Employee Engagement or Happiness?


Employee engagement is the single most important aim of the work we do at Reach Remarkable – after all, other than sleeping, working is the thing most of us do, the most, for most of our lives… and so enjoying it is key.

But hang-on, I just implied that employee engagement is analogous to enjoyment.  Is it?  The term ‘employee engagement’ is a somewhat organisation centred one.  Organisations also have ‘human resource’ departments, and often consider ‘human capital’ as a business investment.  A business may want its leaders and human resource department to maximise the return on the human capital investment, and one way to do that is by creating employee engagement.

Whereas, I’ve not worked in a team that considered itself in such a way – even though we understand the perspective.  Of course, we’re people, with needs, desires and goals as well as business commitments and scorecards to track.  Engaged employees get something from their work beyond an income, something that relates to them personally.

If you ask us as employees what we want from work, external rewards like being paid are of course required, but assuming that, responses quickly move to intrinsic or internal rewards.  We hear responses related to achievement, meaning, feeling useful and valued, enjoyment and even happiness.  And this last one is often used like a summary… “I want to achieve something, something useful, make a difference.  At the end of the day I want be to happy, and work is an important part of that.”

So, if I need a quick summary it’s that – organisations want to benefit from employee engagement, and people want to benefit from being happy.

Be engaged, err, happy, ahh, remarkable,