Benefits and Compensation

Stop Measuring Satisfaction—Start Focusing on Engagement

Benowitz, who is the vice president of Growth and Development at The Employee Engagement Group, offered his expert tips on engagement surveys in a recent webcast offered by BLR.

Engagement is about mutual commitment, says Benowitz. Companies help employees reach their potential and employees help their companies perform better. This combination results in engagement—“the capture of discretionary effort.”

That’s in contrast with employees who do just enough to escape attention for negative performance.

These days, engagement is the cornerstone for many organizations. However, many don’t understand it very well. Benowitz offers a table to help:

Engagement is about:

Engagement is not about:

  • People
  • Things
  • Relationships
  • Having the best of every amenity
  • Alignment
  • Avoiding making tough decisions
  • Shared responsibility for creating the future together
  • Pleasing all the people all the time
  • Business success
  • A “catch-phrase” for all HR programs
  • Work environment


  • Continuous communication


  • Opportunities for performers


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A Few Helpful Stats

According to a 2012 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study by Temkin Group, Benowitz says, highly engaged employees are:

  • 480% more committed to helping their company succeed.
  • 250% more likely to recommend their company as an employer.
  • 370% more likely to recommend improvements. 

Gallup’s study last year of 192 organizations showed engagement levels as follows:

  • Engaged—30%
  • Not engaged—52%
  • Actively disengaged—18%

Think of it like a boat, Benowitz says. Thirty percent of the crew is actively running the boat, 52 percent of the crew is there but looking at the scenery, and 18 percent of the crew is actively trying to sink the vessel.

How about your organization? Benowitz asks. Where do you estimate your organization falls in these engagement categories?

Engagement  Is the Top Challenge

According to a recent Aberdeen Group survey, Benowitz says, senior executives listed Employee Engagement as their number one concern. Many of his clients say the same—engagement is an imperative in 2014.

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What Leads to Disengagement?

Benowitz offers the following quotes as examples of what disengaged employees are thinking and saying:

  • I fear I might be next.
  • Why are we having layoffs? We’re still making money.
  • They said I would be promoted in 2 years.
  • When the economy improves, I’ll leave.
  • I don’t like it here but no one is hiring now.
  • I wanted to retire but now I have to work.
  • They no longer offer flex time.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, do’s and don’ts of engagement surveys, plus an introduction to the all-things-compensation-in-one-place website,

1 thought on “Stop Measuring Satisfaction—Start Focusing on Engagement”

  1. In light of my experience with Employee Satisfaction Surveys and the follow-up employee discussion meetings, I agree with this article It is very accurate as far as our employee environment is concerned. We should be measuring the two way street and I am sure our engaged employees would have something to say about that.

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