How are “involved” employees different from “Engaged” employees?

There are two kinds of employees in an organization who excel at work in different ways — the ones who are ‘engaged’ and the ones who are ‘involved’ in their work. The two may not look different on paper, but they are actually vastly different in action. ‘Involvement’ means that the employees are not only focused on the work but also want to add value to the organization.

Employees who wish to be involved in the businesses of their organizations have a desire to learn more and rise quickly up the hierarchy. They spend more time getting to know about the inner workings of the organization and help create new goals that can be achieved in the future. 

The ones who are engaged in their work in a professional manner, are likely to perform only according to the standards set by the organization. They tend to not go far outside the outlines of their respective assignments.

As such, their ‘involvement’ at work is restricted to completing the tasks assigned to them, and they try not to surpass the minimal responsibilities.

However, it would be wrong to rigidly differentiate the two terms this way, because as mentioned earlier, they can mean different things to different people and organizations.

Nihar Ghosh, former president – human resources, Emami, says, “Engaged employees are those who take up every challenge thrown at them, and passionately pursue everything they do at work.”

Involved employees, however, are mostly interested in getting the work done without focusing on excelling on the personal front, Ghosh explains.

As per Amit Sharma, CHRO, Volvo Group India, “Involved employees are the ones who have a sense of ownership. They’re practically running the business. Their duties go beyond the job description and the tendency to always look at the bigger picture.”

Both the engaged and involved employees are beneficial for the organization. Both ‘engagement’ and ‘involvement’ have positive outcomes. They are both usually applied to high performers and are a way of gauging success at work. 

At the end of the day, employee engagement and involvement stem from within employees who want to not only improve at their job but also take part in the different kinds of activities in the organization. They reflect in their diligence and self-confidence.

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