Job Satisfaction vs Employee Engagement - Are They Same?

March 21, 2022

job satisfaction vs employee engagement

Employee satisfaction vs engagement has always been a significant dispute among managers and HODs (Head of Departments).

So, here our experts have reasoned all the differences between these two and also how both can be beneficial in keeping your employees up to their game and staying more motivated at work.

Therefore, to know it all, keep reading till the end.

What Is Employee Satisfaction?

Employee or work satisfaction is simply how happy your employees are with their jobs. Employee happiness is basically measured by a survey. After several surveys, it has been found that workload, flexibility, teamwork, compensation, etc all these factors play a vital role in employee satisfaction.

These are all essential factors for companies looking to keep employees happy and prevent any turnover. In fact, some agencies or companies may even be better off without happy staff. Engagement and performance are not synonymous. HR ideas and initiatives aimed at increasing employee satisfaction often demoralize high achievers.

For a business to build a culture of engagement, understanding the distinction between satisfaction and engagement is crucial. Employee satisfaction addresses basic issues and demands. It’s a good start, but it frequently falls short.

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is a way of working that makes it possible for everyone in a company to do their best every day, be committed to the organization’s goals and values, be motivated to help the company succeed, and also have a better sense of their own well-being.

In order for employees to be excited about their jobs, your employees must have honesty, trust, two-way commitment, and communication with their manager or HOD (Head of Department). It’s a way of doing business that increases the chances of it working out.

This helps both the business and the employees who work there to be more productive and happy.

The Difference Between Job Satisfaction and Employee Engagement

While “employee engagement” and “employee satisfaction” may sound pretty similar, they are not the same. Yes, businesses should strive to keep their employees engaged and satisfied. To establish a strong and healthy workforce, you must know the differences between the two concepts.

Employee engagement takes place when employees are committed to helping their managers to achieve their goals. Engaged employees want to come to work every day and do their part to help their companies flourish.

Employee satisfaction is the state of enjoying but not necessarily staying engaged in the workplace. While happy employees are engaged and engaged employees are not necessarily satisfied.

Some companies just worry about employee satisfaction. The reason is when most of the employees are happy with their jobs, they aren’t looking for a new one. So, when they’re happy, their organizations have low turnover rates.

Similarly, when employees are engaged, they are not only happy with their jobs but also think of ways to improve the organization. Streamlining business procedures, coming up with innovative product or service ideas, or always lending a hand to a coworker in need.

For these reasons, agencies should be more concerned about measuring and improving employee engagement than employee satisfaction.

What Factors Contribute to Engagement?

Gallup’s Engagement Measurement Model

Entitlements

To be engaged, employees must know exactly what is expected of them and their job obligations. They also need the tools and technologies to accomplish their jobs well — and quickly. You can’t expect your employees to like coming to work if your technology is over a decade outdated.

Contributions

Engaged employees can contribute daily to their managers especially when their supervisors frequently praise their work and supervisors care about their employees’ well-being both in and out of the office. Moreover, managers with engaged employees know that their employees want to advance in their professions. So they want to assist their employees to grow professionally.

Community

Some of the coworkers are even buddies outside of work. Engaged employees feel valued at work. That’s not all, engaged employees also believe their job is valued by their managers.

Growth

Engaged employees also have ample opportunities for professional growth. A chance to attend conferences and trade exhibits. On the other hand, it means getting promoted — or at least interviewing for a more responsible role.

Other Factors

A Culture of Diversity

It influences engagement in numerous ways:

  • An active and welcoming culture will engage employees more than a stressed and negative one.
  • Some actions, like rewarding and recognizing the employees’ efforts, can boost engagement and productivity.

So, to improve this culture, it’s essential to make this a practice and keep your employees stay up to their game.

Career Development

As previously said, career advancement is more vital for modern employees. Today’s employees know that the workplace is getting more competitive. Simultaneously, modern workers are becoming bored at work, leading to job searching.

Internal Communication

Internal communication helps to make your employees feel more engaged and valued. It even increases the employee’s contribution and also aids to reduce retention problems. That’s not all, it’ll also help you to improve work stability and productivity. 

Inspirational Leadership

Leadership and management have a big impact on the workplace climate. Employees who appreciate their leaders are more likely to listen and follow.

However, poor management can harm:

  • Employee morale
  • Retention and productivity
  • Culture at work

Fixing bad management requires time and work, but the rewards are worth it. Employees will indeed be more engaged, work will be less stressful, and the company will be more efficient. Moreover, optimizing leadership development programs is the best strategy to address poor management.

Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction

Compensation

The first and most important driver of job satisfaction is payment. Remember these two golden points.

  1. The salary must be competitive with competitive companies 
  2.  Employees should be able to live well on their pay

Benefits

You can indeed offer a full benefits package that includes mental and physical health, daycare, and financial security. Maybe you don’t need infinite paid time off or an in-house gym. Engagement and job happiness are distinct concepts. Employees also value good fundamentals over bonuses.

Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is essential to a successful corporate culture. The facility to work from home paid leaves, and also obligatory vacation days can even help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.

When these activities are taken under consideration, they’ll have more time for family and hobbies, therefore increasing the overall quality of their life. This is one of those variables that ensure employee pleasure while also contributing to staff engagement.

Recognition

Anyone who works hard for a company wants to be appreciated for their efforts. Formal recognition with annual reviews and appraisals is one option, while informal acknowledgment is another. Notably, this is a component that can promote both job engagement and satisfaction.

Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction on Maslow’s Pyramid

Consider the pyramid as a mountain. Now, you need to understand where your employee is on the mountain and what they need to reach the top.

Mount Maslow’s Levels

Safety Needs and Basic Survival

At this level, employees are motivated by survival. Employees need a job that pays the bills and is also stable. In this stage, employees generally see their job as “a job only,” not a career.

It’s also difficult to ask your employees to leave when their compensation and perks are substandard. As a manager, you want the staff to go up into the creative and productive tiers. Concentrate on the potential of their current job.

Psychological Needs

We are social beings. Therefore, we all want to be liked and to be connected. Employees desire to be part of a team and stay committed to the company’s objective. These employees are on their way to the top, but it is not their end destination. Therefore, managers should also create good teamwork and better group participation.

Summit – Satisfaction

Employees at the summit are ambitious and desire to rise beyond measure. They want to be innovative and be at their best versions. HODs should also encourage their teams to reach this professional level.

Mount Maslow Climb

Here are the steps to the top.

  • Know your team’s progress. See whether they are stuck in a rut or have slowed their pace down. This data will help you create a better-customized strategy.
  • Get rid of job discontent. Remove obstacles like income inequity, job security, and antiquated policies that hold your staff back. Give importance to your efforts based on the team’s Maslow location.
  • Create favorable working environments. Provide conditions and opportunities for employees to advance. Create opportunities for progression and responsibility that match strengths and interests. 

The Relationship Between Satisfaction and Engagement

When your employees stay both satisfied and engaged with their work, it can also help them to be more productive and even stay up to their game. Even when your employees stay engaged and satisfied it would keep them committed to the company and this would surely profit the company. Moreover, when your employees know that the company they are working for values them, it would only motivate them to work better.

Final Words

Job satisfaction and employee engagement both play a vital role in keeping your employees up to their game. Not only that, when your employees stay engaged in the workplace and are also satisfied with their current working position, they can be more productive and stay more committed since they feel valued for their dedication and performance.

Incentivize, Recognize, Reward

Recognize increases staff productivity, provides company engagement insights, and helps retain top employees. Providing HR with an out-of-box solution since 2012.

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