What Is Employee Engagement?

Engaged employees devote their total energy toward work

Are you looking for a definition of employee engagement? There are several definitions out there. And most definitions are consistent with the following definition:

  • Employee engagement is dedicating one’s energy to one’s work: cognitive energy, affective energy, and physical energy. When employees are engaged, they are being their total, preferred selves in their work roles.

definition of employee engagement

Yes, engaged workers go to work. And, at work, they can be themselves. No role playing. An engaged employee is just doing what they love to do. They are totally directed at performing the tasks of their job.

Employee engagement is quite different from employee satisfaction. Job satisfaction is liking or disliking your job or aspects of the job. Satisfaction is a much lower threshold than engagement. Employees can be satisfied with a job because it pays the bills and is close to home, but that does not guarantee that they are mentally, emotionally, and physically invested in the organization’s success.

When engaged, work does not feel like work. Instead, work is a means of self expression.

Definition of employee engagement: Engaged employees devote their cognitive, emotional, and physical energy toward their work

Imagine putting one’s whole self into one’s job.

  • First of all, engaged workers are cognitively focused. These employees are attentive and absorbed in their work.

cognitive energy- definition of employee engagement

  • Next, engaged workers are affectively connected. These workers direct their  emotions and feelings toward their work.

emotion-affective energy-definition of employee engagement

  • Finally, engaged workers are physically active. These employees demonstrate extra effort and vigor through their behaviors and actions.

definition of employee engagement

Employees are totally engaged when they simultaneously invest their cognitive, affective/emotional, and physical energies in their work.

Engagement is a universal Priority

Engagement is a universal Priority for organizations today. Companies want engaged workers because it’s good for the company. Additionally,  it’s good for those who work there.  A workplace that values employee engagement is a humane workplace that nurtures the best in each individual.

Finally, for a definition of employee engagement offered by academics, go to this post.