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Employee Satisfaction Vs Employee Engagement

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Aisling Harrison Blog, Work, Work Life...

Often mistaken as the exact same metric, and although there may be a correlation, Employee Engagement and Employee Satisfaction are not entirely interchangeable.

Employee Satisfaction

This reflects the overall happiness of an employee regarding their job and work environment. Typically, factors such as; salary, benefits and relations with colleagues, are core contributors to employee satisfaction.

Employee Engagement

This reflects an employee’s investment in the company they work for, their commitment to the job they do and their passion to continually improve. Engaged employees take pride in doing the best they can and care about how their role affects the performance of a company.

The Key Difference

It would be unlikely to find an engaged employee, who consciously works hard to help their company achieve its objectives, not enjoy working there. On the contrary, an employee who is happy in their role and the company they work for, may not necessarily be engaged with the performance of the business.

A satisfied employee may be someone who makes minimal effort and feels absolutely no loyalty to the company they work for. They are content with their earnings, leave allowance and like their co-workers, but don’t feel invested in their role or feel concern about how they progress in it.

Which To Prioritise

This is completely subjective to the individual employee and company.

Our jobs hugely affect our wellbeing, so satisfaction with a role and company is critical to an employee. It is also critical to any employer who cares about their staffs’ wellbeing, especially to a company trying to avoid unwanted turnover.  

Additionally, unhappy staff are less likely to be motivated which is detrimental to company performance. Employee engagement is essential to productivity, thus profitability, which arguably indicates that staff engagement is the priority for a business. However, as engagement decreases due to dissatisfaction, a business wanting the best results should hold them in equal measure.

Satisfaction & Engagement

Satisfied employees are more likely to stay with a company, which reduces turnover expenses, but retaining an employee who is satisfied but unengaged could inflict other issues to productivity and morale.

Being engaged with a job and the company you work for can result in benefits such as promotion, salary increase, rewards and a radical increase in satisfaction and happiness at work.


Employee satisfaction and employee engagement are not identical, but they are very closely linked. Satisfaction is a reward, whereas engagement is rewarded.

Our consultants help candidates secure roles they will be satisfied and engaged with every day, so if you’re in the job market, contact us now!