Relatively New Concept Of Employee Engagement

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In his report, MacLeod (2009) stated that: “an engagement can be a triple win: for the individual at work, the enterprise of service, and for the country as a whole”. Employee engagement is a relatively new concept however, it brings together older and more recognized concepts such as work motivation and organizational commitment. There are also other related beliefs like job satisfaction, passion, and enthusiasm shared purpose, or alignment to company strategy. In accordance with the Gallup organization research (2004), there is a relationship between employee engagement and customer loyalty, growth of the business, and company profitability.

There are some drivers which contribute to the engagement concept and the successful workplace. For example, it is very important that employees understand how their work/job role contributes to the overall success of the business. If an employee can see a clear connection on how their role contributes to the organization, they will go an extra mile to help create organizational success. It is also very important that employees identify with the organization’s culture. If an employee finds the workplace enabling and supporting, they are more likely be engaged and motivated. Pay and recognition are also important drivers. Equal pay together with reward and recognition will enhance motivation and will lead to commitment and engagement. Employees also feel satisfied when they are able to broaden their skills and knowledge. Therefore, learning and development opportunities are important tools in driving engagement. Clearly communicated goals and reasonable feedback will help employees with the improvement and achievement of organizational objectives. This can be done through performance management. One of the most important drivers between an engaged workforce and a successful business is leadership. Often employees leave the workplace due to dissatisfaction with their boss. Therefore, organizations ought to focus on upskilling their leadership team and aligning them to its goals, culture, and people. (MacLeod 2009).

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There are many benefits of having an engaged workforce. For example, an engaged workforce gives a company a competitive edge in the market, as the commitment of the workers can drive innovation, sales and productivity. Employees who are engaged and happy in their jobs are likely to recommend their workplace to others and are also less likely to look for new employment. The greater the engagement the better collaborative workforce and a commitment to each other and better team performance. Also, in engaged workplaces employees share responsibility for achieving business objectives and strive for the best results. (CIPD)

Feeling satisfied at work and being engrossed in day-to-day tasks can give employees a state of ‘flow’, according to Csikszentmihalyi (1990). According to him, ‘flow’ is one of life’s highest enjoyable states of being. When people achieve this state, they are entirely enclosed in the present and are being more creative, productive, and happy. The ‘flow’ will be experienced differently by different individuals. Some might experience it while engaging in activities such as sport, running, painting, drawing, or writing and some will achieve it by being engaged in an activity that is not too hard but also not too easy. In order to achieve it, individuals must feel confident and happy doing it.

It is therefore important for employers to ensure that they actively engage with employees, to assess their current interests, successes, and barriers, to help them achieve the perfect balance in the workplace. Employees must feel valued and needed, they need a certain level of autonomy to enable them to achieve success.


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