Satisfaction is an attitude.Engagement is a behavior.
Updated: Oct 31
Many survey platforms that call themselves engagement surveys are actually satisfaction surveys.
You can tell if it's a satisfaction survey if they ask questions such as "How satisfied are you with your job overall?", "How happy are you at work?", “Do you feel like the perks at our company meet employee needs?”
Those are satisfaction questions. They have a place, but they are not the same as an engagement survey. When measuring engagement, you are measuring core drivers that help people feel connected inside an organization. The difference between satisfaction and engagement is substantial, and you have to understand this difference if you want to know how to create lasting change inside your organization.
Satisfaction is an attitude.
Engagement is a behavior.
Satisfaction connects to how someone feels in the moment. If an employee is satisfied, they are happy or content with the circumstances around them, but that feeling can change in a moment.
Conversely, engagement happens when people feel connected to an organization no matter what's happening on a particular day or a particular moment inside the company.
Let's use the example of an organization where you pay every employee a great salary and you don't expect a lot of work out of them. You're going to have a really satisfied company. People will be thrilled to work for you! But how successful will your business be? And how loyal will your employees feel if all that drives their satisfied attitude is pay?
If one of those satisfied, but not engaged, employees has an offer on the table from another organization for a little bit more money, they are likely to take that offer. You’ll have a turnover problem on your hands in no time. In fact, recent studies show it takes more than a 20% pay raise to lure most employees away from a manager who engages them, and next to nothing to poach most disengaged workers.
Engagement will give an organization the solid base it needs to not just survive, but thrive because it is:
And most importantly, measureable.
Engagement is predictable.
Engagement doesn’t create perfect cultures, but it does foster resilient cultures. You can count on employees to show up in good times and bad ones. You can count on engaged employees to push through stress, conflict, or downturns with resolve. You can count on engaged employees to support one another and elevate the team, not just themselves.
Engagement is consistent.
Engaged employees want to stay with an organization and give more than they take. They are invested in their work, their fellow employees, and the organization’s mission and culture. Employees are also retained more consistently, which leads to less turnover and greater profitability.
Most importantly, engagement is measurable.
As a leader, you want to dig into what helps employees feel engaged - not merely satisfied - in the workplace. There are specific, measurable conditions that create highly engaged workplace cultures. In CultureID, we ask specific questions that tie to what drives engagement from a neurological standpoint. The results will help you understand how to ensure people feel safe and connected inside your organization, and in turn what helps them feel engaged.
If you want satisfied employees for the long haul, you need to have engaged employees today.
Creating engagement across your organization isn't a simple task. That's why we want to surround you with resources so that you don't have to do this alone.
I've got two resources on our website: Rethinking Your Leadership and Rethinking Your Workplace.
These resources have a wealth of information so that your employees can start thriving every day when they show up to work.
So access these resources at CultureID.com/access and reach out if there's any way we can help you.
We'd be glad to support you!