What’s Ahead: Is Involvement the New Engagement?

Just because people indicate on a form that they enjoy their job and think their manager is great doesn’t mean they aren’t considering a move to another company. In light of this, perhaps a better metric is the notion of employee involvement.

Rather than determining how engaged an individual is, employee involvement measures how involved employees are in shaping decisions that impact their jobs as well as their inclusion in discussions about development opportunities and potential career paths.

According to a March 2012 survey by the American Psychological Association, employees who feel more involved reported higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation in their roles, leading to greater retention.

There are several methods organizations can use to move beyond engagement and drive the involvement that leads to greater satisfaction and retention.

Increasing interactions with employees by conducting feedback surveys throughout the year and providing recognition along with advice on how they can enhance performance can greatly improve the level of involvement. Another technique is to include employees in key decisions affecting their jobs, which also gives the company new ideas that might otherwise go unheard.

Discussing career aspirations also can increase involvement and create alignment between individual and organizational goals. When employees know what career paths are available to them, they will be more likely to stay with the company.

Further, providing ample opportunities for development enables employees to expand their skills and grow along with the organization. When employees are more involved, they gain the skills needed to advance and remain a part of an organization’s success.

Dwaine Maltais is executive vice president and general manager of U.S. operations for Technomedia, a talent management services firm. He can be reached at editor@talentmgt.com.

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