The average American spends more time working than on any other one activity.* If you’re going to spend so much time at your job, shouldn’t you enjoy what you do? Ideally, the answer is “yes.” But you can get a lot more out of work than personal satisfaction. By increasing employee engagement—both yours and your staff’s—you can achieve business success, and prove to leadership how valuable you are to your organization.
Employee engagement refers to the level of commitment employees feel toward their employer. While employee satisfaction can certainly lead to increased commitment, employee engagement is about more than each individual’s happiness. Truly engaged employees care deeply about the success of their organization, and they willingly work hard to ensure that they’re doing everything they can to meet the organization’s goals. Engaged employees aren’t just doing a job—they’re motivated members of a team that they believe in.
As an employee, being engaged with your job means knowing your work is important and valuable. A good job is a meaningful job. And the benefits of employee engagement are not one-sided. If you’re in a leadership position, you can gain far more from an engaged staff. Research published in the Harvard Business Review concludes that “a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention.”† By committing yourself to employee engagement, you can increase the likelihood that your organization will meet and even exceed its goals.
Successful employee engagement requires managers with unique skills. If you want to enter the field of employee engagement or want to increase engagement at your organization, consider earning a management degree. Several programs can give you the flexibility you need to keep working—for example, an online degree such as an MS in Human Resource Management, or a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management.
By earning a graduate degree or certificate online, you’ll gain numerous management skills—including the skills identified by Forbes as the three most important for employee engagement: communicating effectively, providing consistent leadership, and combating the daily interferences (like employee gossip) that reduce engagement.‡
If you’re currently in a job that is not engaging you, you may want to consider returning to school to learn new skills. Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Not only can you earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life, you can use your new degree to help you find a job where you can be truly engaged in your work.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Charts From the American Time Use Survey, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/tus/charts.
†Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, 2013, on the Internet at https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/achievers/hbr_achievers_report_sep13.pdf.
‡J. Boss, 3 Principles Leaders Must Follow to Build Employee Engagement, Forbes, Oct. 27, 2014, on the Internet at www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2014/10/27/3-principles-leaders-must-follow-to-build-employee-engagement.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.