Employee engagement can be defined as a way, in which employees identify their responsibilities, tasks of an organisation, leadership styles, appraisal systems and policies, communication pattern and culture of the company. The term, employee engagement is described in different ways by different authors. In view of some authors, employee engagement refers to the commitment and passion of employees towards their duties in an organisation.
Employee engagement depends highly upon the policies and procedures of an organisation such as encouragement, recognition and reward system (Dewsbury and Dobson, 2007). It is also referred as a process, by which an organisation inspire employees for attaining desired goals and objectives of an organisation. There are certain employee engagement strategies, implemented by organisations which assist in motivating and retaining talented employees. Studies have proved that satisfied workforce not only understands the requirement of their profile, but also the requirement of their organisation. Organisations, in order to retain talented and skilled employees for a longer period of time measure employee engagement. This will facilitate an organisation determining and identifying the need for improvement (Sullivan, 2012).
The concept of employee engagement was introduced by Kahn, in the year 1990. The term was introduced to explain the expression ‘self in-role,’ which includes, physical, mental and emotional engagement. Kahn’s model was developed on the basis of writings and views of other authors, as well (Dickson, 2010). As per Kahn’s model, employee engagement is considered as behaviour influenced by a number of factors, attitude and differences of individual employees. Employee engagement may appear to be a comparatively latest concept but in reality it was first appeared in an academic journal in 1990. Employee engagement has identified as a combination of dedication to the organisation and its principles as well as excitement to support or motivate employees. It is far behind job satisfaction and is not simply motivation (Mone and London, 2014)..
Employee engagement is acknowledged as a strong predictor of employee and work unit performance. Organisations exhibiting a high percentage of engaged employees successfully achieve competitive edge. The challenge facing organizational leaders is that most employees are not very engaged. Thus, thesis statement developed for is “need of strategies, a manager can employ to ensure that employees experience a high level of absorption in their work.”
Engagement is not productivity or an output:
The main focus of business managers is to enhance productivity, revenue, or innovations. Regrettably, employee engagement, employee commitment, employee satisfaction etc support an organisation in maintaining productivity, but they are not productivity. An employee may adopt measures to engage fully and contribute to the business but in absence of proper training, resources, leaders, etc, their performance cannot be improved.
Engagement may be a by-product, not a cause:
Many studies have proved that organisations with high employee engagement can results in higher revenue per employee, high company sale rates, and receiving higher shareholder returns. In reality, there are certain workplace factors that are responsible for increasing engagement of employees. When employees are productive, well-managed, identified they contribute more to an organisation and workplace factors ultimately enhance their engagement (Mone and London, 2014). Thus, it can be said that employee engagement may be a by-product of other high influencing workplace factors. In many situations, it is not the employee engagement that is regulating the diversity but vice versa.
Outside factors may influence engagement:
On the basis of employee retention and employee satisfaction surveys it has been observed that various factors outside of the organisation impact employee engagement. Various factors such as the unemployment rate, the mortgage crisis, the cost of living, and the family issues affect employee’s emotions towards their organisations. For instance, at times of high unemployment rate, employees experience a feeling of emotional bond towards their organisations for offering them with a job (Lencioni, 2011).
High levels of engagement may not prohibit turnover:
Recently a study on the Accenture exhibited a poor connection between employee engagement and turnover. That study highlighted that more than 40% of the most passionately engaged employees have a least or very less intention to stay in the organisation. This and number of associated studies proved that over-dependence on even the very highest engagement scores can cause loss in the significant number of skilled employees.
Employee engagement is the extent to which an employee experience and motivation from its workplace. Employee engagement also depends on the nature and type of the job, power and designation, requirement of the job, and appropriate skills demanded for a given job. Following are some internal and external factors influencing employee engagement.
Job Responsibilities and Work Relationships:
The tasks performed by employees and the people they interact on a regular basis have an incredible impact on employee engagement. Individuals prefer jobs that allow them to discover and engage in their hobbies. Employees who admire the people they work with are more focussed towards organisational culture and aims.
employees remain engaged by offering opportunities for professional growth and expertise development by an organisation. Motivated employees also feel obliged to remain active in development when they find that promotions or higher level positions with a number of responsibilities exist in organisation (Mone and London, 2014). When employees feel that their ideas, input and efforts get rewarded by authorities, they tend to more focus on objectives.
Competition from Other Options:
Competing career choices and search for better jobs are the common external factors that alleviate employee engagement. When employees are not happy with profiles and pay offered by an organisation, they keep their focus open for other options as well. Some employees have other jobs or freelance appearances that sometimes distract them from full dedication to a full timer employer and profile.
Family and Social Obligations:
Like every human, employees also get affected by feelings and emotions. Sometimes, there are situations, where employees get involved emotionally in family conditions that divert them from full engagement in work. There are some employees who identify work as a 40-hour-a-week commitment and do not like to put further time and energy into the job. In such situations, employees are unable to engage fully themselves in achieving aims and objectives of an organisation.
Employee engagement is crucial for retaining talented and skilled employees in an organisation. Employees that demonstrate a high level of engagement have physically, mentally and emotionally employees engaged in their jobs. An evaluation of multiple organisations across many different industries signifies that most successful employee engagement efforts need several strategies. Some of the organisations do not consider them as distinct strategies, but as single aspect of these strategies. Following strategies influence employee engagement in an organisation:
employees who are entirely engaged in their workplace are usually excited about the tasks they conduct. They know that their performance has an impact on the functioning of the organisation, and they are enthusiastic about outcomes of their hard work (Dickson, 2010). Nevertheless, it is hard to build motivation about work when daily job tasks are anything but exciting. A significant strategy includes addition of some another aspect into job functions of employees through recognition.
employees who get recognition or appreciation for their skills are usually encouraged to perform at higher levels. Organisational motivation generally comes from nonmonetary appraisal, such as promotion, appreciation, advancement or offering more complex tasks to employees who exhibit proficiency. Employee strategy for enhancing employee engagement involves building opportunities for leadership positions for deserving employees whose talent exceeds the organisational expectations.
rebuilding employee loyalty and trust in leadership team of an organisation is a reliable and perfect strategy for enhancing employee retention. Motivation the leadership team to build an effective relationship with all of the organisation’s employees can have desirable impacts on employee engagement (Lencioni, 2011). Developing an effective employer-employee relationship based on trust and confidence builds an enthusiasm in the daily challenges employees face at workplace.
An engaged employee is an individual who is entirely involved in, about, his/her work. Following are some benefits of employee engagement in an organisation.
on the basis of observations it has proved that if employees are fully engaged with an organisation it can increase their job satisfaction level. Employees that are entirely engaged and involve in the business activities have a high degree of loyalty and commitment level which is highly responsible for the success of any business. Satisfied employees play a significant role in achieving objectives and aims of an organisation (Walker, 2012). Satisfied employees are responsible for supporting and promoting the mission, aim, strategy and brand of an organisation.
employee engagement is responsible for achieving and attaining business success. As an employee become highly engaged their motivation level increases and absenteeism decreases leading to high productivity. In other words, organisations with more engaged employees are more prone to high productivity and outcomes (Stamm, 2012). According to various researches it has been observed that business organisations with highly engaged employees are as much as 45% productive.
Retention & Recruitment:
retaining talented employees is a key to the success of every business organisation. Employees who are engaged fully in the workplace minimises the risk of turnover for the organisation. As employees become more engaged in the success of the organisation they also become more trusty and loyal. In other words, when employees are satisfied and engaged in an organisation they are more likely to work with the same organisation.
• Organizational leaders can improve employee engagement by first identifying how employees think about the organisation and their overall responsibilities. Organizational leaders can achieve this by building a focus group to understand what is working and what is not working within the company from the viewpoint of employees (Lencioni, 2011). Leaders can motivate employee engagement in focus group by determining ideas and views of employees on how to solve an issue they have noticed. Collecting suggestion and input from employees before developing a new program is a way leaders can promote employee engagement.
• Another way to improve employee engagement is by organising team-building activities outside the workplace on a daily basis by leaders to keep employee morale high. Many employees find themselves unable to engage in organizational activities as there is absence of teamwork or unity among employees (Mone and London, 2014).Team building activities motivates employees to perform together towards achieving a common goal and objective. Team building activities assist organizational leaders to promote an effective relationship between employee and them.
• An organisational leader can enhance employee engagement by introducing a rewards and recognition program. Such types of programs can motivate and encourage employees in a number of ways. For instance, employees who are money oriented can gain from a rewards and recognition program that offers a monthly bonus for attaining company goals and objectives (Dickson, 2010). In the same way, employees who want personal acknowledgement can benefit from a recognition program that pays achievements in nonmonetary manners such as through medals or a day off from company. Rewards and recognition enhance employee engagement through their duties and encourage employees to be more useful because of the capability for monetary advantage or positive acknowledgement and appreciation.
• Training and development is also a very significant way to enhance employee engagement. Internal training programs facilitate employees to participate with one another, share views and learn more about a specific topic (Kokemuller and Media, 2014). Training programs assists employees to enthusiastically participate in activities and provide input and feedback about the processes and systems of an organization.
In relation to different perspectives, the thesis statement can be restated as; a manager can employ employee engagement strategies to ensure that employees experience a high level of absorption in their work. Thus, on the basis of above discussion it can be concluded that organisational leaders implement employee engagement strategies to promote employee engagement and improve the way employees feel about their duties. These leaders can promote employee engagement in a variety of ways. The engagement of employees is considered as one of the important concerns of an organisational leader. Employee engagement enhances the bottom line with minimum employee turnover. Organisational leaders adopt various employee engagement strategies to actively engage employees towards achieving business aims and objectives.
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Stamm, S. 2012. 42 Rules of Employee Engagement. Happy About.
Sullivan.J.2012. What’s Wrong with Employee Engagement? The Top 20 Potential Problems. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ere.net/2012/02/23/what%E2%80%99s-wrong-with-employee-engagement-the-top-20-potential-problems/ [Accessed on: 28 November 2014].
Walker, S. 2012. Employee Engagement and Communication Research: Measurement, Strategy and Action. Kogan Page Publishers.