Who do you want, satisfied employees or engaged employees?

Yes! Both are Different! Are you one of those who confuse between engaged employees and a satisfied employees? That’s right! There are differences between the two. Many tend to use these terms interchangeably. But both are rather different states of our mind. How?

Satisfied vs Engaged Employees

To better understand satisfied and engaged employees, let us examine examples before moving on to a bookish or rather most commonly used definition.

Ratan, who works with an automobile manufacturing company as a supervisor for the last 13 years has not seen much trouble at his work. Besides working for eight hours a day, he also has a competitive salary package and is covered by medical insurance for his family as well as himself. He lives just six kilometers from the factory campus. He is quite comfortable at his work and is satisfied with his employer.

Let us take an example of Komal now who works as a designer with a small startup in the advertising space. It is her passion to do what she does, and if the job requires, she is ready to spend more than 10 hours at work. The perks and benefits offered by her employer are fairly moderate and the salary is as per the industry standards.

In Ratan’s case, his salary is good, he enjoys various benefits and perks offered by the employer and has an easy going work life. There is no need for him to burn out or go beyond. In other words, he is satisfied with his employer, which is also why he has stayed in the company for so long. But now the risk is, that after a certain point, Ratan will look for purpose in his workplace. Hence, beyond a certain point Ratan might look out for another opportunity to find purpose at work.

In Komal’s case, she is passionate about her job and what she does. She very well knows how her contribution is making an impact in the life of her company?s success and their clients. She gives her 120 % at work and does not mind working for long hours. But after a certain point she might burn out. Komal will deliver great results as she is engaged at work, but in a look out for more compensation or extra benefits at work, she might leave her employer. Which means she is engaged but not satisfied at work.

Employee Engagement: An engaged employee is someone who will do her best to achieve the goals of the organisation and will strive hard to achieve her target everyday.


Satisfied employees: A satisfied employee might come to office everyday, that too on time but will not contribute much to the success of the company. He will lack the fire in the belly and innovation.

There are different factors which affect employee satisfaction and engagement.

What affects employee satisfaction?


Compensation is the biggest factor in keeping employees satisfied. Ideally, two employees working at the same level in different companies but in a similar field should not receive different compensation. Discrimination certainly affects the satisfaction level of an employee.

Perks and Benefits

Apart from their compensation, all employees seek some additional benefits. When it comes to perks and benefits, it is better to cover the basics first before going extravagant.

Work Life Balance

Paid leaves, shorter commutes, work from home policy and mandatory leaves are some ways which can create some work life balance in an employee’s life. This can create a great sense of satisfaction in employees

Respect and Recognition

Either following the modern way of recognising employees which is acknowledging good work at the moment or following an annual appraisal process of recognising good work, anything will work. But employees always look for recognition. This helps in enhancing the satisfaction index and benefits the organization.

What affects employee engagement?

Inspiration from leadership

The top leadership will have to stay in touch with employees. Collaborating with employees, sharing ideas and driving inspiration will align people to the larger goal of the organisation. These qualities also flow from the top amongst others in the organisation.

Learning & Development

Career development and growth in career is something that every young employee looks forward to. Driving a mentorship and coaching attitude by leaders and running various programmes to upskill and develop employees so that they can get better at their jobs drives engagement amongst the employees.

Driving inclusion

A workplace where everyone is included and has a voice is a place where employees will be the most engaged. Driving inclusion allows people to come to the workplace being their ownself. This motivates them to be innovative and creative. This ensures discussions over innovative ideas happen at work.

So now that we know what motivates employee engagement and satisfaction, what do you think is more important? Is it more important to have engaged employees or a satisfied workforce?