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Employee engagement is an important aspect in any organisation. Every company needs employees that are self-motivated dedicated and they ought to be fully involved. They should be dedicated to their work as well as organisation. According to Torrington (2017) although employee engagement may seem easy for any company it is the most difficult aspect for the Human Resource manager to manage. It is affected by various factors such as organisational culture. It is common for a company to experience employee turnover; however, it is important for a company to put efforts to ensure that they are engaged. It will help in making sure that there is no unexpected loss of experienced and skilled workers. Over the past 10 years, the concept of employee engagement has been gaining significant importance.
The concept and drivers of employee engagement
Employee engagement emphasizes on building positive relationships within the company (CIPD, 2019). It links ad repackages older and established concepts. Mainly, it links work motivation and organisational commitment concepts. According to Armstrong (2014) the engagement is divided into rational and emotional commitment. Furthermore, it is suggested that the active commitment lead to engagement levels to be higher (Armstrong, 2014). Other concepts of employee engagement include job satisfaction, passion and enthusiasm. Moreover, identifying with individual’s work and focusing on one’s strengths as well as citizenship behaviour are concepts of engagement within the company. There are various drivers of employee engagement. It is important for the managers to evaluate the drivers of motivations for the employees. They can be divided into Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Intrinsic are classified as those related to the psychological rewards for the employee such as sense or recognition and respect or overcoming challenges. Where from the other side extrinsic are related to more tangible rewards such as better salary or benefits such as holiday or lifestyle benefits (Armstrong, 2014).
Once the manager understands what drives the persons motivation could apply an Leadership that can effectively improve engagement. Leadership is one of the drivers of employee engagement. There are certain leadership behaviors that influence engagement. For instance, motivation, job satisfaction and organisational commitment (Bedarkar and Pandita, 2014). Others include proactive behaviors as well as organisational citizenship behavior. There is link between positive leadership behavior and the employee attitude as well as behavior linked to engagement. Some of the important leadership behaviors are employee development, consideration as well as performance-orientation. The employee development and consideration orientation are relationship-oriented. However, the performance orientation behavior is tasked oriented. Additionally, there are two factors that are connected to engagement, they include management as well as mentoring behaviors. The leaders are involved in ensuring that the employees as confident. Additionally, communication and making sure that workers understand their roles is an important factor in employee engagement.
Work life balance is another significant driver of employee engagement. It is considered as a satisfactory level of involvement. When an employee is able to balance between his/her work and family, they are motivated to perform their work effectively (Bedarkar and Pandita, 2014). Work life balance mainly refers to either organisational support for dependent care, flexible work options as well as family or individual leave (Noe et al., 2003). It includes a flexible time which allows an employee to manage their work effectively. Mainly, when an employee has excessive work load, they are likely to experience emotional exhaustion. In such times the effective use of this approach can help organisation to avoid decrease in employee performance.
Communication is another drive for employee engagement. It is significant to make sure that there is clear communication within the company. The superior need to make sure that they communicate clearly with the employees as it helps in building their relation (Bedarkar and Pandita, 2014). Engagement is influenced by internal communication. It is an important factor in making sure that workers are engaged (Bridger, 2018). Additionally, it helps employees feel like they are part of the company as they are involved in the day-to-day operations of the organisation. It in-turn motivates the employees to work towards the company’s goals.
Other key drivers of employee engagement include trust and integrity between the workers and the company. Singhet et al. (2016) state that when there is trust between the two it is easy for the management to engage the employees.
Organisational integrity is another driver of employee engagement. The company’s values need to be reflected on the organisational culture (Singhet et al., 2016). In this case, the company has to ensure that what they say is what they do.
Another driver is career growth opportunities that are offered to the employee. Sharma et al. (2019) maintains that if the organisation have a culture where the employees are having the chance of growing in the hierarchy the employee’s engagement tend to be higher. Relationship between the workers and the management also plays a major role in influencing employee engagement. Behavior of co-workers or team members also influences engagement within the company.
It is very important how managers are acting towards employees. They are involved in motivating employees and empowering them.
Also, they support the employees in their work. Employee voice is another drive of engagement within the company (Burke and Christensen, 2018). In this case, they need to ensure that workers are involved in the decision-making process within the company.
It is significant to keep in mind that people management as well as HR systems can affect employee engagement (Burke and Christensen, 2018). Hence, it is significant for the employers to ensure that they understand their workers motivation. Management needs to lead and direct the workers by inspiring them to work towards the organisation’s goals.
Diagnostic tools to measure engagement
The interest of employee engagement has greatly increased over the past decades. Also, the need to measure, assess and benchmark levels of engagement within and between companies (Truss et al. 2013). There are various tools used to measure engagement.
Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES)
There are measure that are developed from the Burnout-Antithesis approach. Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) is one of the tools used to measure employee engagement (Truss et al. 2013). It is the most widely used approach. The tool has been used with more than 60,000 individuals globally. It includes 17-item questionnaire scale and a shortened 9-item version. Respondents are required to rate the frequency of their feeling or thought for the past year. They are categorised as feelings of Vigor and dedication as well as Absorption. It has been used in various contexts and it is said to predict individual level performance as well as outcomes linked to wellbeing.
At my work, I feel full of energy
At my work, I feel strong and vigorous
When I get up in the morning, I feel like going to work
I am enthusiastic about my job
I am proud of my work
I am inspired by my job
I am immersed in my work
I get carried away when I am working
I feel contented when I am working
Truss et al. (2013) states that people who have a high score are full of energy and are happy when working.
Psychological engagement measure
Employee engagement is also measured using the needs-satisfying approach. One of the measuring tools is the psychological engagement measure. According to Truss et al. (2013) it includes 13-item questionnaire scale. It was validated through a sample of 213 participants that were derived from a huge insurance company in the US. They were required to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with every statement which was categorised as emotional engagement. They were also categorised as cognitive engagement as well as physical engagement. The measure has been applied in diverse academic studies.
I worked full of energy on my task
I felt energetic about my task
I was interested with my task
I was proud of my work
I paid a lot of attention to my work
I am carried away by my work
Job engagement measure is another useful approach used to assess employee engagement. It is gathered from diverse scales to create the measure of engagement. It includes 18-item questionnaire scale whereby; the participants identify the extent they agree or disagree with every statement linked to their feelings or thoughts concerning their jobs (Truss et al. 2013). It includes diverse categories that include emotional engagement, cognitive engagement and physical engagement. The measuring tool was validated using a sample of 245 US fire-fighters. There is a shorter format of the measuring tool that adopted a 7-point instead of a 5-point scale. It was used in the UK context. The studies that used the tool found engagement that was measured utilising the scale predicated behavioural results that are significant to the company.
I receive useful and constructive feedback
I am given satisfactory feedback concerning my performance
The employee evaluations in the company are fair
I am encouraged to learn from my mistakes
I have an opportunity to participate in essential work
ISA engagement measure is another tool used to measure engagement. It was initially a 21-items questionnaire and it was later developed to a 9-item questionnaire scale (Truss et al. 2013). It was validated by using it to assess 683 employees working in a retail company in the UK. The validation procedure was successful which showed that it could be used in measuring employee engagement (Turner, 2020). The measuring tool is said to be effective compared to other approaches used. The measures that are categorised in the needs-satisfaction approach maintain that engagement has an activated emotional approach and heightened cognitive approach.
I always handle the specified tasks
I met all the specified job requirements
I fulfill all the required responsibilities at work
I never neglect my tasks
I rarely fail to perform important duties
I attend functions that are not needed but are beneficial to the company
The people that register high score show that they are happy and appreciate their work (Turner, 2020).
Gallup organisation’s 12-tem measure tool
Other measures that are used to evaluate employee engagement are linked to satisfaction-engagement approach (Turner, 2020). The measures are used to offer managers with a tool that can utilised to enhance work areas as well as organisational life. It focuses on managerial actions. Gallup organisation’s 12-item measure tool is used to measure employee engagement. The participants are required to include the extent that they agree or disagree with every statement (Truss et al. 2013). The tool has been used in diverse organisations around the world. It has been said to be effective in assessing employee engagement in terms of job-satisfaction. They measure the positive as well as motivational working environment in the company.
I understand what is expected of me
I have the necessary equipment to carry out my tasks
I have the opportunity to do what I do my best at work
I have received recognition for my work
My supervisor is caring
My manager encourages my development
My opinions count at work
Value proposition to raise levels of engagement
Ensuring that there is a strong employee value proposition allows a company to retail highly skilled workers. It is a set of attributes that the labor market and workers perceive as the value they get through employment with the company. The value proposition will include different phases (Simons, 2011). First is planning whereby, the company needs to gain support from the workers. Next, it is important to set goals. It is important for the company to ensure that employees are engaged. Also, the employees are offered clear reasons for them to feel engaged. The workers should be happy with the company and how it operates. The company should understand the team at the individual level.
Value Propositions Example
Hubspot’s value proposition is “We are building an organization that people love. A firm that will endure the test of time, therefore, we invest in our people and focus on your long-term happiness” (Merrell, 2018).
According to Goldman Sachs (2020) “At Goldman Sachs, the company considers who you are makes you better at the work you do. See yourself here”.
Employee engagement strategies
They include upholding the company’s core values. They needs to highlight what matters to the team. Also, they should highlight the ideals that the organisation will uphold. Employees should have a sense of belonging (Bridger, 2018). Another strategy is creating career paths and offering the employees growth opportunities. It is important for the organisation to ensure that it creates a great career path for their employees. Additionally, it needs to offer the workers opportunities to grow (Thornton et al., 2019). They can be offered training stipends to the employees. They can use the money to seek training and enhance their skills. Also, the company should organise developmental workshops that will benefit the employees. In such cases, it will help in motivating the workers.
Another strategy in employee engagement is recognising top performers. It is important for an organisation to recognize the top performers. When employees feel that their work is valuable to the organisation they will be engaged (Torrington, 2017). In this case, the employees will be motivated to participate in the company’s project. It is significant for the company to ensure that they are recognised regularly. Another strategy of employee engagement is promoting transparency. The management should regularly communicate to the employees about issues affecting the organisation. They will be engaged in the company’s development. Encouraging communication in the company is another sure way of engaging the employees. The company should encourage the workers to offer honest feedback.
Employee engagement is an important aspect in a company. It is important for the management to ensure that workers are engaged at all times. There are different drivers of employee engagement and so the organisation could increase the level of engagement by implementing different strategies that address these drivers. Additionally, through the use of different tools of measuring employee engagement the management could keep the levels of engagement high most of the time or take action when these levels are declining. Other measures that are used to evaluate employee engagement are linked to satisfaction-engagement approach. The measures are used to offer managers with a tool that can utilised to enhance work areas as well as organisational life. It focuses on managerial actions. All the tools are validated which means that they can be used to measure engagement in any organisation.
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