Marketing services agency P&MM makes the distinction in white paper 'Employee Engagement: The Psychology Behind Individual Behaviours'. The paper also looks at the financial impact of low engagement and ways for employers to support and engage their workforce.
P&MM account director for motivation Adrian Duncan told HR magazine employee engagement and motivation are two completely separate subjects. He emphasised that if a workforce is not aligned with the values of the organisation, any attempt to motivate employees will be fruitless.
He also explained engagement must be seen as a business initiative, not just an HR one.
"Engagement is about more than about filling in surveys and ticking boxes," he said. "There are areas like employee support that are all part of the holistic approach. If an employee has the right tools and support to perform their role effectively they will instantly feel more engaged with the company."
Ruth Patel, workforce psychologist at Unlocking People Potential and co-author of the paper, said learning and development is a key part of engagement.
"Studies have shown that employees will be more engaged if they feel they are learning and growing in their role and adding real value to the goals of the organisation," she said.
"HR and L&D professionals have a critical role to play here. ?If they can foster employee engagement through learning and development, the organisation will see concrete improvements to the bottom line arising from improved sales figures or enhanced customer service."