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a simple employee engagement definition

A useful employee engagement definition in plain English

An employee engagement definition can get complicated. As complicated as someone wants it to be, really.

It’s the kind of concept that becomes nebulous and hard to pin down once someone dresses it up too much. Or tries to twist it to fit their own agenda.

We’ve got a simple, workable employee engagement definition. And a bit of detail on why a simple definition matters.

A simple employee engagement definition:

“Emotional and professional commitment from an employee to their employer’s goals.”

What’s in a name?

It’s easy to see how that definition could start to be slathered around so thin it loses meaning. It’s more than morale, but it’s connected to morale.

It’s more than motivation, or loyalty, but connected to both. It’s more than rewards and recognition, but they’re both part of it.

That confusion makes employee engagement an easy concept to run away with.

Just like the word “engagement” itself. A word so overused that it’s close to losing all real meaning.

You can rightfully call everything from a website click to a purchase engagement.

That’s why it matters that you get a clear definition sorted out. The importance of employee engagement is spreading through the wider HR consciousness.

If you want to take it seriously, you need a clear idea of what engagement actually means to your company.

Why we talk about employee engagement

We reflect our clear definition of engagement in our work. What we do helps businesses generate that sense of emotional investment.

We do that with recognition, rewards, benefits and incentives.

How those tools affect employee engagement:

  • RecognitionRecognition improves the relationships between staff, managers, and work. When employee hear their worth in the workplace, they believe it. And people invest themselves in places they feel they’re appreciated.
  • RewardsRewards amplify the feeling of satisfaction employees get from their achievements. Non-cash rewards become trophies that inspire and motivate employees in the future.
  • Benefits – Making your workplace an asset to your employees. That includes mental health outcomes like financial support, helplines and childcare vouchers. And it includes physical health benefits like cycle to work schemes and cash off medical care.
  • Incentives – Incentives drive employees to invest in their work. And big-ticket incentive rewards like group travel and VIP experiences create life-long memories for your biggest achievers.

Combined, you can see how these ideas hark back to the definition of employee engagement.

Be similarly strict about engagement when you’re discussion in your workplace. It’s a simple benchmark to measure your success against after your first few employee engagement surveys.

How to write a simple employee recognition letter to thank and congratulate your employees

An employee recognition letter is a powerful tool for expressing your gratitude for staff. Taking the time and effort to put one together goes a lot further than just a hasty “thank you”.

That’s not to say you should be gripped with performance anxiety. You’re not presenting an episode of This Is Your Life, you’re just telling an employee what they mean to you.

Follow our simple guide, and you’ll knock it out of the park.

Write your simple employee recognition letter:

Be personal and earnest

The most important element of an employee recognition letter is that you put the effort and time into expressing yourself.

Be honest about what impressed you so much about someone’s efforts and achievements. Share your honest feelings. It’s the only way to have a genuine emotional impact.

Get to the point

Excessively flowery language is less effective than simple, honest statements. Say what you mean, say it simply, and rely on your honesty and confidence to make the impact.

Cite specific examples of achievement

Be sure to mention exactly which projects, jobs, or achievements you’re so impressed with. Don’t be vague, or washy, about why you’re recognising someone.

It diminishes the impact of celebrating them, and feels disingenuous.

Explain why those examples mattered to the company

Talk about how your employee’s achievements or behaviour affects the company overall.

Knowing that their work has a benefit to the business as a whole gives employees greater satisfaction and pride in their work.

Focus on tangible downstream impacts

Don’t just harp on about numbers. Only a few sales people can really get fired up about making graphs bigger. If you’re going to mention the outcome of work, relate to something more human and evocative than just numbers.

Mention your values and purpose

Relate positive behaviour back to what your company stands for, and why you come in every day.

Generating lasting employee engagement means letting employee see how their achievements at work relate back to your company’s ethical core and brand purpose.

Explain why they matter to their peers

Approval and acceptance from peers is a powerful motivator. It’s a part of being human no one can escape.

Even if you don’t have an actual peer-to-peer recognition program, your employee recognition letter should mention how vital your employee’s contribution to other people was.

The most important thing is sticking to point one; be honest and personal. A thoughtful, earnest employee recognition letter becomes a trophy.

Something your employees can treasure and reflect on. Something that increases their self-worth, improves their sense of belonging in the office, and helps them engage with your brand.

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