Employee engagement is a core factor in determining organizational outputs. Employees who show engagement in their work will definitely give better outputs and thus lead to general company productivity (Sarlak 2010). As such, it is wise that companies ensure that their employees are committed and engaged in their work in order to ensure that they achieve the set company objectives and goals. Although employee engagement is mostly a personal initiative, organizations need to consider realigning some of their policies and guidelines in order to ensure employee engagement (Albrecht, 2010).
Some of the main factors that determine employee engagement include good payments, career support, good manager and staff relationship, good peer culture, employee recognition, development opportunities, trust in managerial leadership, and strategic alignment. Organizations are also supposed to ensure that they have good company strategies and goals that will help to give guidelines to their employees. They are also supposed to ensure that they employ competent employees who can deliver the best in the shortest time possible. In addition to this, the management is supposed to ensure that they keep a close link with their employees and follow up their progress to ensure that they are doing the right thing. This will also keep employees on toes to do their work and thus increase employee engagement (Albrecht, 2010). Introduction
Employee engagement refers to the state in which employees of an organization are self-motivated to work harder to achieve the set goals. It is a state in which employees of an organization are focussed in their work, work for longer hours than expected, work harder in reaching their work targets, and are flexible in taking additional assignments and jobs (Linley, Harrington and Garcea 2010). Employee engagement is a core determinant of company success and as such needs to be observed for better outputs and results. Employee engagement is mainly affected by employee satisfaction of their jobs. In this regard, employee satisfaction refers to how satisfied or happy employees are with their job. Although employee satisfaction affects employee engagement, it is never a guarantee that satisfied employees are engaged in doing their work. Employee satisfaction helps to retain employees in an organization while employee engagement helps to achieve the set goals in regard to company objectives (Albrecht, 2010).
Employee engagement is usually a product of internal commitment of an individual to do his best at work (Sarlak 2010). As such, employee engagement is supposed to be gained through emotional and social handling rather than from physical handling. From past studies, employee engagement is seen to be mainly engineered by how employees are handled in an organization and how they relate with each other in the organization. From this perspective, it is evident that the environment in which employees are engaged has a lot of impact on their engagement in their job. In addition to this, engagement can be determined by personal beliefs and objectives. Some employees are self-motivated to work hard and deliver results while some need supervision of some force in order to engage in work. As such, employee engagement is both a crucial but tricky thing to achieve in any organizational setup with diverse individuals (Linley, Harrington and Garcea 2010).
Literature Review and Critical Analysis
According to a study conducted by Blazey (2013), employee engagement is a combination of many factors which need to be addressed individually in order to increase engagement. Blazey emphasizes that organizations need to evaluate each factor that determines engagement and work on each one independently in order to realize employee engagement. In another study by Cook (2008), employee engagement is seen to be a collection of personal and organizational beliefs. As such, both personal and organizational beliefs need to be critically evaluated and corrective measure undertaken in order to help improve employee engagement. Cook further adds that employee engagement is like a fire that needs to be kept burning by adding the required inputs. He adds that failure to input the required inputs can lead to extinguishing of the fire. He argues that the best way companies can improve their employees’ engagement is by benchmarking their inputs with a better company. This way, employees will realize that they have not input their best in the organization which leads to engagement (Linley, Harrington and Garcea 2010).
In another research by Sarlak (2010), employee engagement is seen to be affected by strategic alignment and competency. Sarlak argues that aligning oneself with company objectives helps an individual to focus on what is required of him while on duty and thus engage in work. Poor organizational strategies lead to poor alignment of employees with the organization which eventually leads to lack of engagement from employees. Sarlak also adds that competence in someone’s work will help one to do his best in their work and thus showing engagement in work. Incompetent employees will show laziness in their work and will therefore show poor engagement in their work (Sarlak 2010).
Factors that enhance employee engagement
The first factor that enhances employee engagement in work is manager-worker relationship. The management teams’ relationship with employees can trigger fear, determination, hard work, determination, and even laziness (Albrecht, 2010). The management is the core determinant of how employees behave and how they engage in their activities while working. Creating a fair but strict relationship with employees is a good way to show employees that work is a serious issue. As such, employees will take up the mantle and demonstrate the seriousness showed to them in their work. In addition to this, creating a friendly relationship with employees also helps to increase employee engagement. Friendly relations helps employees to understand that the work environment is a good atmosphere for their existence and thus work without looking over their shoulder. This boosts commitment and engagement win work (Garber 2013).
Another factor that determines employee engagement in work is trust in senior leadership and organizational culture (Albrecht, 2010). Trust in the management of an organization helps employees to follow orders and attend to their tasks without second thoughts. This boosts productivity and thus engagement in work. In addition to this, the manner in which the management performs its work determines employee engagement. Employees wait for their leaders to set the pace as they follow. As such, the management is supposed to show engagement and hard work in their duties before expecting the same from the employees. Organizational culture is also a major thing in ensuring that there is employee satisfaction and engagement in work. Organizational culture can inspire employees to be better workers or cause them to be lazy employees. The company’s objectives, vision, mission, and core values are the main determinants of the level of commitment and engagement employees input in their work. These are the main things employees monitor when joining a firm and can either make them hardworking or lazy employees.
Another factor that affects employee engagement is employee recognition. The management is supposed to be alert and notice every employee’s efforts in work and reward him or her accordingly (Garber 2013). The management is supposed to come up with a scale for giving commissions and gifts to employees in case an employee has performed his tasks excellently. This will not only give them morale to do their tasks exemplarily but will also motivate other employees to work hard to achieve the same. The management is supposed to make such benefits known to the employees so that they can start working for them. This will increase competition in work and will also boost the company image among the employees. Being keen on employees’ progress in work will also show that the management is in search for quality work and will boost the speed and quality of work delivered from all employees (Albrecht, 2010).
Apart from that, career support is also another important thing that boosts employee engagement in their work (Garber 2013). Conducting professional training and giving seminars to employees is a major way of boosting employee engagement. Training gives employees more skills in their work thus making them do their work more easily and quickly. It is also a show that the management needs them to work better than they are doing currently and will thus boost their morale in work and also boost engagement. In addition to this, giving employees tasks that will help them to grow and develop their knowledge and skills also boosts engagement. Such tasks challenge them to notice that there is a lot they need to learn and thus make them more hardworking in their current tasks so as to learn more (Linley, Harrington and Garcea 2010). This also gives them the impression that they can easily be promoted thus making them committed and dedicated in their work.
In addition to this, peer culture is also another major determinant of employee engagement. Employees tend to imitate what their immediate neighbour is doing while working (Garber 2013). As such, employees with a lot of laziness will definitely influence a new employee to become lazy even if he was initially a hard working individual. There is always a strong relationship between employees than it is between employees and the management. As such, fellow employees can have a high influence on an employee if he is seen to be lazy or giving poor inputs in the organization. In addition to this, employees have much time together than managers have. They thus have a higher impact on their colleagues than the management. From this perspective, it is wise that the management ensure that they have employees who care about company objectives and existence (Garber 2013). Such employees can be used to pass information to the employees to make them work together harmoniously without the managers’ attention (Albrecht, 2010).
Another factor that determines employees’ engagement in work is fair payment. Fair payment is a major factor in determining employee loyalty, satisfaction, engagement, and work continuity. Employees always seek better payments as remuneration to their hard work. As such, if the payment is not fair in regard to the tasks done, employees will show laziness in work and eventually leave the organization when they get better rewarding jobs. Good payments make employees to lack the need to look for better employment and as such concentrate in delivering their best in their current job so as to retain it by all means. This boosts engagement and commitment in work which leads to better outputs (Garber 2013).
Another factor that leads to employee engagement is the availability of development. All employees want to move from one job position to the other. As such, giving employees opportunities for development will definitely increase their engagement in their work. Such opportunities will challenge them to give their best in an organization so that they can be awarded the opportunity to develop and get promotions. Such opportunities make employees to stay focussed in their work and make them work harder in order to show capability of handling more challenging tasks (Sarlak 2010).
From the above discussion, it is recommended that companies ensure that they give their employees good working environments, better payments, development opportunities, career support, employee recognition and good leadership in order to improve employee engagement.
Companies are also supposed to ensure that their employees are engaged in their work in order to increase outputs and improve the quality of their output.
Companies are also supposed to evaluate the factors determining employee engagement in order to ensure that they are giving their best to employees for commitment and engagement in their work.
Companies are also supposed to conduct employee appraisals and give gifts to hardworking and performing employees. This will boost employee commitment thus boosting the quality of outputs.
In conclusion, it is evident that employee engagement is a core factor in business success. Employee engagement helps employees to deliver quality work in the shortest time possible thus yielding more output. In addition to this, employee engagement enables employees to be loyal to the organization. This helps them to have the best interests for the company at heart thus acting as good company agents anywhere they are. Employee engagement is demonstrated when employees are focused in their work, work hard to achieve the set targets and objectives, are flexible in taking additional tasks and assignments, show loyalty to the company, work for longer hours than expected, achieve their targets in time, and conform to the rules and regulations of the organization (Albrecht, 2010).
Among the factors that affect employee engagement include payment rates, career support, development opportunities, strategic alignment of employees to company culture, trust in managerial leadership, manager- employee relationships, peer culture, personal influence, and employee recognition. All these are supposed to be evaluated and improved from time to time if a company needs to improve its output.