Employee Engagement And Organizational Effectiveness

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the article “Organizational Effectiveness as a Function of Employee Engagement,” and discuss how employee engagement is related to organizational effectiveness (Kataria et al., 2013). This paper will provide a real-life scenario that illustrates the impact disengaged employees have had on organizational effectiveness. It will also offer strategies for improving organizational effectiveness by encouraging employee engagement.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is defined as “the simultaneous employment and expression of a person’s ‘preferred self’ in task behaviors that promote connections to work and to others, person presence (physical, cognitive, and emotional) and active, full performances,” which studies have indicated is associated with increased job performance (Kahn, 1990). Employee engagement is one of the greatest challenges in the modern workplace and will continue to be a challenge to organizations in the future (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017). In their article, Kataria, Rastogi & Garg argue that engaged employees are more productive and contribute to organizational effectiveness. Employees who are enthusiastic about and dedicated to their work are more likely to contribute to attaining organizational goals (Kataria et al., 2013). Engagement is a critical element for organizations because it determines the vitality of the organization. Organizations with engaged employees see greater profits than organizations with disengaged employees (SHRM, 2014).

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A number of factors need to be present for successful employee engagement. The most important factor is building trust and respect between a manager and his or her subordinates, and this trust and respect begins with effective communication (Garber, 2015). Other key factors include making the employees’ work more interesting and challenging, supporting career growth, and making employees feel that they are valued (Garber, 2015).

Employee Disengagement

Disengaged employees cost corporations in the United States approximately $350 billion each year (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017). A real life example of employee disengagement is that of the Country Fresh Meats neighborhood retail market, started in Wichita, Kansas in 1982. The company was a subsidiary of Cargill’s MBPXL division, which was later renamed Excel Corporation (Young, 2003). This neighborhood market specialized in both wholesale and retail sales, and was the model for other neighborhood markets that would be opened in other areas of the country. While Cargill remains an international leader in food products and services today, their neighborhood retail markets were short-lived, primarily due to lack of employee engagement. The Wichita retail market initially had an operations manager working onsite daily, things ran relatively smoothly, and the store was profitable. When the company began to open markets in other areas, the operations manager was sent to oversee the openings of the new locations, and the Wichita market was left with a retail manager who was not equipped with the knowledge or skills necessary to encourage employee engagement. Employees were thus not motivated to do more than was required of them. Business started to decrease and the store eventually lost so much money that the corporation decided to do away with it. The remaining employees were transferred to the nearby Excel plant or let go. This situation could have been avoided if the corporation had educated management about the importance of encouraging employee engagement. This store was an important part of the neighborhood, for many residents, and it had the potential to be very successful. Under new name and new ownership, this retail market is thriving today – and is a valued part of the local community.

Company leaders must work hard to engage employees, if they are to maintain company profitability, as negative behavior quickly spreads among employees. Employee engagement is a byproduct of leadership, and ineffective leadership contributes directly to employee disengagement (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017). In order for leadership to be able to effectively engage employees, education and training for all levels of management must be provided. Organizations must develop training programs that focus on skills that encourage employee performance and engagement, as this will have a direct effect on profits (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017). In the case of Country Fresh Meats, it may have simply been too early for management to fully understand the importance of employee engagement and disengagement on profitability. Research on these concepts have grown substantially in recent years (Elder, & Vigoda-Gadot, 2017).

Strategies for Encouraging Employee Engagement

The study noted in the article by Kataria, Rastogi, & Garg suggests that organizational effectiveness can be achieved, in part, by the design and adoption of an HR system that incorporates employee engagement through positive workplace practices. It calls for human resource managers to develop an understanding of the psychological aspects of the work environment that might motivate workers to become more invested, empowered, and engaged in their work (Kataria et al., 2013). Organizations are more effective when leaders offer rewards and recognition, encourage empowerment of employees, and build a bond with employees (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017). One study also indicated that management can foster employee engagement simply by putting their phones away while in the presence of their subordinates (Roberts & David, 2017). The terms phubbing (phone-snubbing) and bphubbing (boss phubbing) were used to illustrate how the use of smart phones in the presence of employees undermines the bond between employees and leadership (Roberts & David, 2017). A supervisor who is distracted by his or her phone while in conversation with employees cannot be fully engaged, and a healthy relationship cannot be established. Another study by Przybylski and Weinstein found that the mere presence of a smart phone during interaction between supervisors and employees resulted in a decrease in perceived relationship quality and employee trust (Przybylski & Weinstein, 2012).

Employees need to receive not only adequate training to complete their work tasks, but also need to feel they are trusted by management to complete their assigned duties. The bond between leaders and employees is an essential element in instilling employee confidence. Employees that have confidence in themselves will also have confidence in their ability to complete their work duties. This employee confidence will translate to high performance and increased company profitability (Hammoud & Osborne, 2017).


Employee engagement and satisfaction are crucial elements in human resource and organizational strategic planning. Employee engagement should be integrated into other key programs and initiatives, and should be an organizational goal. Engaged employees are more personally invested in their work and this personal investment leads to improved performance and increased profitability. Companies must address employee disengagement with programs and policies that allow employees to feel valued, respected and trusted to perform their work. When proper employee engagement programs are in place, companies will benefit with increased customer satisfaction and profitability.


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