27. Willingness to recommend the company as a good place to work

Benefits of Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Employee Engagement Surveys and Employee Opinion Surveys

Employee satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys generate significant bottom-line benefits and a very strong payback when action is taken based on the survey findings. The survey benefits include:

1. Increase employee engagement and performance
2. Increase employee satisfaction, employee loyalty and employee productivity
3. Identify hidden problems, opportunities and possible solutions
4. Create a roadmap for making breakthrough improvements
5. Focus managers’ energies on areas with the highest priority and the largest payback
6. Execute more effectively
7. Identify internal communications problems, a significant cause of dissatisfaction and poor performance
8. Strengthen the culture of collaboration and change
9. Reduce costly employee turnover
10. Enhance your “employer of choice” reputation
11. Avoid costly abuse law suits
12. Facilitate innovation and smart risk-taking
13. Reduce the People Performance Gap, the costly gap in performance between the most and least effective people performing each job in your company

Summary – Achieving Significant Gains in Employee and Business Performance

Companies and other types of organizations have a very significant opportunity to increase their bottom-line performance by increasing employee satisfaction and employee engagement. Conducting surveys that focus on both employee satisfaction and employee engagement and then taking action based on the survey findings is a highly effective way to achieve significantly higher levels of business performance. Employees are