Why You Should Engage Employees?

Several research highlights the benefits of engaging your employees and  getting them to participate more. When employees are engaged, it helps the organization to face different challenges [1], supports it in achieving lasting competitional edge [2] and improves the attitude, behaviour and effectiveness of the employees. Other benefits include improvements in the wholeness of the organization, ability to renew itself, profitability and stock price.[3][4][5][6]

What does employee engagement even mean?

Engaging employees has many definitions, though all of them share the idea that it’s highly beneficial ,since it has effect on how people behave and how they work.  Engagement is visible especially in the energy levels, excitement  and motivation of the employees. [7] When employees are engaged, it’s perceived that they have more energy and they identify more with their work. Some research shows that this can even be seen as the complete opposite to a burnout, which contains almost none of these. [8]

Engage employees, it is highly beneficial. What is engagement? How can an organization increase engagement?

How could organizations engage their employees better?

Kahn[9] suggests that engagement can be achieved in three different levels: creating a feeling of psychological meaningfulness, feeling of safety and achievability:

  1. Psychological meaningfulness means that employees have a belief that they can have meaningful effect on their work if they bring more of themselves into it. Meaningful work is achieved when employees feel themselves useful, valuable and meaningful. This can be affected by work planning, defining roles clearly and more interaction at work.
  2. Psychological feeling of safety means that the employee feel that they can commit to their work without a fear of losing their self-image, career or status due to actions from committing. Feelings of safety are often linked to organizations, which have clear rules of what is acceptable and where employees can implement themselves without risks. This can be helped with personal relationships, increasing group dynamics, leadership and norms.
  3. Psychological achievability is connected to how well the employees feel they can participate and how well they can give their own resources to their work. Things blocking this can be either depletion of physical or emotional resources, uncertainty or non-work related matters.

Organizations can affect meaningfulness, feeling of security and achievability in many ways and through this increase the engagement. When the level of engagement rises, changes can be seen, for example, in: organizational level (wage, career opportunities, job security), social behaviour (support of superiors or colleagues, team atmosphere), work arrangements (role clarity, possibility to take part in the decision making) and the job itself (level of demand, importance, possibility to make own decisions and receiving feedback).[10]

What to do to increase engagement?

The big problem is that even when planned, often the ideal of high employee engagement won’t realize itself as hoped. Even though the problem is often recognized in many organizations, the tools for achieving controlled engagement are few and not many organizations hold them. Not having good tools or skill-set to handle engagement will cause the employees to feel that they are being treated indifferently.

One way to engage personnel and improve their working experience is to use NOOA, the new dimension of renewals, developed by TripleWin. NOOA will renew and turn around the classical top-down leadership, allowing for more support for the employees, better rewarding and makes giving feedback easier. It also allows the employees to take part in decision making and share new ideas. In addition to these, it clarifies the actions and shows the importance of these actions, linking them to strategy. Start engaging your employees and read more about NOOA here.


Sources:

[1] Schaufeli, W., & Salanova, M. (2007). Work engagement: An emerging psychological concept and its implications for organizations. In S. W. Gilliland, D. D. Steiner, & D. P. Skarlicki (Eds.), Managing social and ethical issues in organizations (pp. 135−177). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

[2] Macey, W. H., Schneider, B., Barbera, K. M., & Young, S. A. (2009). Employee engagement: Tools for analysis, practice, and competitive advantage. Malden, WA: Wiley-Blackwell.

[3] Bates, S. (2004, February). Getting engaged. HR Magazine, 49(2), 44−51.

[4] Baumruk, R. (2004). The missing link: The role of employee engagement in business success. Workspan, 47, 48−52.

[5] Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268−279.

[6] Richman, A. (2006). Everyone wants an engaged workforce how can you create it? Workspan, 49, 36−39.

[7] Macey, W. H., & Schneider, B. (2008). The meaning of employee engagement. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, 3−30.

[8] Schaufeli, W., & Salanova, M. (2007). Work engagement: An emerging psychological concept and its implications for organizations. In S. W. Gilliland, D. D. Steiner, & D. P. Skarlicki (Eds.), Managing social and ethical issues in organizations (pp. 135−177). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

[9] Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 692−724.

[10] Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The job demands–resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309−328.

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