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Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement

Too often the term “employee satisfaction” and “employee engagement” are used interchangeably. Although the concepts have much in common, understanding the differences between employee satisfaction and employee engagement is crucial in helping your organization improve.

What Is Employee Satisfaction?

To investigate the differences between the two concepts, let’s begin by defining employee satisfaction, or better yet let’s rollback even further and look at the definitions of “employee” and “satisfaction” separately.

employee
/emˈploi-ē/
Noun
An employee is a person who works in the service of another person under an express or implied contract of hire, under which the employer has the right to control the details of work performance (Black’s Law Dictionary).
satisfaction
/ˌsatisˈfakSHən/
Noun
The fulfillment or gratification of a desire, need, or appetite.

It is particularly interesting to think about satisfaction as the fulfillment of an appetite. When humans are full, it is our natural instinct to stop eating. Why would employee satisfaction be any different? Why would a satisfied employee continue to work hard or innovate?

Defining Employee Engagement

EngagedMetrics defines employee engagement as the level to which employees are committed to the organization, feel invested and valued in their jobs, and are dedicated to the success of the company.

The Differences Between Employee Satisfaction and Employee Engagement

understanding employee satisfactionJust because an employee is satisfied with their job and employer, it doesn’t necessarily equate to them being hard working, productive, or willing to help the organization succeed. In fact, a satisfied employee may be perfectly satisfied to simply collect a paycheck. Arguably, a company is better off without those perfectly content in maintaining the status quo. What an organization really wants is engaged employees. At the risk of over-simplifying– Engaged employees are not just working for a paycheck!

An engaged employee is committed to helping the organization innovate, improve, and succeed. An engaged employee is willing to “go the extra mile”, without having to be asked. An engaged employee takes pride in their work and is mentally invested in the success of their employer.

EngagedMetrics provides a comprehensive employee surveying platform, specifically designed for measuring employee engagement.