EntreCon 2016: Engagement vs Satisfaction

  • November 3, 2016
  • /   Shannon Nickinson
  • /   entrecon

There is a difference between someone who engages a team and someone who manages a team.

Making sure that your business is full of the former and not the latter can be the difference that leads to success.

How to achieve that was part of the panel discussion at EntreCon Pensacola 2016 titled “Engagement vs Satisfaction: Find out what inspires the people you want to hire.”

The session at Pensacola Little Theatre was part of a two-day business and entrepreneurship conference hosted by Studer Community Institute on Nov. 3-4.

EntreCon 2016 features 40 speakers and panelists, including seven keynote speakers and 12 breakout sessions.The speakers and panelists will share strategies, offer advice and provide information on starting and growing a business.

Panelists Julie Weber, vice president of people for Southwest Airlines, and Chris Reilly, president of survey division of Sperduto and Associates, shared their insights at the panel during the first day of EntreCon.

Weber delivered the opening keynote of day, which focused on how Southwest builds and maintains its reputation for workplace culture excellence. Read more about that here.

Sperduto is a company that conducts employee engagement surveys. Those surveys can be used by businesses to take the pulse of the workforce and flag problems areas.

In offering advice to leaders about how to make those smart hires, Weber stressed that that means “walking the walk” yourself — every day.

One of Southwest’s key values, servant leadership, extends through the interview process for new hires or promotions.

Weber said, for example, that when she interviews someone for the director of finance position, none of her questions about finance.

“All of my questions are about their leadership abilities,” she said.

How they answer the questions “tell me about the people on your team?”, for example is something that can reveal layered responses.

One candidate Weber still recalls turned all of the answers about the people on his team into reflections of himself, an indication, she said, that the real meaning and importance of teamwork was not high on his priority list.

Reilly echoed that sentiment.

“If it’s all about them (as an individual), the recommendation is almost always no,” Reilly said.

The difference between satisfaction and engagement is important to understand, Reilly said.

“It doesn’t matter if you satisfy people if you don’t get better results,” he said.

Most of the questions Sperduto uses, for example, to measure engagement often focus on supervision, clear goals, and if people feel they have the opportunity to master their job.