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  • Writer's pictureVivien Újvárosi

Why is Employee Engagement so Important in your Organization? Putting the puzzle together.

As a human being, you are part of various social groups – at your workplace, at school, and, even at home. And you may already know that working with groups can be emotionally and psychologically challenging, especially at your job where you spend most of your time. This article will introduce you to the idea of engagement, putting the pieces together in order to create a clearer perspective for the idea of employee engagement and its importance amongst employees. |

Understanding engagement can be challenging. Discerning why one employee may be disengaged while another, who appears nearly identical, is engaged, proves to be an elusive puzzle. As you'll find out, engagement is a critical factor in the success of any modern organization.

Employee engagement refers to how much employees are motivated, passionate, and invested in their work. It shows their commitment to the company’s mission, the project they are working on and emotional connection with colleagues. High engagement is influential for a company's productivity and results. If employees don’t see results themselves, they feel neglected or believe their managers don't care about them, they may lose motivation to complete tasks and stop investing their energy towards achieving the goals they used to follow.

Understanding and addressing the intricacies of employee engagement can significantly enhance workplace satisfaction, collaboration and productivity. David Rock's SCARF model, focusing on Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness, offers a powerful framework to navigate the complexities of employee engagement. // For a more complex perspective, let’s have a look at these components, including new pieces to the puzzle and adapting it to development teams.

Status: Valuing and Recognizing Contributions
  • For developers, status isn't just a title; it's about valuing contributions. 

Status within the workplace is a fundamental driver of engagement. Developers thrive when their contributions are acknowledged and valued. Employers can boost a positive status environment by prioritizing feedback, acknowledging achievements, and providing opportunities for developers to showcase their expertise, learning and developments by organizing internal workshops or even coding challengesConstructive feedback and recognition also address the need for relatedness, strengthening the connection between developers and their teams.

These initiatives not only highlight individual achievements but also strengthen the bonds between developers and their teams, aligning with the need for relatedness in the dynamic world of software engineering.

Certainty: Establishing Stability and Predictability
  • Certainty in the workplace is crucial for minimizing anxiety and enabling engagement.

Leaders in an organization can provide clarity in communication, outlining expectations and goals. Transparency regarding company direction, changes, and decision-making processes creates a sense of security among employees. Regular updates like weekly or monthly syncs maintain a transparent work environment and support all members to voice their concerns, enabling a culture where both top-down and bottom-up communication are valued.

However, promoting psychological safety is intrinsic to the SCARF model's emphasis on Certainty. When individuals feel safe expressing their ideas and concerns, it enhances the overall relatedness within the team, contributing to a positive and supportive work environment.

Autonomy: Empowering and Trusting Employees

  • Empowering employees with autonomy is a key element in the SCARF model.

Trusting developers to make the best decisions in their field and take ownership of their work not only enhances engagement but also fuels their intrinsic motivation. Leaders can encourage autonomy by allowing employees to have a say in decision-making processes, defining clear expectations, and providing opportunities for skill development.

Flexible work schedules and remote work opportunities, supporting work-life balance, directly align with the SCARF model's emphasis on Autonomy. Granting employees the flexibility to choose enhances their sense of control over their work lives, promoting higher levels of engagement and an optimal work-life balance.

Relatedness: Building Meaningful Connections

  • Human beings are inherently social creatures, and meaningful connections in the workplace are essential for employee engagement.

Encouraging collaboration, teamwork, and fostering an open, authentic culture are synonymous with the SCARF model’s emphasis on Relatedness, creating a sense of belonging among employees.

Social activities, team-building exercises, and mentorship programs contribute to building strong, positive relationships among employees. However, periodic 1:1 meetings based on monthly feedback can enhance employees' feeling of certainty.

Fairness: Promoting Equality and Justice

  • Fairness is a cornerstone of the SCARF model, influencing employee engagement profoundly. 

In the fast-paced world of software development and innovation, organizations must prioritize fairness in policies, procedures, and decision-making. Addressing any perceived inequities promptly and transparently contributes to a sense of justice among employees. The concept of fairness is pervasive across various organizational aspects, including financial considerations, rewarding efforts, and focus on company benefits. Fairness builds trust, reinforcing the idea that the organization values each individual's contributions and treats all employees equitably. 

By promoting fairness in all of the components – status, certainty, autonomy, and relatedness

companies cultivate a workplace culture that values each member's contributions, building satisfaction, trust, and overall engagement among the tech-savvy workforce.

>>> Summary

In conclusion, the significance of employee engagement lies in its ability to cultivate motivation, passion, and commitment to the work at hand. Beyond benefiting individual teams, a positive engagement culture serves as a cornerstone for the overall success of the organization. However, navigating the intricacies of engagement is a challenging task, reminiscent of piecing together a puzzle without clear clues.

The SCARF model, centered on Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness, emerges as a valuable framework in unraveling the complexities of employee engagement. Each element in this puzzle is indispensable, contributing to the holistic image of a thriving, engaged, and dynamic workforce.

// References

Rock, D. (2008). 'SCARF: A Brain-Based Model for Collaborating With and Influencing Others,' Neuroleadership Journal, 1, 1-9. Stange, J. (2021). Using the SCARF Coaching Model to Drive Engagement and Performance. Quantum Workplace. // Vivien Újvárosi // MARCH 13 2024


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