Employee engagement should be front and center in all HR managers’ plans … but good planning starts with a common understanding. Just what is employee engagement? You’ll need to come up with what it means in your own organization and how you define it, but here are some definitions that we like to get you started.

David Zinger, “Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and well-being as we leverage, sustain, and transform our work connections into results.”

SHRM, “Employee engagement refers to the connection and commitment employees exhibit toward an organization, leading to higher levels of productive work behaviors.”

Gallup, “… engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.”

Wikipedia, “Employee engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give of their best each day, committed to their organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.”

Blessing White defines employee engagement as the intersection of the employer’s goal of achieving maximum contribution and the employee’s goal of achieving maximum contribution meet. Check out their short video on The ‘X’ model of employee engagement: Maximum Satisfaction meets Maximum Contribution:

Once you agree on what employee engagement means to your organization, how do you achieve it? Here are a few good resources we’ve recently found that might help:

  • Look at best practices: A few weeks ago, the Leadership Blog at Let’s Grow Leaders featured a “Frontline Festival” with a focus on ideas for boosting employee engagement. They asked thought leaders from around the globe to share their best post on the topic, with the result being a cornucopia of posts with concrete ideas and best practices. See: Employee Engagement: Ideas on Insights for Improvement
  • Learn from others: We also love this comprehensive, user-friendly guide that SnackNation put together for their own employees and then shared for the companies they work with, too. They say: “It’s also why we’ve put together this guide – to help you transform your organization and create an environment where your employees can be their best selves every single day … We’ve compiled ideas and data from the leading researchers in employee engagement, as well as case studies and action steps that show what these ideas look like in the real world.”
    The guide is quite good and covers 9 topics: Discover Your Purpose • Communication • Health & Wellness • Ideal Workspace • Well-Defined Roles •Foster Friendships • Recognition • Amazing Managers • Personal Growth • Bring It Together – See: The 2018 Clear & Complete Guide to Employee Engagement 
  • Start with a plan: At Sharlyn Lauby’s HR Bartender – one of our longtime favorite blogs  – she features a blog post from Workify about the importance of making employee engagement an ongoing part of everyday activities. To do that, they suggest the importance of creating a roadmap, or a plan that matches short-term activities with long-term goals. They offer a sample map with activities broken down by quarter. Is it too late in the year to plan out an engagement roadmap? We fall back to the truism of better late than never – simply plan your map for the next four quarters. See: Employee Engagement Roadmap: It Is Not Too Late to Create Yours for 2018!
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