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What Is The Difference Between Employee Engagement And Involvement

What Is The Difference Between Employee Engagement And Involvement

From participation to satisfaction and retention, there are plenty of words one can use to define workforce health. This article will define two commonly-confused terms, employee engagement and employee involvement, and highlight the individual nuances of each.

Employee Engagement Defined

The term engagement describes a connection between an individual and their environment - be it a product, service or in the case of the workplace, their job. It is commonly accepted that engaged employees are more productive, have higher levels of satisfaction and retention rates than those who do not feel connected.

Employee engagement is more than simply job satisfaction, however; it includes an employee's emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. Engaged employees go above and beyond in their performance for their employer as they are inspired by a shared purpose or mission that resonates with them personally. This level of engagement not only leads to higher productivity but can have a significant impact on customer service, innovation and overall company success.

What Does Engagement Look Like In the Workplace?

Engagement in the workplace can look like many things, including:

  • A desire to be part of a team and contribute ideas which are seen as valuable by colleagues or superiors
  • Competence at one's job, and an understanding of how this contributes to the overall performance of the company
  • Willingness to take on responsibility and accept challenges
  • Having a strong belief in one's own potential as well as that of those around them
  • Feeling connected with colleagues, supervisors or managers in order for creative problem solving and collective achievement to occur

Employee Involvement Defined

Involvement refers to the extent to which someone is actively engaged with a particular activity, task or event. It can also be described as a person’s level of involvement in any given situation. Involvement can vary from passive participation to active engagement and even leadership roles.

Involvement is a key factor in determining success. People who are actively involved tend to be more productive, motivated and engaged; they tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction and loyalty. Having an active role in the decision-making process can also lead to better results as people feel empowered and valued for their contribution.

What Does Involvement In the Workplace Look Like?

Involvement in the workplace looks different for every company and team.

It can range from simply taking a more active role in meetings and contributing to discussions, to leading projects or initiatives. It also depends on the individual’s level of expertise and experience with different tasks.

Some examples of employee involvement include:

  • Serving on committees or task forces
  • Participating in team-building exercises such as brainstorming sessions, problem solving activities, etc.
  • Developing new processes for increase productivity or efficiency
  • Creating innovative ideas and solutions
  • Proposing new projects or initiatives to the team
  • Participating in training programs or workshops to gain additional skills
  • Giving feedback on existing processes and policies

Employee Engagement vs. Involvement

The best way to differentiate employee engagement from involvement is to consider one a prerequisite for the other. To put it simply, most involved employees are engaged employees, but not all engaged employees are involved.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has towards their job and organization, while involvement is the extent to which they contribute to achieving organizational goals.

Engaged employees have a positive attitude towards their work and are motivated to do their best, whereas involved employees actively participate in different activities related to achieving organizational objectives. In other words, engagement focuses on how employees feel about what they do, while involvement focuses on what they actually do for the organization.

The concept of involvement can be used to measure engagement in a variety of contexts. For example, an employer might measure the extent to which employees are involved in decision-making processes, how they contribute to team projects and discussions, or even their level of participation in activities outside of work that still impact business goals.

The Role HR Professionals Play In Promoting Engagement and Involvement

HR professionals are the catalyst responsible for turning a team's workplace behaviors from passive to active ones. Their unique role within an organization positions them to implement strategies that foster an environment of engagement and involvement. This usually starts with a survey of some sort.

Employee satisfaction polls serve as a window into how staff genuinely feel about the kinds of projects they work on, the conditions in which they complete them, and so forth. These surveys may also help employers better understand employee motives and preferences related to their jobs.

Challenges In Realizing Employee Involvement

Of course, making employee involvement a reality is easier said than done. Every workplace is different, and no two companies have the exact same needs when it comes to creating a culture of involvement.

The best way to approach this is to be mindful of each team member’s individual needs and preferences in order to create a culture that encourages participation. HR professionals can also work with management to identify key opportunities for employees to provide feedback or take part in decision-making - it's all about changing the structure of the organization from top to bottom.

For example, some companies have adopted a flat organizational structure where employees are more integral to decision-making. This allows decisions and ideas from all levels within the business to be heard and considered, ultimately allowing for better solutions.

Another way to foster employee involvement is to make sure your employees have the resources they need in order to be successful. Providing training and development opportunities can help give employees a sense of growth, which can further fuel engagement.

The potential options are limitless, but they all start with action.

Employee involvement is the ultimate goal for most, if not all HR professionals. Engagement is the magic ingredient they need to reach it.

If you're ready to do so, Qualee is ready to help. Our digital, easy-to-use platform enables HR professionals to stay current with their teams' needs at all times. Get instant feedback, communicate efficiently, track team performance and boost morale with a few simple clicks.

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