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The Power of Engagement: How Motivation, Purpose, and Workplace Conditions Drive Success

By Thomas Dobrydney
May 1, 2023

Employee engagement is crucial for the success of any organization. Engaged employees are more productive and willing to go above and beyond what is asked of them. On the other hand, disengaged employees may still perform their tasks, but they are likely doing only the bare minimum required of them. According to the most recent Gallup poll in 2022, there is a shockingly high level of disengagement among some workforces, highlighting the need for organizations to prioritize employee engagement. 

To help employees find the motivation to engage, we must first understand what we mean by employee engagement. It is about finding a balance between what the employee wants out of their work experience and what the organization needs from them. It involves both contribution to the organization and personal satisfaction. Managers can influence an employee's ability to contribute to the organization and their level of satisfaction with their work experience in four areas: purpose, feedback, resources, and continual learning. 

  • Purpose: Employees want to feel like their work is meaningful and that they are contributing to a greater purpose. Managers can help employees find meaning in their work by communicating how their role contributes to the organization's overall goals. 
  • Feedback: Employees need regular feedback on their performance to know whether they are meeting expectations or not. Managers can provide regular feedback on performance and recognition for a job well done. 
  • Resources: Employees need access to the necessary resources and tools to do their job effectively. Managers can ensure that employees have the right resources and tools to do their job. 
  • Continual Learning: Employees want opportunities to learn and grow in their roles. Managers can provide ongoing training and development opportunities to help employees improve their skills and advance in their careers. 

Employee satisfaction is also a critical factor that impacts engagement. Compensation is often the first factor that management considers, but it is not the only or even the most effective influencer of employee engagement. Career and job fit, reward and recognition, and alignment with the organization's mission or cause are all essential factors to consider. 

  • Job Fit: Employees want to feel like they are a good fit for their roles and that they are using their skills and abilities to their fullest potential. 
  • Reward and Recognition: Employees want to feel valued and recognized for their contributions. Managers can provide recognition for a job well done and reward employees for their efforts. 
  • Alignment with the Organization's Mission: Employees want to feel like they are working towards a common goal. Managers can communicate the organization's mission and values to help employees understand their role in achieving those goals. 

There are also factors that managers cannot control but must take into account when trying to engage employees. The supervisor plays a significant role in employee engagement, as employees often leave or stay with an organization based on their relationship with their supervisor. Upper-level management and the organization's values and reputation also impact engagement. Organizational change can cause anxiety and fatigue if it happens too often or too quickly, and external factors like family or medical issues can also affect an employee's engagement level.  

To create a win-win situation, a manager must focus on both an employee's ability to contribute to the organization and their satisfaction with their work experience. By considering factors like job fit, reward and recognition, and alignment with the organization's mission, managers can help employees feel valued and satisfied with their work experience. Additionally, by providing employees with opportunities to use their full skills and setting up the conditions that energize them, employers can help them become motivated to engage. Aligning their purpose with that of the organization and helping them see the connection between their personal goals and organizational goals will help employees feel a sense of purpose. Finally, providing employees with the degree of autonomy they need to direct their work will create a positive workplace condition that supports employee engagement. 

In conclusion, employee engagement is crucial for the success of any organization. To promote engagement, managers should focus on creating a balance between an employee's contribution to the organization and their personal satisfaction. Factors such as job fit, recognition, and alignment with the organization's mission can impact engagement. Additionally, providing opportunities for continual learning and autonomy can help employees feel energized and engaged. By investing in employee engagement, organizations can create a happy, productive, and successful workforce. 

If you're interested in learning more about facilitating employee engagement, consider enrolling in our upcoming course on July 24, 2023. Our course is designed to help managers and supervisors understand how to establish an environment that positively impacts employees' ability to engage with their work. You will learn about the key factors that contribute to employee engagement, such as motivation, purpose, and workplace conditions, and how to create a work environment that encourages and supports engagement.

About the author

Thomas Dobrydney

Tom Dobrydney has spent almost 30 years assisting Federal clients to improve their business processes and operational results. His specialized skills include Strategic Planning, Performance Management, Change Management, Program/Project Management and Workplace Learning/Knowledge Management. He is dedicated to helping organizations improve performance, generate innovation, and achieve strategic objectives by enhancing social learning skills/collaboration capabilities among employees, teams, and leadership.