Engagement vs Involvement: What’s the Difference?

7 September 2013 / by Ashley Freeman

‘Employee engagement’ has long been used as an umbrella term to describe the connection between a company’s employees and its vision, goals and objectives. The problem with it, and the reason that nearly 70% of change programmes fail, is that it’s passive and promotes a top down, prescriptive approach to communication.

What Happens When You Involve?

An ‘engaged’ employee will understand and agree with the aims and objectives of your business. They will come to work feeling motivated and energised but unfortunately that’s about it.

We believe the next step, and one that every business should strive towards, is ‘involvement’. An involved employee will take an active role in the business. They’ll implement new initiatives, take ownership of them and actively participate in driving change.

‘Engagement’ is the result of a passive acceptance of company values and objectives. It helps increase productivity, to a point. ‘Involvement’ is the active pursuit of these objectives. An involved employee will help drive the organisation forward and add value to your business.

Engagement gets you in the game; involvement gets you to the top of your game.

Does it Work?

Involvement is a game changer. It transfers the ownership of initiatives from the board room and executive offices, to the cubicles and shop floors.

There have been a number of studies that have tracked the impact of active staff involvement on business profitability and performance. Put simply, there’s a clear and strong correlation between the two.

Involvement isn’t just a trendy buzz-word, it’s a principle that has a clear, measurable impact on your bottom line.

How Do You Encourage Involvement?

So, engagement and involvement are two very different things – but how do you instil a culture of involvement, rather than simple engagement, within your organisation?

At the core of all our change programmes is an overall business objective. This isn’t a learning goal or engagement metric. It needs to be a practical, business improving objective that’s important to your company. It may be something like becoming the market leader in your sector, increasing your Net Promoter Score (NPS) or simply increasing sales performance. Once this objective has been defined, we will then work with you to activate it, with the help of all your employees.

By taking an active role in solving a complex problem that will define the future of your company, your employees will take ownership of it.

This initial ‘experience’ is designed to not only create and cultivate involvement, but to drive collaboration, crowd sourcing and co-creation amongst those on the frontline. The next stage is to become a truly involved business, where everyone in the organisation clearly understands their own role in helping to achieve the company vision.

Engagement really is just a small part of a much bigger picture. If you want to see real results, you need to take things one-step further.

If you’d like any more information about how we could help you take that important next step, please feel free to get in touch.