Which Is More Important — Employee Engagement or Employee Satisfaction?

In the past few years there has been a move toward employee engagement surveys and away from employee satisfaction surveys. In our opinion, one of the reasons for this was the “Great Recession,” during which many organizations had difficulty justifying the expense of measuring employee satisfaction while they didn’t have enough business to keep their employees working at full capacity. However, why this change took place really is a moot point; what’s more important is what we should be measuring now.

Satisfied employees are less likely to leave a company, which will result in lower hiring and training costs. Engaged employees will put forth great effort at work. So, which is more important? It might seem like a cop out, but both are important.

If a competent employee is engaged, they are valuable to the company, so you also want them to be satisfied. A dissatisfied, engaged employee is more likely to jump ship. If a satisfied employee is not engaged, you will not get your money’s worth from them. Therefore, it can be important to measure both components, which is what we often recommend when a new client comes to us. It’s a simple matter, and it only requires two questions.