Workplace engagement is a both a responsibility and choice shared by employees and employers:
- Employees are responsible for their own engagement in that they choose to show up in their jobs ready, willing, and able to do their best work, and
- Employers are responsible for choosing to foster an engaging workplace where employees are enabled to do their best work.
What drives an employee’s decision to be engaged at work is based on how that person answers these three questions:
- What’s in it for me besides a paycheck?
This is a primary consideration that gets to the heart of why an employee chooses to stay with an employer based on the nature of the work involved, how meaningful it is, quality of organizational culture, and benefits.
- What difference do I make?
Employees want to know how their efforts contribute to the organization’s mission and goals. This involves having a clear line-of-sight as to how their work impacts the people they serve (customers, clients, patients, members, guests, etc.) co-workers, stakeholders, the community where the organization is located, and the organization’s overall success. Think of the NASA janitor who wasn’t just cleaning floors — he was helping to put a man on the moon.
- Does my employer care about me and my work?
Employees also want their employers to recognize and respect their roles within the organization and support them with the tools necessary to do the best job possible.
Takeaway questions for managers
What are you currently doing to positively or negatively impact your employees’ choice to stay engaged?
And what will you do about it?