employee engagement definition

Employee engagement: A corporate fairy tale

Remember the classic Disney movie “Cinderella”? It’s about the sweet, innocent girl who is worked to the bone by her evil stepmother and stepsisters, until her fairy godmother appears and provides all the tools she needs to get out there and find a better life? Even though it might have been made for children, it’s also got some serious, grown-up, real-world applications.

Consider the workplace metaphor.

At the beginning of the movie, Cinderella spends her time toiling away day in and day out, waiting around for someone to say, “Hey, thanks for cooking, cleaning, and mopping the floor of our ballroom BY HAND.” She’s not compensated fairly, she doesn’t get any PTO, and she’s given inappropriate tools for the work she’s expected to do. Is it any wonder she’s not emotionally invested in the outcome of her stepmother’s pursuit of wealth and power?

She’s completely disengaged. I mean, who could blame her, right? So how does Cinderella’s situation apply to today’s modern (and non-fictional) workforce? And how do we define employee engagement, anyway?

What is employee engagement?

There are a couple definitions of employee engagement floating around out there, but here are the ones that I like best:

    Engagement is the degree to which an employee is both willing and able to perform to their potential. – Jason Lauritsen, in What is Employee Engagement? It’s time to demand better answers.

    …the extent to which people are personally involved in the success of a business. – Emma Bridger, in The 2019 Clear & Complete Guide to Employee Engagement

There are two important points to recognize in these definitions. First is the idea that engagement leads to the realization of potential. Second is the idea that engagement requires commitment on the part of the employee.

So, if employee engagement leads to the realization of potential (and presumably organizational success), but requires effort on the employee’s end, how can you as a company boost your employees’ engagement? Well, in keeping with the Cinderella metaphor (because I love to beat a dead horse), you need a fairy godmother.

At Akumina, we believe that fairy godmother presents itself in the form of technology. Or more specifically, prescriptively selected and seamlessly integrated technology.

Companies with an engaged, hard-working team know that providing a high quality, useful, integrated technological experience is a must. Employees want to work with the best applications in the easiest way, in one central interface. Enter: the Akumina Employee Experience Platform.

Our platform allows your people to continue using the tools they already use and like (O365 products, plus several third-party applications like Concur, Workday, Kronos, and more), in a centralized, single-pane-of-glass view. And because it’s so easy to use, once you install it, you can manage it on your own, no magic wand required.

Why is employee engagement important?

You might still be asking why employee engagement is so important. After all, there are plenty of successful companies out there that care more about their bottom line than about their front line. They spend their money on marketing and sales, not on paternity leave and flexible PTO policies. So why should your organization do things differently? Jason Lauritsen said it best in his article on Human Resources Today:

Investing in culture and engagement isn’t the ONLY path, but it’s the RIGHT path.

And, in the scheme of things, if you can earn the same amount of money, and enjoy the same level of success by treating your employees well as you can by treating them poorly, why wouldn’t you take the high road?

So, be the fairy godmother instead of the evil stepmother, request a demo of the Akumina EXP today, and help your employees get engaged and stay engaged so you can all live happily ever after. (Sorry…)

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