What Does Engaged Mean? Obliterating the Engagement Spectrum [part 2 of 3]

Congratulations! If you’ve read Part One, you understand the importance of employee engagement and are on the road to cultivating a winning culture. You know the answer to “what does engaged mean” and why it is important. But how do you create employee engagement in your company?

Knowing the full scope of engagement is a vital part of creating a strong culture. Let’s look at the three types of employees within most companies, all at different levels of engagement. To identify them, explore the characteristics that define them, how they impact your company, and how to engage them to create a strong culture.

#1 The Actively-Disengaged

As unfortunate as it is, you will have someone who is actively-disengaged from your company. Actively-disengaged employees hurt your company because not only are they disengaged, but they also seek ways to let their frustrations out – intentionally or subconsciously.  Actively-disengaged employees monopolize manager’s time, call in sick more frequently, have more work related accidents, and contribute to turnover.

The question isn’t if, but when actively-disengaged employees will hurt your company. Neither satisfied or happy at work, their unhappiness spills out throughout the work day.

The good news is actively disengaged employees are not beyond redemption. Help them to tap into their intrinsic motivators. Meet with them to discuss what their purpose is and help connect it to the mission of the company. Give them autonomy, allow them to feel ownership and responsibility over their contributions. While extrinsic motivators (like money and warnings) can help, the big difference-maker for engagement is when an employee becomes intrinsically, self motivated.

How many actively-disengaged employees do you do you have in your organization? Find out using our FREE Culture Assessment!

#2 The Not-Engaged

In the middle of our spectrum you find our not-engaged employees. This part of the spectrum I’d call “The Land of Great Opportunity.” The not-engaged show up to work and get the job done, fulfilling what is required of them. They are often checked out, prone to kill time, the last to arrive, and the first to leave.

While actively-disengaged employees are an obvious problem, not-engaged employees pose a different threat as they fly under the radar doing just enough to get by without causing any harm. They are sleep walking through the day and it is time to wake them up!

Help them to see the advantages of bringing their passion and heart to work. Connecting to this group is the difference between lunch as the focal point of the day or a quick break from achieving their meaningful purpose.

#3 Engaged

Engaged employees are our heavy hitters – the ones that bring their heart, passion, and all they have to work every single day. Going the extra mile is not a once-in-a-while occasion for this group, but an everyday expectation for engaged employees. They see the company as an extension of themselves.

They are your change agents. This group seeks growth, learning, and teaching culture to new employees. This group is the way you grown and maintain your culture, and by doing so increase company success.

Make sure to recognize engaged employees as they help others and drive innovation within the company. Affirming and appreciating engaged employees helps keep them moving in the right direction.

The goal is to move as many employees into this last bucket: engaged employees. When you think about “what does engaged mean?” envision employees who are going the extra mile because they are in sync with your company’s values.

So now that you know the three different types of employees, start looking around and seeing what you notice. Are you seeing engagement? Are you experiencing active-disengagement? Tell us your findings in the comments below!

What kind of employees do you have in your organization? Find out using our FREE Culture Calculator!