A recent Forbes article by Liz Ryan, "What Does 'Employee Engagement' Mean?", misses the mark on the definition. The author defines employee engagement in two different ways. “It means the employee’s connection to your mission.” She later mentions a more broad definition: “If employees are happy and busy, they are engaged.” With these two definitions, the article attempts to write off engagement as a fad and concludes that CEOs should simply sit down and talk with their employees.
I think the definition of “Employee Engagement” is altogether different. Engaged employees are stakeholders who are motivated to make their colleagues’ and customers’ lives better. They know their input is valued and they want to make a difference.
And most importantly, companies with engaged employees have been shown to outperform their competition. The author may not like the term "employee engagement," but as the war to attract and retain talent marches forward, creating a workplace that fosters employee engagement is essential to succeed.