Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement


Authored by By Enahoro Okhae

Employee Engagement can be referred to as a state of being emotionally connected to the organization; Being fully involved in and enthusiastic about your work and care about the success of the organization. Amongst Employees, we have those who are Fully Engaged, Partially Engaged and Disengaged.

Fully Engaged employees are actively involved in and enthusiastic about their work. They are willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction and make the organization a success, spreading enthusiasm within their team and beyond.

Partially Engaged Employees do the minimum to get by, concentrates on the job at hand and add little extra value. They simply follow their job description, they can’t understand why they have to go out of their way to get other things done.

Disengaged employees demonstrate negativity at work and undermine the accomplishments of others, potentially creating a toxic atmosphere in the workplace.

By now, you should be able to tell which category you fall into, I’m sure the categories above would not suffice for some people, never mind, you can find yourself in between …lol.

Now it is largely understood within the Human Resource industry that the Organization is responsible for creating an environment that would make the employee Fully Engaged, means the Organizations should create Structures, Policies and Procedures, Communication Style, Psychological Safety, Values, Systems, Processes etc. that would encourage active involvement of Employees. It is also expected that Leaders should communicate respectfully, act humanely to aid the full engagement of the employees.

As a human resource consultant, a life coach, an Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, a leadership, management and soft skill trainer, I have met countless employees that are either partially engaged or disengaged, of course I have also met a lot of people that are fully engaged, while several reasons might exist within an organization that influences the level of engagement of a staff, I have found that the difference between partially engaged/disengaged and the fully engaged staff is mostly not as a result of what is happening or not happening in the organization, neither is it a function what is available or not available in an organization. I have found that the major difference is that the fully engaged person sustains the decision and ability to create and use “Intrinsic Motivation” which propels their love for the job, input on the job, enthusiasm, going the extra mile and even spreading optimism

While the organization truly sustains the responsibility to create enabling environment, Structures, Policies and Procedures, Communication Style, Psychological Safety, Values, Systems, Processes etc. that would encourage active involvement of Employees, the challenge with this paradigm is that, there is a limit to what the organization can do to motivate a staff and get them fully engaged. The limit can be vested in the personality of the business owner, the limit can stem from the unavailability of resources, lack of profitability of the business and several other reasons; please don’t get me wrong I am not making a case for irresponsible structure or leadership; however, I am revealing to you the fact that you owe yourself the responsibility to have a fruitful day at work and to get the most out of your time at work.

Fully engaged people are optimistic, happy, excited, creative, make suggestions, they sustain a healthy emotional state at work irrespective of the “lacks” in the workplace; the outcome of sustaining this healthy emotional state is actually more beneficial to the individual than it is to the organization whether presently of futuristically. In the present it will help the individual to avoid the toxic emotions that are existing in the environment, it would distract the person from negativity, such a person would achieve better results and be in the good books of most people. All this would count positively for the person in the future.  If however an individual allows the unhealthy workplace environment results in idleness, anger, irritation, complacency, do not see reasons for extra input (which dampens creativity), spreading of negative news, etc. such a person is actually allowing more harm than good, eventually the staff loses more that the organization is losing.

Rather than allow the happenings within an organization be a determinant for your feeling, you should actually build the capacity to navigate the murky waters of the workplace and intentionally determine your emotional state for your good.

In the field of Emotional Intelligence, it has been established that your thoughts influence your feelings and your feelings influence your action. Workplace engagement is seen as an “action” which is influenced by their “feeling” based on their “thoughts”. If you think you are in a terrible workplace, that do not deserve you, do not treat you well, is not structured, filled with “dog eat dog”, and you allow that thought to fill your subconscious, there is a high likelihood that you would sustain unhealthy feelings, which is not good for you.  The difference between the fully engaged and the partially engaged/disengaged is their Intrinsic Motivation which is an Emotional Intelligence Competencies. Intrinsic Motivation is driven by internal rewards, it is the ability to choose yourself despite the happening in your workplace environment, the ability to focus on the positives available rather than be swept away by the bad and the ugly, the ability to identify and focus on learning points in the middle of the unstructured chaotic environment.

I have concluded that if you depend on your organization for the level of your motivation and thus engagement, you would be disappointed a lot of times. People who have experience working in several places know that there are workplace challenges everywhere, even in Google.

Engage you intrinsic motivation today by blending your thoughts and feelings to find a healthy emotional state for yourself and thus build a positive legacy for yourself in that workplace.

When you are gone, what would be remembered about you is “how” engaged you are not “why” you were partially engaged or disengaged.

Authored By Enahoro Okhae;

The Chief Managing Consultant; Simeon’s Pivot Resources, President Pause Factory; The Emotional Intelligence Academy and Co-Founder: GlobalCerts and Strategy (Delivery Partner; The KPI Institute Australia)

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