About our blog post author: Stephanie Hamelmann is the Corporate Recruiter for FORUM Credit Union. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Purdue University. Prior to recruiting for FORUM, Stephanie worked for a local staffing company fulfilling the recruiting needs for various companies in the Indianapolis Area. She previously served on the Membership Committee for IndySHRM and is currently serving as a member for the SMA Committee.


Recently at our SMA event, our speaker, China Gorman, put it best when she said, “Engagement is not about happiness but about satisfaction.” So, what is the difference?  According to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary, the definitions are defined below.


Definition of HAPPINESS: a pleasurable or satisfying experience


Definition of SATISFACTION: fulfillment of a need or want

When I got to thinking about it, I do agree with China to an extent.  To elaborate, I believe there is a strong correlation between the two.  As with many other things in life, it is all up to interpretation.  However, satisfaction is something that makes you happy.  Satisfaction is greater because it will lead you to happiness.

So, how is this relevant to us in our everyday business?   Work is a significant component in life and directly correlates with our happiness.  It influences not only our lives, but also our ability to communicate and interact with others in both our professional and personal lives.

Various studies have shown that satisfaction is not always significantly influenced by the level of income one makes. People give just as much importance to other aspects of the job, such as job responsibilities or recognition of efforts. So, besides just making sure an employee has a smile on their face, we need to make sure employees have a sense of purpose.

As Karen Seketa, That’s Good HR, stated in a previous post, “You have to boil it down to what is most relevant to your customer needs and your employee needs and how to best engage your employee to meet and exceed those customer needs.”

Engagement is a powerful force in our world as HR Professionals.  As we continue to redefine our practices, join your peers in our first SMA Book Club as we explore employee engagement in Vineet Nayer’s book, Employees First, Customers Second.