Through various research studies the inherent link between employee engagement and emotional intelligence has become quite accepted. However what is also emerging is that by placing the emphasis entirely on leadership demonstrating emotionally intelligent behavior in pursuit of the “engaged workforce”, an important element is being overlooked.
What about the “disengaged” employee? Are they influenced solely by how their manager behaves? Don’t they have their role to play in this as well? In addressing these questions it becomes apparent that the element that speaks to this missing link is Motivation.
According to Genos International, individual motivation factors exist in four different areas:
This covers the day to day working elements of completing tasks essential to your job, contacting customers or vendors, challenging yourself, working within the rules and regulations, etc.
This entails coping with different styles of management from the traditional more directive style to an empowering approach and everything else in between.
This considers qualities such as working virtually, individual contribution, degrees of collaboration, and working with very different team members.
This focuses on factors such as pay, benefits and culture as well as clear levels of management and degrees of responsibility.
Because employees have varying perspectives of what these four areas might mean to them, it proves that motivation is very much an individual construct. Consequently a leader exhibiting a certain style may very much work for one person but not for another. Similarly what one person finds challenging, can be quite the “job from hell” for someone else. Motivational Fit has emerged as the term for the alignment between what an individual is motivated by and their actual experience at work.
In summary, leaders demonstrating high levels of Emotionally Intelligent behavior coupled with employees Motivational Fit has become the key link to optimizing and maintaining high levels of Employee Engagement.