Posted by: rayseghers | September 8, 2009

The “New Job Satisfaction”

When we are talking with colleagues we often use a lot of jargon.  It is a simple way to communicate efficiently.  However, when we talk with others, we often realize that our jargon may be communicating the wrong idea or maybe no idea at all.

Twice within the last couple of weeks I have met someone at a networking meeting that was unfamiliar with the employee survey field.  When I mentioned that most of my survey projects over the last few years have used “employee engagement” surveys, I saw their blank looks.  One of them finally asked if that was like “job satisfaction.”  Now, given my audience, I said yes and the conversation proceeded in a meaningful manner.  The second person remarked that engagement was the “new job satisfaction.”  Again, I agreed.

Of course, in the back of my mind, I could see my old boss wagging his finger reminding me that “job satisfaction” was by no means the same thing as “employee engagement.”  As we typically refer to measurement constructs within the field, he is absolutely right.  After all, an employee may be perfectly satisfied with his/her day-to-day job activities but feel no loyalty whatsoever to the boss, the group, or the company.  Job satisfaction is only one of numerous factors that drive or build employee engagement.

However, when we are talking about the survey field in a very general way engagement really is the new job satisfaction.  That is, it is the metric that is currently accepted as the critical outcome measure.

Hopefully, I learned something and I will be able to communicate better in the future.

So, what do you think?



  1. Great post, Ray…

    Applicable for just about anyone – understanding the goal is EFFECTIVE communication, so choosing the words with audience in mind makes the most sense.

    Keep this in mind though: all industries are guilty. Mumbo-jumbo can impress the bosses, sure, but at the end of the day, clarity is key.



    • Thanks, Dave. I agree 100%.

  2. Ray – This is great! I was just explaining to someone last night about the difference between “mindset” and “behavior,” and ghost of DS hovered in the distance. Your blog is wonderful; I know it’s tough to get new posts up, but I’m impressed with those you have done so far, and hope you keep up the good work. Linda

    • That’s very true. Satisfaction is a mindset. Commitment, as we defined it back at The Loyalty Institute was a behavior. Then engagement basically married the two together.

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