5 employee engagement essentials

You’ve got to offer plenty of autonomy, growth opportunities and meaningful connections in the workplace to create a culture that staffers will love.

We tend to be happier, healthier and more productive when we’re content and engaged at work.

Yet most of us struggle to understand exactly why we engage in some environments and fail to thrive in others. We analyzed more than 30 million employee survey responses (from 70 countries) to learn more about this vexing issue. Here’s what we learned.

What is employee engagement?

Google Trends data reveal that engagement is an increasingly hot topic:

Awareness and interest do not equal execution (nor understanding), however. Here’s how we define employee engagement:

Employee engagement is an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic and committed to our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves—our hearts, spirits, minds and hands—in the work we do.

What creates employee engagement?

If you want more substantive insights about what creates employee engagement, gauge and prioritize these five crucial elements of the workplace experience:

  • Meaning. Your work has purpose beyond the job itself.
  • Autonomy. You have the power to shape your work and environment in ways that allow you to perform at your best.
  • Growth. You are stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional progress.
  • Impact. You see positive, effective and worthwhile outcomes and results from your work.
  • Connection. You experience a sense of belonging to something beyond yourself.

These five keys form the acronym MAGIC, which is a convenient way to keep employee engagement at the forefront of your communication efforts. If that’s not part of your business strategy, it should be. Doing so will help your workers more completely engage their hearts, spirits, minds and hands in their work, which is the key to unlocking higher productivity, better morale and a thriving culture that employees love.

That’s the power of employee engagement.

Tracy Maylett is CEO of DecisionWise. A version of this post first appeared on the DecisionWise blog.

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