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A colleague sent me an article this morning that sparked a bit of research on my part and the beginnings of this (somewhat rambling) blog post.

Employee engagement is something we talk about a lot these days. Whether you’re in HR, communications or the C-suite, you’re likely pondering – and hopefully actively pursuing – strategies to increase employee engagement.

What employee engagement is – and what it isn’t – is up for debate and likely changes from company to company.

But, in effect, employee engagement is the emotional connection and commitment employees have to an organization and its goals.

Much like brand loyalty, where customers instinctively reach for the brand of yogurt supporting breast cancer research as opposed to the three other brands available, employee engagement goes beyond prices and paychecks.

It means employees work harder, smarter and sometimes more – not because they have to but because they want to. Engaged employees believe in the company’s values and work diligently to uphold them.

“ Engaged employees truly care about their company. And it shows. ”

Engaged employees truly care about their company. And it shows. 

Study after study show that engaged employees lead to higher service, quality, productivity, and, ultimately, profit.

As a communicator, you can bet I believe strategic communications is key to employee engagement. I also believe communications and engagement should start at the top.

Employees love to hear from their leaders and know their jobs (no matter how low or high on the flow chart) really matter to the company’s overall vision and goals. Engaged leaders lead to engaged employees. Forbes agrees.

I also think companies should be measuring employee engagement regularly; once a year is an absolute must, but what about more often? John Deere monitors employee morale every two weeks!

Do a little research of your own and you’ll find tons of best practices for increasing employee engagement – and several ideas on what not to do.

You may also run across the article I read this morning that paints a completely different (and darker) picture of employee engagement.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these articles and your own experiences. Like an employer, if I want you to be engaged (readers), feedback should always be welcome!