Employee engagement: three essential characteristics

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Today’s post  is provided by guest contributor, Kevin Ames, the Director of Speaking and Training for O.C. Tanner’s Learning Group

Every company wants to be productive and competitive in the workplace. Achieving employee engagement will help you get there. While engagement is the goal of every company, one question is continually asked: How do I know if my employees are truly engaged?

O.C. Tanner partnered with Towers Watson to conduct one of the largest global engagement studies of its kind. The extensive research of 300,000 employees focused on determining worldwide drivers of engagement and the role employee appreciation plays in contributing to it. The study revealed three essential characteristics of engagement.


Employee retention is good. Employee loyalty is great. Retained employees may be satisfied but loyal employees are proactive. They take personal responsibility for themselves and the organization.  They innovate, create, conserve, and go above and beyond for the company on a regular basis.


Productive employees are both efficient and effective. They provide the company with high-quality work for a full eight hours. They aren’t distracted for the first or last hour of the work day. They also learn to do their job effectively in less time, thus expanding their capacity and the capacity of the organization.


Engaged employees become advocates for the company both internally and externally. Internally, they’ll support and inspire their co-workers—talking someone “off the ledge” if they’ve had a particularly stressful day. Externally, they’ll do two things: bring new quality employees to the organization and promote the company’s products and services as consumers through social media.

When you have an employee who is loyal, productive, and an advocate for the company, you have an engaged employee who is living the brand values of the organization and delivering your unique brand experience to customers. They become aligned with the organization and both the individual and the company achieve success.

Kevin Ames is the Director of Speaking and Training for O.C. Tanner’s Learning Group. He helps clients discover how the best recognition practices can drive employee engagement, coaching some of the world’s biggest organizations, including: American Express and Coca-Cola. Kevin defines great work as “consistent action around correct principles over time.”

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