The Difference Between Employee Engagement and Employee Satisfaction

Employee engagement is an important factor in ensuring you are getting the most out of your workforce. Clearly, a highly engaged workforce is one that outperforms a less engaged work by nearly every measure.

But what about employee satisfaction? How does employee satisfaction relate to employee engagement.?

Employee satisfaction is a key foundation for greater engagement and higher performance. But a satisfied employee doesn’t necessarily mean a highly engaged and highly performing employee.

employee engagement vs satisfactionEmployee satisfaction is rooted in an employee’s happiness with job and work conditions, but does not measure how much effort they are willing to, or routinely do, expend on their work. For example, an employee who works for a company that is close to his home, provides flexible work hours so they can blend family commitments with work commitments, could be very satisfied with their job.

But at the end of the day, they may view it as just a job. Their level of commitment to performing well or engaging fully in reaching the goals and expectations could be all over the map. This is a highly satisfied employee with low engagement.

On the other hand, an employee may be extremely committed to their work, the mission of the company and the rewards they receive both monetarily and intrinsically for the work they do. But their boss is difficult to get along with and their success requires long hours that make leisure time difficult to enjoy. This is an engaged employee, who never feels quite satisfied with their job.

While these two concepts are closely related, they are not the same thing. The best way to look at it is that employee satisfaction is the garden in which engagement can grow and flourish. Satisfaction is rooted in the environment and the conditions, while engagement goes beyond these factors and addresses the conditions that support an increased level of effort and focus that the employee may be willing to put into the work.

So which is more important? Both are extremely important, but engagement is clearly the driving force behind increased performance. However, understanding and increasing the satisfaction of your workforce sets the baseline for the level of engagement that is theoretically possible to achieve within your organization. In other words, you will have lower engagement if your job satisfaction is low.

Having a means to consistently measure both satisfaction and engagement for your workforce gives you the ability to monitor and improve both by implementing programs aimed at each. Survale’s unique employer satisfaction platform allows you to automatically gather both engagement and satisfaction feedback from employees and easily compare the relationship between the two. You can also set up composite indexes that include both.

For more information about the Survale Employer Satisfaction Platform, click here.

Author: Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander is co-founder and CMO of Survale. He is a pioneer in SaaS HR software with decades of experience bringing leading technologies to the performance management and recruiting industry. He is a passionate advocate for revolutionizing candidate and employee satisfaction in the Enterprise.