What is the difference between Employee Engagement and Productivity and why does it matter

Employee Engagement and Productivity

In the highly competitive market, each organization wants to rise above its competitors and bag a significant spot in the ever-evolving global market. Employees play an imperative role in this process. This is the reason that employers and leaders have been going hammer and tongs on employee engagement in the last decade. It would be tough to argue that engagement is not relevant for your organization as it serves as a proxy for something that leaders are actually far more interested in – productivity. 

Employee Engagement and Productivity

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If your organization truly wants to climb the ladder of success, you got to set the seal on the fact that your employees are happy, supported, engaged, and productive. All over the globe organizations are already adopting strategies for improvising their employee productivity and engagement – across the board, it leads to the generation of more revenue, greater client satisfaction, and enhanced productivity along with a steep decline in absenteeism and turnover issues. Very clearly, keeping the employees engaged and productive serves as the backbone of your organizational success. This is why it is pivotal for organizations to be clear about the difference between engagement and productivity.

Assume a situation where a group of employees has been allotted a task to work on a special project. They gather as a group and work collaboratively. They’re excited about the process and project. They’re working great with each other. They spend more time in their meetings on healthy debates and brainstorming and lesser on the actual output related to the project. Are they engaged? Yes. Are they productive? No. There’s a difference. 

What does employee engagement mean?

Employee engagement is all about establishing a motivational workplace culture in which your employees perform their duties with involvement, enthusiasm, and genuine fidelity to attain their organization’s objective. It’s a commitment that motivates the employees to stay committed to their organizational goals. Employee engagement can be broadly classified as the extent to which employees are invested in their job and put in the effort that is required to get the job done. High employee engagement will work as a motivational tool for your organization all by itself as an engaged employee is less likely to cut corners in their work, making the organization’s output higher in quality and more steadfast as a whole. 

What affects employee engagement?


It is the leadership that sets the tone for the organization’s culture. Leaders are able to influence, motivate teams and produce change. Management has all the abilities needed to curb potential conflict and address the concerns. The most effective leaders are the ones that help their employees in understanding the value of their work and how it aligns with the direction and goals of the organization. 


Without proper organizational culture, engagement spirals out of control. Employees feel more engaged when connected and hence collaboration is often linked to high engagement and productivity in the organization. Employees who collaborate conceive a better understanding of how their input and roles play into the organizational culture. 


No employee likes to work with their leaders breathing down their neck or always seeking the approval of their supervisors for every solution to a problem, especially if they are the minuscule ones. You have to grant your employees some kind of freedom for making their own decisions and just get back to them to check on the solution they decide on. 

What does employee productivity mean? 

As the success of an organization is hugely dependent on employee productivity, it has become more than critical to have a clear standing of what this term exactly means. It’s a topic that is luring increasing attention, thanks to our evolving understanding of organizational psychology and the availability of new technology and tools. Employee productivity is a general measure of how efficient your organization’s workforce is – how quickly they can wind up their task without falling below the organizational standard. It refers to a balance between all factors of production that will yield the maximum output with the most diminutive effort. 

What affects employee productivity?

As obvious as it can get, none of your two employees are the same. One of the reasons for the difference between the productivity levels within a team can be down to ability, working style, and personality – things one cannot always control. However, there are a few factors that you can dial up and down to assist your employees to reach their productivity potential. 

Employee wellbeing

Are your team members healthy – physically and mentally both? Are they enjoying an appropriate work-life balance? Are they comfortable and confident at work? Are the work culture and their duties making them feel stressed out? Can they access the adjustment and support required for things such as illness and parental leave? To make your employees productive, it is critical for you to assure all of these matters pertaining to their wellbeing. 


Do your employees know how to tackle their routine challenges and perform their tasks without stopping and seeking help? Are they receiving the right level of onboarding when they step into your organization? Is the organization holding training sessions to keep enhancing their skills and is the training level significant enough? Training sessions are more than crucial to boost the productivity of your employee. 

Communication tools

How easy is it for the employees in your organization to get in touch with each other? Are the business communication tool and channels that link your team members easy to use, reliable, and of top quality? Researches have down that social technologies improve employees’ productivity by 20 to 25% to say the least. 

Even though employee engagement and employee productivity go hand in hand, it is extremely important to know about the difference between the both of them. This will enable your organization to tackle both the problems in two separate ways and not confuse one for the other. In today’s time, an organization cannot grow and thrive unless it is focusing on employee engagement and employee productivity. After all, your workforce tops the list of your most crucial asset. Engaged and productive employees are what your organization requires to consistently strive for success! For more employee engagement and performance engagement concerns, contact us today. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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