Employee thriving is the new employee engagement - happy female jumping with umbrella against painted yellow backdrop

You’ve likely heard about “employee engagement,” but did you know that “employee thriving” is the modern approach to measuring employee success?

Thanks to workforce changes resulting from the pandemic, Microsoft has coined a new phrase. And they’re changing the way they survey their employees.

Now, they’re measuring whether employees feel energized. And whether they feel valued and if they think their work is valuable.

How Employee Thriving Differs from Engagement

Per this HBR article, the term “employee thriving” is about measuring employee productivity. And it also means being able to learn and grow.

In essence, thriving employees are:

  • Healthier and miss less work
  • Happier
  • More committed
  • More productive
  • Better performers

On the flip side, employee engagement refers a person’s emotional commitment.

  • Do they actually care about their work and their company?
  • Are they working for more than a paycheck?
  • Do they believe in the organization’s goals?

As expected, helping employees to thrive falls on the employer. That is, the executive management, the HR team and the team leaders.

The point is to help ALL employees—including those who might be struggling—to succeed in their jobs. The idea is to help them become happier and more contributive. And in that goal, for the organization itself to become a better employer (and thus help keep talent).

A Shift in Expectations

So, why the shift from engaged employees to thriving ones?

One of the motivating factors is, of course, the changes in the work culture brought on by the pandemic. What’s emerged is a workforce with a new set of expectations.

To attract and retain the right talent, companies need to restructure their cultures. They also need to alter their employee experiences and approaches to leadership.

Let me paraphrase what Microsoft found about their employee assessment models. Post-Covid, employees are more reflective about their work, their careers and their lives.

And, by the same token, company leaders needed a new assessment model to help them listen to their employees.

Seeking ‘Great Work’

In “Fast Company,” researcher Gary Beckstrand says there are flaws with measuring engagement. Why? Because it doesn’t measure the quality and impact of the work product itself. That’s why he tells us to measure “great work” instead.

Clearly, to remain or to become an employer of choice, it’s time for us to do better.

After all, employees (especially younger generations), have a new set of expectations. That means we need to rethink our existing approach and create a better work culture. One that improves their work experiences and offers options.

Since aviation professionals now think differently, flight departments need to lead differently. Thus, the focus is shifting to “thriving” and not “engaging.”

To thrive is to be successful and to win in every aspect of the organization.

As a result of their success, employees become more engaged and interested in achieving set goals and objectives.

But it runs a little deeper than just “goal achievement.” When you focus on thriving, the goal becomes to succeed rather than just being committed to goals. The idea is to install a success mentality and remove key stumbling blocks toward the path to victory.

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