Employee engagement

Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees . An “employee” is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. An employee has a positive attitude towards the organization and its values. [1]

An organization with “high” employee engagement may be expected to outperform those with “low” employee engagement

Employee engagement first Appeared as a concept in management theory in the 1990s, [2] Becoming Widespread in management practice in the 2000s, it remains Contested goal. It stands in an unspecified relationship to the future of moral construction and job satisfaction . Despite academic criticism, employee-engagement practices are well established in the management of human resources and internal communications .


William Kahn Provided the first formal definition of personal commitment as “the harnessing of organizational members’ selves to Their work roles; in commitment, celebrities and employee Express Themselves PHYSICALLY, cognitively, and emotionally During role performance. [3] ”

In 1993, Schmidt et al. A concept of ‘ job satisfaction ‘ and ‘engagement with the definition of employee engagement, and commitment to employee engagement.’ This definition integrates the classic constructs of job satisfaction (Smith et al., 1969), and organizational commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991).

Defining employee engagement remains problematic. In their review of the literature in 2011, Wollard and Shuck [4] identify four main sub-concepts within the term:

  1. “Needs satisfying” approach, in which commitment is the expression of one’s preferred self in task behaviors.
  2. “Burnout antithesis” approach, in which energy, involvement, efficacy are presented as the opposites of established “burnout” constructs: exhaustion, cynicism and lack of accomplishment.
  3. Satisfaction-commitment approach, in which commitment is satisfied, evidenced by The Gallup Company’s own Q12 commitment survey which gives an r = .91 correlation with one (job satisfaction) measure. [5]
  4. The multidimensional approach, in which a distinction is maintained between job and organizational engagement, usually with the primary focus on antecedents and consequents to performance rather than organizational identification.

Definitions of commitment in the weight they give to the individual vs. the organization in creating commitment. Recent practice HAS Situated the drivers of engagement across this spectrum, from dans le psyche of the employed individual (for example, promising recruitment That will filter out services ‘disengaged’ job applicants [6] ) to Focusing Mainly on the activities and investments the organization makes to support commitment. [7]

These definitional issues are potentially severe for practitioners. With different (and often proprietary) definitions of the object being measured. Commitment work remains open to the challenge that its basic assumptions are, as Tom Keenoy describes them, ‘ normative ‘ and ‘aspirational’, rather than analytic or operational – and so risk being seen by other organizational participants as “motherhood and apple pie” rhetoric . [8]


Prior to Kahn’s use of the term in the mid-1990s, a series of concepts relating to employee engagement has been investigated in management theory. Employee moral , work ethic, productivity, and motivation had been explored in a line dating back to Mary Parker Follett’s work in the early 1920s. Survey-based World War II studies on leadership and moral grouping. [9] Later, Frederick Herzberg concluded [10] that positive motivation is driven by managers giving their employees developmental opportunities, activity he termed ‘vertical enrichment’.


With the wide range of definitions comes a variety of potential contributors to desirable levels of employee engagement. Some examples:


Eileen Appelbaum and her colleagues (2000) studied 15 steel mills , 17 apparel manufacturers, and 10 electronic instrument and imaging equipment manufacturers. Their purpose is to compare traditional production systems with flexible high-performance production systems involving teams, training, and incentive pay systems. In all three industries, the plants utilizing high-involvement practices. In addition, workers in the high-involvement plants showed more positive attitudes, including trust , organizational commitment, and intrinsic enjoyment of the work. [11] The concept has gained popularity as diverse studies have demonstrated links with productivity . It is often linked to the notion of employee voiceempowerment . [12]

Two studies of employees in the life insurance industry reviewed the fact that they had the power to make decisions, enough knowledge and information to do the job effectively, and rewards for high performance. Both studies included large samples of employees (3,570 employees in 49 organizations and 4,828 employees in 92 organizations). In both studies, high-involvement management practices have been positively associated with employee morale , employee retention , and firm financial performance. [11] Watson Wyatt found that high-commitment organizations (http://www.wikipedia.org/cgi-bin/procedures.html) out-performed those with low commitment by 47% in the 2000 study and by 200% in the 2002 study. [13]


Employees with the highest level of commitment performers are more likely to be involved in organizational performance. [14]


In a study of professional services, the Hay Group found that offices with employees were up to 43% more productive. [15] Job satisfaction is also linked to productivity. [16]

Generating commitment

Increasing commitment is a primary objective of organizations seeking to understand and measure commitment.

Drivers of engagement

Some additional points from research into the drivers of engagement are presented below:

  • Employee perceptions of job importance – “… an employee’s attitude towards the job’s importance and the company had the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service . [17]
  • Employee clarity of job expectations – “If expectations are not clear, and the results are not provided, negative emotions such as Succeed. ” [18]
  • Career advancement / improvement opportunities – “Plant supervisors and managers are more likely to be generated after the suggestion system, where they are driven by cost savings.” [19]
  • Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors – “Feedback is the key to giving employees a sense of where they’re going, but many organizations are remarkably bad at giving it.” [18] “What I really wanted to hear was Thanks. [20] You did a good job. ‘ But all my boss was hand to me. ‘” [15]
  • Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates – “… if employees’ relationship with their managers is fractured, then no amount of commitment to employees. feel about their relationship with the boss. ” [21]
  • Perceptions of the Ethos and Values ​​of the Organization Inspirational leadership is the most important of the six drivers in the world. “
  • Effective internal employee communications – which conveys a clear description of “what’s going on”. ” ‘

Theories are rather based on the principles of understanding and understanding of the environment. organization. [22]

Recent researches have focused on the understanding of how to interact with others, and their link to important work outcomes. [23] From the perspective of the employee, “outcomes” range from strong commitment to the isolation of oneself from the organization. [21]


  • Methodological : The use of statistics, which is typically drawn from survey evidence. These include the risk of mistaking correlations for causation, making invalid comparisons between similar-sounding data from diverging methodologies and / or incomparable populations, misunderstanding or misrepresented basic concepts and assumptions, and confirming the presence of signal error. kept distinct). [24]
  • Administrative : A focus on survey administration, data gathering and analysis of results (rather than taking action) may also damage engagement efforts. Organizations that survey their workforce without acting on the feedback. [25] The reporting and oversight requirements of engagement initiatives represent the time and money of the organization, and therefore requires management time to demonstrate added value. At the same time, actions on the basis of engagement surveys are usually devolved to local management, where any ‘value add’ is counted in local performance. Central Administration of ’employee engagement’ is very challenging to maintain over time.
  • Ethical : it has been possible to alter the attitudes and behaviors of the organization, and the question remains [26] whether it would be ethical to do so. Practitioners generally acknowledge that the old model of the psychological contract is gone, but attempting to identify a program in its place, from employee to organization, may be seen as morally and perhaps politically loaded.

Industry discussion, debates and dialogues

Employee engagement has opened up for industry debate, with questions such as:

  • Does employee engagement really predict sustainable shareholder value? Current metrics remain lag indicators, not lead indicators, so it is possible engagement is caused by success, rather than being its cause.
  • Is there a need to rethink how can employee engagement be approached? Debates range over the value of intermittent surveys versus other techniques (micro surveys, open feedback fora, etc.)
  • Does the concept of work-life balance need to be revisited?
  • To what extent are employees motivated by the mission statement of an organization?
  • Does human nature or neuroscience have a role in employee engagement programs?

Volunteer commitment

Engagement has also been applied in relation to volunteers, for example. More Scout volunteers are likely to have increased satisfaction towards management. Work commitment relates to the positive internal mental state of a voluntary to required tasks. [27]

References in popular culture

  • Dilbert comic strip # 1
  • Dilbert comic strip # 2

See also

  • Brand commitment
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Counterproductive work behavior
  • empowerment
  • Flow (psychology)
  • Human resources
  • Internal communications
  • Internal marketing
  • Job satisfaction
  • Occupational burnout
  • On boarding
  • Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Organizational commitment
  • Positive psychology in the workplace
  • Work engagement
  • Realistic job preview


  1. Jump up^ “Employee Engagement” . Emptrust . Retrieved 11 August 2017 .
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  3. Jump up^ Kahn, William A. “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work.” Academy of Management Journal. Dec 1990; 33, 4; ProQuest pg. 692
  4. Jump up^ Shuck, Brad; Wollard, Karen K. (2011). “Antecedents to Employee Engagement: A Structured Review of the Literature” . Advances in Developing Human Resources . doi : 10.1177 / 1523422311431220 . Retrieved 2014-01-03 .
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  6. Jump up^ http://www.recruiter.co.uk/archive/part-17/FindingPotential-aims-to-help-employers-recruit-engaged-employees/
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  8. Jump up^ Keenoy, Tom (October 30, 2013). “Chapter 11: A murmuration of objects?” In Truss, Catherine. Engagement in Theory and Practice . Routledge. pp. 197-220. ISBN  978-0-415-65742-6 .
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  13. Jump up^ “Employee Commitment” . Susan de la Vergne. 2005. Archived fromthe original on 2012-12-05 . Retrieved 2013-04-30 .
  14. Jump up^ Lockwood, Nancy R. “Leveraging Employee Engagement for Competitive Advantage: HR’s Strategic Role.” HRMagazine Mar. 2007: 1-11. https://www.shrm.org/india/hr-topics-and-strategy/employee-advocacy-relations-and-engagement/documents/07marresearchquarterly.pdf
  15. ^ Jump up to:b “Employee Commitment Remains Unchanged …” Watson Wyatt Worldwide. 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27 . Retrieved 2006-11-07 .
  16. Jump up^ Bockerman, Petri; Ilmakunnas, Pekka (2012). “The Job Satisfaction-Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data”. Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 65 (2): 244-262.
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  18. ^ Jump up to:b “Engage Employees and Boost Performance” (PDF) . Hay Group. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-23 . Retrieved 2006-11-09 .
  19. Jump up^ Hulme, Virginia A. (March 2006). “What Distinguishes the Best from the Rest”. China Business Review .
  20. Jump up^ Lofthouse, Charlie. “Building a thank you culture at work” . Reward Gateway . Retrieved 19 May 2015 .
  21. ^ Jump up to:b Ryan, Richard M .; Edward L. Deci (January 2000). “Self-Determination Theory and Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-being” (PDF) . American Psychologist . 55 : 68-78. doi : 10.1037 / 0003-066x.55.1.68 . Archived from the original(PDF) on 2006-12-12 . Retrieved 2006-11-06 .
  22. Jump up^ Hellevig, Jon(2012) “Employee Engagement in Russia” An Awara Guide, p.29 “Link” (PDF) .
  23. Jump up^ Harter, James K .; Frank L. Schmidt & Corey LM Keyes (2003). “Well-Being in the Workplace and its Relationships to Business Outcomes”(PDF) . Flourishing: The Positive Person and the Good Life : 205-244 . Retrieved 2006-11-08 .
  24. Jump up^ Briner, Rob B (July 2014). “An Evidence-Based Approach to Employee Engagement” . Retrieved 2014-09-11 .
  25. Jump up^ BlessingWhite (December 2010). “Employee Engagement Report 2011” . Archived from the original on 2010-12-12 . Retrieved 2010-12-12 .
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  27. Jump up^ Curran, Ross; Taheri, Babak; MacIntosh, Robert; O’Gorman, Kevin. “Brand Heritage Nonprofit” . Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly . 45 (6): 1234-1257. doi : 10.1177 / 0899764016633532 .

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