Employee engagement and satisfaction are not the same thing, but they are intertwined with each other. Engaged employees are happier than those who are just “going through the motions.” What does it mean to be “engaged” as an employee? It means that an employee is an active, enthusiastic, and willing participant in the efforts to better the company. Engaged employees have an emotional connection to the workplace. They enjoy being there and derive happiness from their interactions with other employees.
Job satisfaction, on the other hand, is largely about the perks of being at work: fair pay, generous work-life balance, adequate benefits, and the like. Satisfied employees tend to be content while engaged employees tend to be go-getters. Still, money isn’t everything when it comes to either engagement or happiness and satisfaction.
Company culture has a lot to do with both employee engagement and satisfaction. If the company thinks of employees as cogs in their machine, then no employee is going to care one whit about doing more than the bare minimum because the company doesn’t care about the employee. Conversely, if the management team communicates honestly and forthrightly while valuing the employee’s output and thoughts, the employee will be loyal and be much more team-oriented and positive than if the company doesn’t care and treats the employee and others poorly.
As HR professionals dedicated to improving both company culture and employee relations, you have to know whom to hire and train. The best way to know is to look at successful, engaged, and satisfied employees already at the company. Find out what they value, how they feel, and how committed they are to helping the company move forward. The best way to “talk” to them is through anonymous surveys so that there is no fear of repercussions among the employees.
Remember the “old way” of doing things? You’d advertise on a bunch of job boards and wait for applicants. After discarding the obvious jokers, you would call up several dozen prospects and do phone interviews. Then, you’d go over all of those, pick a few, and call them back to invite them in for an in-person interview. Many of those you called back might not even get your message anymore because of the animosity toward voicemail. They might even have found another job in the meantime because of the time the “old way” takes.
Once you’re ready to sift through resumes and pick the best people for the jobs you’re offering, you can apply what you have learned during those surveys with your employees. Remember, the best candidates are also interviewing you at the same time. Job-seekers are savvier today than ever. Hollow laughs, over-enthusiastic back slapping, and other “shark-like” behaviors won’t cut it. They’ll see right through you and forget your company as soon as they leave.
When interviewing candidates, it’s best to ask questions that require critical thinking and honest answers. “Tell me about yourself,” is so 1980. Instead, ask, “Tell me about a time you worked with a colleague to make the company better,” or, “Tell me about a time you led a group to success and received recognition.” Follow those up with, “How did those events make you feel?” When you compare their answers with the same answers you got from your current employees, you will see who matches up best.
Sometimes, despite your best intentions and doing everything “right,” employees will just leave. The stress of some jobs is crushing, like sales, food service, or retail. It’s doubly crucial to “do your homework” to find people who fit in with your current culture. Negativity abounds, largely because the environment is high-stress, and the employer does nothing to relieve it and shouts continuously about, “You’re only as good as yesterday’s numbers!” That is not the way to boost employee engagement or satisfaction. In fact, such chicanery usually results in the exact opposite.
It would be nice if everyone had a 100-percent reliable “gut feeling.” Sadly, this is not the case. When it comes to assessing candidates, you’re going to need help. That’s where we come in. We’re Sprockets, and we believe in the impact of employee engagement. In fact, our measure of success is how few people leave your company after we help you find them and hire them.
How would it be if we did all the thinking, assessing, and matching for you and just handed you a list of prime candidates who are interested in working for you? You could fill jobs in just a few days or weeks instead of waiting many long months to get someone who might not even work out in the first place. We’ve got both the equipment and the know-how to do all your applicant searching.