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Job Satisfaction And Employee Engagement: A Brief Comparision

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How many of your people are truly engaged? Chances are, it’s lower than you think. Thus, job satisfaction and employee engagement has qucikly become the top priorities for any company looking at long-term success.

Studies say that in an average company, only 32% are actively engaged. Meanwhile, 50.8% are not engaged, and 17.2% are actively disengaged employees. This is a big reason why engaging people have been a top priority for multiple companies in the last decade.

We get it. Engaging your people is easier said than done. However, the benefits genuinely make the efforts worthwhile.

Engaged employees feel happier, excited, and less likely to leave their jobs. When your people genuinely feel engaged, your business outcomes will see positive growth as well.

Yet, for engagement to happen, the foundation needs to be strong. And that is where the concept of job satisfaction comes in.

Difference Between Job Satisfaction And Employee Engagement

Wait. Doesn’t job satisfaction and employee engagement mean the same thing?

Well, not quite.

Employee engagement is the emotional connection that a person feels towards their company which influences their sense of belonging and commitment towards the company. The more engaged a person is, the more likely they are to display higher levels of loyalty.

On the other hand, job satisfaction is when an employee simply enjoys the work they do. Thus, job satisfaction is not driven by a person’s sense of pride but rather by the fulfillment they get for doing what they love.

It is not a prerequisite that a satisfied employee should also be an engaged one. But for engagement to happen, it’s essential that a worker at least likes- if not love- the work they do.

However, the fact remains. To drive better business outcomes, both- job satisfaction and employee engagement- need to be supported.

Ignoring one to improve the other, or worst- mistaking them from being the same will prove to be expensive for you. Turnover rates will skyrocket, employee loyalty will reduce, and your company culture will feel the brunt of uncertain core values.

To better understand the factors influencing job satisfaction and employee engagement better, we have highlighted the factors below.

Factors That Influence Employee Engagement

Improving employee engagement levels is about finding the right balance between what your employees want and what they need. While your employees’ expectations can be unfeasible for you to achieve, there are a few key factors that influence your people to feel empowered and happy. Let’s take a look.

1. Rewards and Recognition

If executed in a timely, systematic, and value-based manner, rewards and recognition can be powerful motivators. When people feel acknowledged, seen, and valued for their achievements, it fosters a more profound sense of belonging in them.

While rewards are aimed to be transactional, recognition is tied to the emotional side of an employee feeling happy. The key goal is to create a more employee-centric work environment where every person’s contributions are considered meaningful. When such a culture of appreciation happens, employees try to bring their A-game to work.

2. Work Environment

The work environment of an organization hugely influences whether the employees can feel happy or not. Thus, a leader who has implemented every possible employee engagement strategy but has not been successful- should look into the work environment.

An ultra-competitive, toxic, and non-inclusive work environment will inevitably harm even the best of the employee engagement measures. Such a work environment pits peers against peers and often will create a company culture where turnover rates are incredibly high.

People seek belonging and value, especially in their workplaces. Employee engagement is almost impossible to achieve unless your employees feel happy, safe, respected, and included in their work environment.

3. Employee Benefits

Today’s employees want more than just a great paycheck. They want a comprehensive benefits package to go along with it.

In fact, companies that prioritize pay and benefits recorded 56% lower turnover. To retain the industry's best talent, you must provide an attractive benefits package to your new hires. Employee benefits are vital not just for recruiting and retaining workers, but also for improving work-life balance.

Benefits such as health insurance, maternity leave, college reimbursement, and flexible job schedules help employees strike a good balance between professional and personal responsibilities. It is why today’s top talents are concerned about getting the best possible compensation and benefits package while choosing a new company to join. Companies must provide a mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives to promote employees' overall quality of life and motivate them to do their best work.

4. Company Culture

The company culture of any organization is the most known yet underrated factor. It is because, unlike other engagement measures- improving the company culture is not fast or instantaneous. Also, the time, efforts, and money required to enhance it are significantly greater. Also, unlike other factors, company culture is influenced by multiple sub-factors such as:

  • Appreciation based practices
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Fair and non-toxic
  • The right people
  • The leadership practices

… and many more. A workplace with a poor company culture will result in people leaving faster than they arrive. Thus, companies must prioritize building their company culture in the right way from the ground up. A couple of factors that they need to consider are:

  • Deciding what the core values, mission, and vision will be
  • Focusing on the brand message
  • Defining the leadership roles and finding the right people for it
  • Placing importance of building a people-first culture

Factors That Influence Job Satisfaction

People who are satisfied with their jobs are mainly because they are genuinely interested and happy with their work. Job satisfaction happens when people feel like they can strive in their respective careers and the company is helping them achieve that objective.

While job satisfaction and employee engagement might not be the same, there is a vital fact that we can’t ignore. When people are satisfied with their jobs, they are more likely to be engaged as well.

Let's take a look at the factors that influence employees' levels of job satisfaction:

1. Career Development Opportunities

Career advancement is an integral aspect of most people's work-life balance. As a result, it is critical to not only provide a stable job but also to ensure that growth does not stall.

Professional success is one of the most empowering aspects of anyone's life. Thus, it is a priority for companies to ensure that such career development opportunities are prioritized. When people are inspired to learn, develop, and are set up for success by their employers, they are more likely to be happy with their work.

Career development opportunities can vary from person to person. Here are some examples of what it may look like:

  • Promotions
  • Regular training and development opportunities
  • Staff exchange programs
  • Side project support
  • Mentor programs
  • Job rotation

2. Job Security

In an economy where everything is uncertain, job security is the most valuable asset for any aspiring job seeker. When people join a company, they expect to receive the same amount of loyalty that is expected from them.

Such a mutual relationship of respect will inspire employees to go above and beyond for the job they do. Thus, any business that wants to hire the best people in the market should emphasize providing a high level of job security to its employees.

Providing job security for your people improves your brand reputation, bottom line, and ultimately job satisfaction. As a result, people who are happy with their work-life will demonstrate their dedication and loyalty to the company through improved efficiency, productivity, and commitment.

3. Work-Life Balance

Today’s millennials need a healthy work-life balance to remain satisfied with their jobs. People are unlikely to be content with their jobs unless they cannot devote time to their personal lives. Thus, options like remote working, paid vacations, parental benefits are vital to inspire an employee’s satisfaction.

People are more likely to leave a company if they are exposed to a work environment that causes high pressure, tension, and anxiety in their personal lives. As a result, their work quality will decline, affecting the company's bottom line in the long run. Just like a domino effect, your employees will stop enjoying their work and will unavoidably lead to turnover.

What Next?

According to you, how do job satisfaction and employee engagement influence the daily workings of your company? Do you have any more insights into how to enhance either of them? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.