Due to the fact that they relate to the wellbeing of employees, employee happiness and employee engagement are often thought to be one and the same.
Differentiating between them is necessary as it can help businesses truly optimize the productivity of their workforce. Taking a closer look will highlight this factor as shown below:
- Employee Happiness – This relates to how happy or satisfied an employee is at their workplace. They take pride in what they do or enjoy how low stress their job is.
- Employee Engagement – This relates to how committed an employee is to their workplace. It relates to them showing up for work, being present and doing their best to be an active contributor to the goals of the company.
Based on their definition alone, you can see that they are two different terms. When applied to the workforce, they also produce quite different results.
Employee Happiness and Engagement in the Workplace
Now, most workplaces make a crucial mistake in that they focus on improving employee happiness. Job satisfaction is linked to lower levels of stress, better productivity as well as less absenteeism because of improved health. However, boosting employee happiness does not always mean that an employee is engaged. An example of this can be seen as the employee who shows up on time, leaves on time but does the bare minimum, consistently.
Focusing only on employee engagement does not always mean that the employee is happy or satisfied. Employee engagement has been linked to workplace loyalty as well as increased ownership of work and contribution to products. Engaged employees not afraid of delivering above and beyond the expectations placed on them. An example of this can be seen as the employees who are the ones who show up to work, do their work and if there is time, take on more work.
Finding a Balance
Many companies only focus on employee happiness because of the major difference it makes in the workplace. Unhappy employees are more likely to be disengaged and disillusioned. They are also more likely to indulge in more absenteeism, experience more illness and are less productive.
While employee happiness can resolve these problems, businesses can go a step further by focusing on employee engagement as well. Employee engagement in the workplace can be introduced by less micro-managing and encouraging employees to take more ownership of their projects. Welcome and encourage contributions and give recognition for hard work. Team building exercises can also go a long way in forming healthy camaraderie between teams that improve their group project results.
A Growing Demand for Both
The modern employee in today’s marketplace is one who wants to contribute to a business and make a difference in a meaningful way. They are also more likely to seek out jobs in organizations that offer them the opportunity to do so.
Businesses that focus on this aspect can not only boost their happiness but also their engagement. While these terms are interlinked, the results you get by focusing individually on employee happiness and engagement make it worthwhile.
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