When it comes to Employee Engagement, is Employee Satisfaction Satisfactory?

When it comes to Employee Engagement, is Employee Satisfaction Satisfactory?

In today’s high employment environment, companies seem to be doing more than ever to engage and retain their key employees.  In most cases, they are trying to do so by offering new benefits to drive employee satisfaction.  But, the simple truth is that the best way to retain key employees is to make them feel as if they are a part of something important with a future…not just a part of something for now; and no individual ‘benefit’ is ever going to fix that situation over the long-term.  That’s why we believe that employee ‘satisfaction’ is probably better set as a floor than as a ceiling.

So, what is that next level of engagement and how do companies get there?  We’ve identified that level as Employee Delight and you get there through a variety of means including a strategically focused and communicated Total Rewards program.  Done right, delighted employees feel passionate about their work, about where they work, about the contribution they make and about the level of appreciation that is shown to them.  Our customizable REWARDview Total Rewards Communication solution is designed to help companies achieve Employee Delight, thereby immunizing them from employee defections for less than extraordinary circumstances.

What’s wrong with satisfaction as a measure of employee engagement? Nothing is actually wrong with it as a measure, but we contend that satisfaction is rarely motivating and therefore, not the best goal to drive retention.  Think about satisfaction is just about any other context and you’ll agree.  Nobody talks about a restaurant where they were satisfied with the meal, books a return trip to a destination with a satisfactory location, or continues to date someone with whom they have a satisfactory time.  The same principle holds true with employees, so it’s time to step up the goal and aim higher.

So, what are the keys to delivering on this next level?  That requires a longer discussion but the topline answer is three things: Transparency, Respect/Trust, and Consistency/Ongoing Communication.  And, it is this last element that is probably most critical because relationships with employees are built the same way as relationships in every other aspect of life…through open dialogue and frequent two-way communication.  If you want to delight your employees, you need to be in regular communication with them.  Annual reviews, annual Total Rewards statements, annual anything might lead to some level of satisfaction but it will rarely lead to the level of delight that should be your new objective.

Let’s start a dialogue about Employee Delight and about how REWARDview can help you to achieve it.

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