There is a difference.
Employee Engagement is:
an internal state of being – both physical, mental and emotional – that brings together earlier concepts of work effort, organisational commitment, job satisfaction and ‘flow’ (or optimal experience).
On the other hand, employee satisfaction…
An employee can be satisfied with their job, but they may not be engaged.
The role itself may offer them the security they want, the terms and conditions and the pay that they want. But that does not mean they will automatically be engaged or empowered by management, or by the organisation.
You have to delve much further into their lives to engage them properly. Find out about their lives. Find out what they want from you and what their priorities are, because their work life may not be the most important thing to them right now.
Show them you care; sympathise, empathise, and capture their attention. It’s when you have that attention (because they can relate to you) that they engage.
So no. Satisfaction and engagement are not the same thing. In order to achieve high engagement levels, you must be able to show high satisfaction levels. But the task doesn’t stop there.
So, how do you increase satisfaction?
Consult your team on their views, and of course take them on board.
Update them on progress – even if it’s not substantial. If you’re all working on a project together (or likewise, even if you’re not), keep them updated. Don’t leave it to them to ask if progress has been made. By updating them, you show them that you trust them enough to know and that you care about their input.
Provide the flexibility that they need and be willing to adapt practises to suit different types of people. What is more important to you – rigour or results? Providing flexibility can be a major influencer in satisfaction, and we all know that satisfied workers work harder.
When you’ve achieved high levels of satisfaction, then look at how you engage staff. An engagement survey will help provide you with a basic level of insight, at which you can begin to make changes to the way you work and act so that you can improve employee engagement levels.