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What Does Employee Engagement Have to do With Wellness?

What Does Employee Engagement Have to Do with Wellness?

My answer to this question is; it has everything to do with wellness. Before I explain why, it is important that we understand what we mean when we discuss employee engagement.

Many definitions exist for “employee engagement” but this one resonates best with me:

“Employee engagement is a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager or coworkers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.” (Source: Paul L. Marciano, PhD. ”Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Engagement with Principles of RESPECT Ô)

Like Dr. Paul Marciano, many leading experts have expressed and authored views on this topic. Employee engagement is not just a buzz word these days but it a serious global topic. High levels of employee disengagement have been a concern for almost a decade. Leading HR consulting firms continue to research what matters most to employees to sustain high levels of engagement. The most recent studies are attached to this blog.

It is important to note that employers need to think about how they keep employees engaged to perform at their best after they have attracted them to their organizations. Attraction and retention can be two separate strategies. In summary, employees are most engaged when they feel valued, know what is expected of them, connect with their co-workers and managers and feel supported in the work and their lives. Obviously, effective leadership is the most important factor for sustaining high levels of employee engagement.

Returning back to my original question; what does employee engagement have to do with wellness?  The answer lies within the fact that employee wellness needs to be aligned with creating work environments that support all aspects of employee wellbeing. Presenting a traditional wellness plan that adds more to an employee’s plate can actually erode employee engagement. Wellness needs to shift to a total wellbeing strategy that helps employees feel a greater sense of physical, emotional and social connection to their work.  A wellbeing strategy is critical to an overall employee engagement strategy.

At H&B, we help our clients align their organizational and individual wellbeing strategies to create well cultures where employees are passionate, energized and engaged in their work and their lives. These employees are more likely to be happy and healthy, giving more to their work and improving all aspects of their wellbeing.

To learn about how to create a well culture in your work place, please contact Lori Smith at 802.488.8721 or lsmith@hbhriq.com for a consultation.

Global Human Capital Trends 2014

2014 Global Workforce Study