Employee morale, employee satisfaction, and employee engagement can sometimes be confused for one another. But, in fact, they are not the same things. It is employee engagement that most employers argue is the most important aspect of a company’s productivity and operations.
Just to clarify, according to Merriam-Webster, satisfaction is the fulfillment of a need, being content. Morale on the other hand is the level of personal inner well-being in regard to factors such as purpose and confidence in the future. And, engagement is the act of being involved and committed in an activity.
Employee engagement is that which drives a worker to be the best he can be, and usually fosters employee satisfaction. According to Bob Kelleher, author of Louder Than Words: 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps That Drive Results, “Employee satisfaction might be a byproduct of engagement, but engagement is more about employees working toward an organization's goals and the company's overall well being, which is critical to an organization's performance.”
To enhance an employee’s level of engagement, employers need to initiate comprehensive employee incentives and rewards programs. Kelleher advises that simply having the programs in place is not enough; business owners need to clarify the connection between performance and rewards.
In regard to employee satisfaction, the workplace environment needs to be addressed. Implementing programs that provide a fun workplace will help contribute to satisfaction. In addition, employees need to feel valued – encouraging participation in business ideas and decisions will allow employees to feel they are part of the company team, not just a working cog.
Recognition and appreciation for an employee’s efforts and accomplishments is an effective means of keeping workers content. And. a good way to monitor and measure the success of an employer’s incentive strategies is to encourage employee feedback.