What is the difference between organizational climate, engagement, employee satisfaction and happiness?
Do you know what employee engagement is? Understanding the nomenclature is extremely important. Learn the differences of important concepts.

With the development of the internet, information has become more accessible than ever. But as the use of the Internet evolves, so should our ability to value the sources and value of the information we find. Especially now, in a recent situation, when all communication is increasingly relying on technology and data sources on the internet.

It is very clear that digital technologies will bring even greater changes in the next few years, from business processes to daily routines. Therefore, understanding the nomenclature within the team and the niche in which you work will be extremely important.

Guided by this, we will try to clarify the nomenclature and meanings of concepts regarding employee engagement and receiving/giving feedback.

Happiness and satisfaction in relation to engagement – is it the same?

It is important to emphasize that any research, measurement, receiving feedback from employees without action on those same things – is a completely missed investment, a waste of time and mutual trust, and ultimately results in a counter-effect.

Happiness is a state of comfort and peace, a good feeling at a certain moment.

Satisfaction is the fulfillment of one’s desires, expectations, or needs.

A person who is happy and content does not necessarily have to be engaged in the workplace. An employee can be happy and satisfied that he has a job, does not meet basic expectations, and receives a salary for it. It follows that measuring happiness and satisfaction alone does not necessarily provide adequate information on which to make better decisions.

Employee engagement, team at the office

Engagement and organizational climate – what’s the difference?

Simply put, the organizational climate is the nature and quality of the work environment and the impact of that environment on the attitudes and behaviors of employees.

Engagement is the personal investment of the employee and the commitment to the organization. Being an “engaged employee” means that you are fully involved and interested in your job. That job completely occupies your attention and inspires you to get the best out of yourself.

(source: J. K. Harter, F. L. Schmidt, T. L. Hayes “Business-Unit-Level Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Business Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis”)

According to engagement, employees are divided into:

  1. Engaged – the characteristics of such employees are loyalty, focus, enthusiasm and commitment to personal and organizational development.
  2. Non-engaged – the characteristics of such employees are complacency, lack of initiative, lack of participation and increased absenteeism.
  3. Actively non-engaged – the characteristics of such employees are insincerity, spreading dissatisfaction and demotivation of other employees in the immediate environment.
Employee at work

What then needs to be measured and what is it called?

There is a huge amount of information that is available to us, and which entails certain sources, different perspectives, approaches and thoughts. The trends we find, the new words and their meanings we discover, but also the attempt to implement the “discovered” on our market sometimes remains vague due to language barriers.

What is ”employee engagement”?

It is definitely not happiness or satisfaction, as we explained. Organizational climate would be a more comprehensive name which is used most often in the region.

However, if you apply an anonymous survey by asking the right questions, measuring the right elements backed by statistics, tested by scientific methodology, and such a survey gives you insight into data whose value can help your organization adopt a strategic plan to improve employee engagement and satisfaction and, ultimately, employee productivity. – call it whatever you want.

But let’s get back to the most important thing. At the end of the day, you want to measure/ask employees to get important information with which you can make the right conclusions, make better decisions and progress from within, right?


Try Improv3 – a platform for measuring employee engagement in real time.

Other posts
Sandra Jovović, Regional Director for the Rijeka region at Generali osiguranje, knows how to motivate different personalities within the team, remaining consistent with the company's goals and values.
Employee engagement is a very important topic in all companies, and how Generali osiguranje achieves a higher engagement, we talked to Ana Bušić.