Engagement can be described as a positive, fulfilling, affective-emotional state of work-related well-being and is often seen as the opposite of burn-out. We see that high employee engagement goes hand in hand with low absenteeism rates and increased productivity. How does this work exactly?
How do you recognize an involved employee?
Employees who are engaged feel energetic at work, are enthusiastic about their work and are often absorbed in their work, so time flies by for them. For these people, work means energy and is challenging, in contrast to stressful and demanding.
How do you encourage involvement?
Engagement goes hand in hand with social support from colleagues and the supervisor, feedback on work performance, variety in skill use, autonomy and learning opportunities. These attributes are also seen as job resources and they satisfy human needs in matters such as competence, kinship and self-determination, or contribute to the achievement of work goals. In addition, the degree of engagement becomes most clearly visible when the employee is exposed to high demands. Because of the added resources, these high demands are probably more likely to be seen as a challenge, rather than an obstacle. Thus, an engaged employee will experience less negative consequences of a high workload than a less engaged employee. We also see that positive self-evaluation is important for engagement. This stimulates the intrinsic motivation to chase your goals.
Aren’t involved employees just workaholics?
No! It is important to mention the difference between engaged and workaholic. Both terms refer to a large investment of employees in their work, but the underlying motivation is different. Work addicts are irresistibly obsessively driven, while engaged employees are intrinsically motivated. Work addiction goes hand in hand with negative feelings and engagement with positive feelings. Engagement improves productivity, which is not the case with work addiction. To accentuate the difference even more: in the longitudinal study by Shimazu, Schaufeli, Kamiyama, & Kawakami (2015), engagement and work addiction were very weakly correlated with each other (shared variance of 7.8%). In this study, work-addiction also led to reduced health and reduced well-being.