Engaged employees care about producing high quality work. They make it a point to be helpful to customers. They have a positive, welcoming attitude. You can tell they’re passionate about their job, and that it’s important to them to do well.
Employees who are not engaged lack enthusiasm. Their attitude and approach to their work says, “I don’t care.” This isn’t necessarily linked with salary. I’ve seen enthusiastic cashiers, and I’ve seen unenthused financial advisors, accountants, and many other highly paid yet emotionally void employees.
Gallup’s survey of employee engagement reports that 70% of American workers are either actively disengaged or not engaged in their work. This is one case where you don’t want your company to be part of the majority!
So how can you tell if an employee will be committed to his or her job when you are hiring?
We took a sample of people who took ARCH Profile’s Employee Attitude and Personality Test (EAPT) – more specifically, a group of people who are both satisfied with their job and who are top performers, two clear signs of employee engagement. The following are the traits that they possess to a strong degree:
- Dynamism: Engaged workers have, well, an engaging personality! They are energetic and enthusiastic, and this vivacity spreads to teammates, colleagues, and clients. Employees who are dynamic can draw and keep people’s attention, are great motivators, and can sell an idea with ease.
- Drive/Success Orientation: Engaged workers don’t settle for the status quo – they push themselves to achieve bigger and better things. They like to take on challenges and stretch the boundaries of their skills. They actively set goals and will persevere in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership Potential: Engaged workers may not necessarily seek out a leadership position, but they seem to have a natural ability to guide and direct others. People will often turn to them for their expertise and advice and when they speak, people listen.
- Creativity: Engaged workers think “outside the box” and don’t limit themselves to conventional ideas and solutions. They make it a point to approach tasks and projects from a unique and original perspective.
- Conscientiousness: Engaged workers are industrious and determined, and will put in the necessary effort (and then some) to make sure tasks and projects are done properly. They are motivated to do well and are dedicated to their clients. They will often go above and beyond the call of duty. Once they take on a task, they will work hard to complete it to the best of their ability.
- Independence: Engaged employees don’t need their hand held. They are self-governing and comfortable making their own decisions. They are also willing to take on the responsibility that comes along with autonomy.
- Initiative: Engaged employees don’t wait for opportunities to fall onto their lap – they take the initiative to find or create them. If they have a new idea for a project, a suggestion to improve productivity, or a clever marketing approach, they will immediately take the steps necessary to make it happen.
- Openness to Improvement: Engaged workers know that there is always room to learn, improve, and grow. They are eager students and continuously strive to expand their knowledge base and skill set. They are highly trainable and coachable.
- Openness to Change: Engaged workers thrive in dynamic work environments. They tend to dislike routine and predictability, and will purposely seek out change. They welcome new projects and tasks and deal well with ambiguity.
- Adaptability: Along the lines of openness to change, engaged employees are highly adaptable. They adjust to new situations quickly, and are able to find the mental and practical resources needed to adjust to whatever their job (and life) throws at them.
- Resilience: Engaged workers are equipped to handle pressure. They use healthy coping techniques, are able to bounce back from failure and hardship, and do not allow themselves to become discouraged easily.
- Compliance: Engaged workers are willing to comply with company rules and regulations. They follow orders and set a good example for others.
- Integrity: Engaged workers take great pride in their reputation. They consider honesty and integrity essential, and will strive to practice it consistently. They treat others fairly and honorably, and can be trusted to put in a hard day’s work.
The importance of employee engagement is clear, but it now begs the question: How do you nurture engagement and commitment in your staff? The answer is threefold:
- Determine what motivates your employees. As our study on motivation reveals, money is no longer a top motivator. Click here to learn more.
- Hire employees whose values fit those of the organizational culture. Click here to learn more.
- Make sure that the atmosphere in your organization doesn’t lead to disengagement … even the most engaged people will disengage when faced with regular yelling, chronically unfair treatment or unconstructive criticism.
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