It is always in the organization's best interest to inspire employee engagement wherever possible. That said, before a company begins to formulate an engagement strategy, it’s important to recognize what engagement is, and what it is not.
Employee engagement is not the same thing as employee happiness. Although engaged employees are usually also very happy in their positions, simply aiming to make employees ‘happy’ will not necessarily promote true engagement. Another way to look at the issue is this: Fun job perks such as break-room snacks and on-sight activities can help keep employees happy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are engaged in their work.
At the same time, employee satisfaction falls too short of engagement. An employee who does the minimum to receive a paycheck may be perfectly satisfied with the arrangement. But being satisfied is not enough to ensure loyalty, and that same employee will likely be more than happy to leave the company to pursue opportunities elsewhere for even a minor increase in pay.
Employee engagement looks not only at the attitude of the employee, but at how that attitude affects their work. Actively engaged employees are emotionally committed to their company. They see their organization as an important part of who they are, and thus are much more willing to weather difficult times and put in more effort, because they take personal ownership of the organization’s success.