Radically Rethink Employee Engagement: Create Employee Fulfillment

Crack High-Turnover and the Employee Engagement Problem

Year after year, tension around employee engagement within organizations heightens as employee engagement trends down and the number of “actively disengaged” employees ticks up. 

As employers, you may be experiencing this in both direct and indirect ways. Maybe your people are leaving and directly expressing disengagement. Or there may be a negative belief or beliefs at play, keeping your people from connecting with the results you want them to care about and own with accountability. The threat of layoffs, too, may be creating a psychological divide that affects engagement.

The engagement code is one that every leader, every manager, needs to crack — fast. 

The good news: the employee engagement conundrum can be cracked. But first, organizations must kill “employee engagement.”

Wait. Did you just say kill “employee engagement”?

Yes. Here’s what we mean.

“Employee engagement” has been measured, traditionally, through surveys. And conventional employee engagement surveys tend to capture and measure an employee’s attitude in one moment. But in the pandemic years, the world has changed. Work has changed. There has been a Great Resignation, a Great Reshuffling, and major reckonings with meaning. 

In a way, life itself has reengaged us, and we are now seeking how work can also more deeply connect with our lives. We don’t want to be just engaged in work. We want to be fulfilled in our work.

Create a Culture of Employee Fulfillment

Pivoting from merely tracking employee engagement to creating a culture of employee fulfillment is achievable and necessary in today’s workplace, and for building an intentional culture to sustain your organization into the future. Here are some ways to start.

  • Check your purpose.

Your organization needs a strong purpose, and your people need it in order to connect, meaningfully, to the reason why your organization exists. Purpose is at the root of fulfillment.

  • Discover new ways to quantify fulfillment (not just engagement).

Formalize reviews and check-ins with your people that aren’t one-sided but instead function as feedback exchanges. Rather than focusing solely on measuring your employee’s attitude in the moment, integrate personal development and purpose into reflective exchanges.

  • Hire for “purpose fit.”

‘Purpose fit’ is “understanding what the individual’s purpose is, and if they don’t know what that is, helping them understand what it is. In other words, what motivates them and what meaning do they want to have in their vocation. Then ensure there’s alignment with the organization’s purposes. Because if there is, that employee is going to work 10 times harder and be 10 times more passionate.”

Jessica Kriegel, Chief Scientist of Workplace Culture

Dig deeper into driving employee fulfillment with our eBook, Employee Fulfillment: The Future of Workplace Culture.

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