Critically examine the managerial implications of employee engagement
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ï»¿Assignment Topic: âCritically examine managerial implications of employee engagement.â Introduction Organizations have usually depend on upon monetary methods or statistics to assess their value, performance and health, yet recently organizations have come to realize the importance of people-centred indicators such as employee traits, perceptions and attitudes can be essential predictors of employee performance and behaviour (Luthans and Peterson 2002, 376). Employee engagement has come to be a popular and broadly used term, there have been various claims that an engaged employee can provide organizations with competitive advantages (Rich, Lepine and Crawford 2010, 617). Although much has been written on the subject, there is still very little research done on how managers, in particular, can influence engagement and how it can be used to improve satisfaction and productivity among employees and overall organizational performance. The purpose of this essay is to critically examine the managerial implications of employee engagement, with the use of empirical and theoretical data previously done to help us support this concept and better understand organizational behaviour. What is Employee Engagement? There have been various and often irregular meanings regarding employee engagement in the academic literature that has resulted in the term becoming confusing to many. Kahn (1990, 694) was the first to describe engagement as âthe coupling of an employeeâs full self in terms of cognitive, emotional and physical vitalities to work role performancesâ. His research concluded that a personally engaged person was someone who is physically involved in tasks, cognitively vigilant and emphatically connected to others.
Kahn (1990) proposed in his study that high rankings of engagement led to both optimistic outcomes for individuals and the organization in terms of productivity and profitability. The Gallup Organization (2004) also found critical associations between employee engagement, customer loyalty, business growth and profitability, showcasing 18% higher productivity in their top-quartile business units as compared to the bottom-quartile business units. These studies support the link between employee engagement and customer loyalty. Southwest Airlines is a prime example of the connection amid engaged employees and customerâs influences customer loyalty and satisfaction. The corporationâs success is largely due to their customer loyalty; the company did this by creating a blog for its workers and customers to freely voice their opinions and continues to encourage them to produce videos conveying their feelings of the company (Gonring 2008, 31). This validates the fact that employee engagement is important to an organizations success by improving productivity and gaining customer loyalty. This is especially true for the service sector where employees come face-to-face with customers. Organizations have come to realize that it is much more costly to hire new people and believe that by training and developing current employees, this would produce feelings of being valued at the organization and is a more influential reason for them to stay. Studies have revealed that highly engaged employees are less likely to turnover and be absent from work. Schaufeli and Bakker (2004, 307) found that there was a negative correlation between and turnover intent and simplified the connection between turnover intention and job resources.
KIA Motors is also another prime example of how leadership and engagement are connected. KIA Motors HR department realized that senior and middle management played crucial roles in constructing an engaged workforce, so managers were showed on a series of training courses to develop management skills and were tested before and after training using the same 360-degree tool (Tomlinson 2010, 28). Results showed a 14% average increase in manager performance and the scores have been maintained proving the sustainability of the courses. Therefore, to improve engagement among employeeâs; managers must be confident in their skills as leaders and create a supportive and inclusive environment where communication and feedback is frequently exchanged and employees can share opinions on decisions as opposed to managers being ignorant and narrow-minded. Conclusion The purpose of this essay was to critically examine the managerial implications of employee engagement. From the readings, it was determined that employee engagement is a useful tool for organizations in terms of motivation, organizational performance, focus, staff retention as well as profitability, in addition managerâs play an important and imperative role in implementing and influencing employee engagement through their behaviours and leadership capabilities and they should be aware of disengagement issues before it becomes a significant problem as can be seen in the various studies conducted. However, the studies did not confirm that the same type of engagement approaches could be applied in every department. In conclusion, employee engagement is a relevant concept for managers to use and the factors which drive employee engagement should be formalized into strategies for the organizations management team to utilize in increasing performance.
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