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3 Key Points to Sustainable Employee Engagement

Recognize This! – To sustain high employee engagement over time requires intervention to ensure employees have what they need to do good work in an environment that is conducive to doing so.

Yesterday I wrote about the findings of multiple recent global employee engagement research reports, including Towers Watson’s latest Global Workforce Study. Today, I want to look more closely at Towers Watson’s new idea of “Sustainable Employee Engagement.”

I’ve written about this idea before, but in summary, here is a graphic from the Towers Watson report explaining Sustainable Engagement:

There are three key points here to understanding sustainable engagement:

1)      Engagement is not satisfaction or happiness at work. Employees can be quite satisfied with their work and happy to come in every day because the love the Starbucks in the café or spending time with their friends at work. That doesn’t mean they’re truly engaged – willing to give additional discretionary effort (above and beyond job specs) because they want to.

2)      Sustained engagement requires you change the game. You cannot continue to do the same things ad nauseum and expect continued strong results. What engages people today will change as the people themselves and their work also change. That’s the key part of the “enablement” portion of the sustained engagement equation. Are you continuing to give your employees what they need so they want to deliver the discretionary effort you need?

3)      Energy matters – and so does attitude. Well-being, a key component of Towers Watson’s definition of “energy,” is another topic I’ve written on before that is too easily discounted. Do you want to come to work and do your best in a miserable environment of grumpy, mean or even abusive people? I know that’s not conducive to me doing my best work. Creating a positive work environment is fundamental to sustained engagement.

What does your organization do to create an energized environment and enable you to do the work?

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14 Responses

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  7. [...] by several analyst groups, including Hay Group and Towers Watson. The latter published this summer an interesting report showing that Sustainable Engagement delivers 2 times the operating margin that regular engagement [...]

  8. [...] by several analyst groups, including Hay Group and Towers Watson. The latter published this summer an interesting report showing that Sustainable Engagement delivers two (2) times the operating margin that regular [...]

  9. [...] think Towers Watson’s new “Sustainable Engagement” approach, especially the “energy” component, gets at what engagement looks like in the individual [...]

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