About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Power of Employee Engagement

Several articles have come to my attention lately touching on the subtle (and yet oh-so-critical) difference between employee participation and employee engagement within the context of corporate wellness programs. Many studies that illustrate the success of a program use the terms “engagement” and “participation” interchangeably, but that's like calling an apple an orange - both are fruit, but really, they're not at all alike.

Participation in a workplace wellness program is often overwhelmingly based on extrinsic factors. Companies set up incentive programs to entice sedentary employees to get moving. They launch weight loss competitions, and bring in behavior specialists, all in the hope of making employees more productive and less expensive to insure. In spite of all the data showing support for these methods, it does not guarantee an employee is engaged in the process.

Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, offers an insightful view on employee engagement.

"Somebody once told me that for any business there are three levels of leadership. One is getting somebody to do what you want them to do. The second is getting people to think what you want them to think; then you don’t have to tell them what to do because they will figure it out. But the best is getting people to believe what you want them to believe, and if people really fundamentally believe what you want them to believe, they will walk through walls. They will do anything."

At WCS, we believe that leadership support is key to any successful wellness program. This quote directly supports the idea that an engaged employee is someone who so completely embodies the company culture, he aligns his beliefs with those of the organization, and is intrinsically motivated to change his behavior. The goal of onsite employee wellness programs, therefore, is to help establish a healthy culture onsite, let the company leaders cultivate that message of wellness, and then use their power and leadership skills to fully engage the workforce.

Engagement is so much more than mere participation.


David Zinger said...

I think there is a forth level of authentic leadership engagement. Having your beliefs changed and using less getting and more letting.

Trade Cover said...

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Unknown said...

I read this article, employee satisfaction survey article very informative and interesting..I refer your blog to many of my friends as well. Thanks for sharing knowledge..