The concept of “employee engagement” has garnered significant attention over the past twenty years, yet there appears to be a lack of clarity regarding its actual definition. To understand the true meaning of employee engagement, it is essential to establish what it does not encompass. Employee engagement should not be mistaken for:

  • Employee engagement should not be mistaken for employee motivation.
  • Employee engagement should not be confused with employee satisfaction.
  • Employee engagement should not be equated with two employees deciding to get married.

While the exclusion of the last aspect could be debated, improving employee engagement generally refers to a blend of the degree of connection an employee experiences with their workplace and the level of dedication they demonstrate as a consequence. Engaged employees distinguish themselves from ordinary workers by their willingness to go beyond expectations, exhibit enthusiasm in their tasks, and contribute to the realization of their organization’s goals.

The majority of organizations aspire to have all their employees actively engaged, yet research indicates that merely 33% of employed individuals in the United States are engaged in their work. Therefore, what actions can your company take to enhance employee engagement?

1. Improve Company Communications

Although your company has chosen to eliminate cubicles, establishing a sense of connection with nearby colleagues can be challenging if you don’t frequently collaborate on similar projects. Furthermore, discovering shared interests and common ground among coworkers becomes difficult when employees are situated on opposite ends of the office.

2. Get Rid of Unsatisfying Work

Employees who are actively involved and passionate about their organization’s goals will desire to contribute towards achieving them. However, fulfilling the company’s mission often involves various tasks that may not be fulfilling for employees. Engaging in repetitive work for extended hours can negatively impact their happiness and make them feel disconnected from the organization and their colleagues, leading to a sense of not adding value to the company.

Although this kind of work may be monotonous and time-consuming, it is essential for the smooth functioning and informed decision-making of your organization. That’s why an increasing number of companies are adopting robotic process automation (RPA) solutions. RPA technology enables organizations to utilize software bots that automate a large portion of repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more engaging and creative work. By reducing monotonous tasks, employees can contribute to more fulfilling and satisfying projects that require innovative thinking.

3. Nurture Professional Development

When an employee decides to join your organization, they are choosing to invest in their future with you. This choice is based on the perception that your organization will support their professional growth and offer them potential career advancements in the future. Brad Shuck, an assistant professor specializing in organizational development at the University of Louisville, supports this idea by stating that employees who feel that a company is investing in their future are more likely to be highly engaged. So, what does the organization need to do to foster this engagement?

Fortunately, implementing an impactful development program doesn’t necessarily require a large training budget. Instead, experts recommend that organizations offer cross-training opportunities for employees, enabling them to learn about the key responsibilities of other positions in addition to their own. By doing so, not only will your employees view your organization as a potential stepping stone for their future careers, but they will also gain a broader perspective on the value your organization brings to its customers. This, in turn, can help them adapt quickly to new and exciting roles, ultimately leading to a more skilled and engaged workforce for your organization.

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