what comes first: employee engagement or great work?

By carina wytiaz

If you’re managing a team you might wonder what comes first: engaged and personally invested employees or productive, great work? Is an employee doing great work because they’re engaged, or will they become more engaged after doing great work?

Let’s start at the beginning. Most employees will start any position engaged and ready to work. As time goes on, either the employee will stay engaged, re-engage at a deeper level, or they will pull away to do minimal (or less than) work. What happens at the moment of re-engagement? What’s the difference between an employee who produces great work and one who doesn’t?

As a long time manager, I think the difference is how a manager recognizes their employee and motivates their everyday work.

Your proactive actions can engage employees, which will produce personal investments that yield great work. This engagement isn’t even dependent on the challenges the company faces. Every company has its challenges: resources, regulations, compliance, market, and even questionable leadership. What every manager can do, despite company challenges, is to recognize and reward great work when they see it.

When you recognize great work several things happen:

  1. Your other employees understand the standards they are being held to for their own production.
  2. The recognized employee is re-engaged to perform at an even higher level.
  3. You’re creating an environment that cheers on all employees, promising them the work they do is meaningful and worthy of notice. Your entire team is more likely to engage and produce great work when they know they are appreciated and valued.

The difference between engaged, productive employees and those who are not, isn’t usually that the first group are part of a company without problems; it’s that their managers have found a way to communicate to their employees they are valued and special, which in turn re-engages the employees in their work. If you want employees who produce great work, maybe it’s time to look at how they’re engaging and then find a way to recognize their efforts.

Happy, motivated, appreciated, and engaged employees will do great work, which means your employees will re-engage, who will then produce great work, who then engage…

Categories: Engagement, Great Work, O.C. Tanner Institute

Abdul Moneim Ali

J believe this puzzling question is often met in real life in nearly all work environments.
It remains the responsibility and accountability of the organization top management to ensure that always the employees engagement come first through providing the supporting work environment.

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 10:21 am GMT -6   |   Reply   |  
Tony Ejinkonye

The success or otherwise of an organization, to a large extent depends on the value or premium the top management places on the welfare and wellbeing of their staff. Employee motivation can never be rivaled in pursuit of corporate excellence and optimal productivity.

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 02:17 pm GMT -6   |   Reply   |  
Tony Ejinkonye

Motivation and encouragement of staff on a broad spectrum by top management can never be rivaled in the pursuit of corporate excellence and achieving high flying margins and opluent market share.

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 02:24 pm GMT -6   |   Reply   |  

Carina, great article, absolutely spot on. Key point, companies that are doing great can motivate their employees better, but those that are not in great shape should start by taking care of their people otherwise it just becomes a downward spiral for them.

Friday, November 15th, 2013 07:20 am GMT -6   |   Reply   |  
Chris R - London England

For me it is the real wish of the person to want to work for you, and for me be to be prepared to take the time to help that person to improve themselves within the company for promotion.

Loyalty works both way; or have managers and directors not grasped that yet?

Thank-you America for exporting the “hire and fire” attitude to employment.

Saturday, November 16th, 2013 09:18 am GMT -6   |   Reply   |  
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By carina wytiaz

Carina Wytiaz is a professional writer and Internet marketer, with experience drawn from her time at FranklinCovey, Borders, ah-ha.com, Marchex.com, OrangeSoda.com, and several traditional marketing and advertising agencies. She loves helping employees feel more included and valued through exuberant appreciation experiences, and helping companies realize the incredible potential of their human capital.

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