Are Happy Employees the Same as Engaged Employees?
Smart companies and smart leaders strive to engage their employees. They know that employee engagement training has a significant effect on productivity and, overall, engaged employees are more highly satisfied with their job and focus more on customers. But are engaged employees the same as happy employees? Does happiness with your job equate to high employee engagement? Experts overwhelmingly say yes.
The old-fashioned idea that “happy” employees take advantage of their situation and avoid doing any more than the minimum is false. Just take a look at Google which has consistently won the Best Place to Work Award.
Google does their best to keep employees happy. They offer a number of perks including free gourmet cafeterias, nap pods, massage rooms, haircuts and onsite doctors for checkups. And for new parents, fathers receive six weeks of paid leave, while mothers can take 18 weeks, and, while they are on leave, their stock continues to vest and they continue to receive bonuses. These perks contribute not only to their employees’ happiness level but also to Google’s success. Google employees are not “spoiled” employees who try to do as little as possible. Google’s happy employees pay their company back with their loyalty, advocacy and hard work.
It turns out that happiness is closely aligned with hard work. We have found that 9 out of 10 happy employees feel an “obligation to work as hard as [they] can for [their] organization.” The happiness that engaged employees feel is derived from believing in and committing to their organization’s purpose. In fact, it is near impossible to find a happy, disengaged employee…they just don’t exist. Statistically, satisfaction and engagement are almost identical.
When work conditions are decent, people like to work. They like to feel that they are making a contribution to their organization. Treated well, encouraged to grow and trusted to perform, they work hard on their own and don’t need to be watched over.