"Employee Engagement (EE) is not just another 'motivational technique' but a systematic approach to people management that should be at the 'heart' of all Strategic HR initiatives in modern corporations in both the private and/or public sector."
Employee engagement is the amount of active involvement and commitment that the employees of an organization have towards the organizations' purpose and its core values. An engaged employee is an indubitable asset to the organization who contributes to the growth of the organization in line with the mission and vision of the organization which he understands and is an integral part of. In general, it is the overall positive attitude of the employees towards the organization and its values. It is one of the relatively new notions that have been heavily marketed by human resource (HR) consulting firms that offer advice on how it can be created and leveraged.
This essay will attempt to define what employee engagement is, its importance and why it should be in the heart of all strategic HR initiatives in modern organizations both public and private.
Meaning of employee engagement 员工敬业度
The exact meaning of term 'employee engagement' is very indistinct owing to its complex nature.
For example, Wellins and Concelman (2005a, p. 1) suggested that engagement is ''an amalgamation of commitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership", suggesting it as a psychological state.
Both the academic usage of the term in research and practitioner's usage in conversations with clients fail to yield a concise definition of the term. But we know is that the term is used in different contexts to refer to either psychological state, traits or behavior of employees of an organization.
From various postulates and definitions from diverse relevant literature, we could propose that the term employee engagement is an amalgamation of three facets or aspects mentioned below.
These aspects are in turn affected by numerous factors like Job attributes, employer image, Leadership, etc.
Contributors to the Aspects of Employee Engagement:
Based on various studies conducted globally, there are three main contributors to these facets of Employee engagement.
The employee themselves - with their unique experiences and psychological personalities.
The employers - their ability to create an environment that promote employee engagement
Interaction Between employees at all levels.
At this point it is quite clear that even by definition and composition 'Employee Engagement' is a set of complex attributes that has to be nurtured in contrast to a simple and generic 'motivational technique'.
Why is it so important? 为什么这么重要？
Employee Engagement in modern context goes beyond a mere buzzword. The capability of an organization to achieve high performance levels and superior business results lies heavily on its capacity to manage employee engagement. As stated already, an 'Engaged Employee' is an indomitable asset to the organization which brings many advantages compared to a non-engaged employee
Engaged employees will stay with the company, be an advocate of the company and its products and services, and contribute to bottom line business success.
They will normally perform better and are more motivated.
There is a significant link between employee engagement and profitability.
They form an emotional connection with the company. This impacts their attitude towards the company's clients, and thereby improves customer satisfaction and service levels
It builds passion, commitment and alignment with the organization's strategies and goals
Increases employees' trust in the organization
Creates a sense of loyalty in a competitive environment
Provides a high-energy working environment
Boosts business growth
Makes the employees effective brand ambassadors for the company 公司员工是有效的品牌大使
Various workplace surveys have proven without doubt that a highly engaged employee will consistently deliver beyond expectations by finding every opportunity to do what they do best. And they make it a point that they implement this in workplace on a daily basis owing to their high state of engagement. Therefore, it is critical for organizations that seek to retain highly valued employees to create and maintain high levels of employee engagement. In all organizations, SME to corporations, private or public, there is an intrinsic link between employee engagement, customer loyalty and profitability. As organizations globalize and become more dependent on technology in a virtual working environment, there is a greater need to connect and engage with employees to provide them with an organizational 'identity.'
Engagement is important for managers to cultivate given that disengagement or alienation is central to the problem of workers' lack of commitment and motivation (Aktouf). Meaningless work is often associated with apathy and detachment from ones works (Thomas and Velthouse). In such conditions, individuals are thought to be estranged from their selves (Seeman, 1972) .Other Research using a different resource of engagement (involvement and enthusiasm) has linked it to such variables as employee turnover, customer satisfaction - loyalty, safety and to a lesser degree, productivity and profitability criteria (Harter, Schnidt & Hayes, 2002).
Why Rewards and Recognition don't work
" Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition."
In the past decades, organizations have spent hefty budgets to the tune of billions of dollars on implementing Rewards and Recognition programs for their employees in the hope of motivating the employees. However, if there was a mechanism to measure the return on investment on these programs, it would turn out to be less than nothing in most cases. Because most of the times, these measures would have been initiated to as a responsive action to critical issues like falling employee morale. While it cannot be denied that there is a small fraction of employees benefit from these programs, a vast majority of the lot will often feel punished.
These programs are designed with reaching (arguably) a goal in short term with no real long term objectives. Though extrinsic rewards for employees has been in practice and quite effective (again..arguably) for long time now, they continue to turn out to be inefficient and out of place in the changing times. Below is an non-exhaustive list of why most programs fail to meet their intended objective(s)
Programs don't fundamentally change employees' beliefs or commitment to their job; they just change their behavior during the course of the program.
Rewards are not necessarily reinforcing. Even those rewards that might appear to be most obviously desirable do not necessarily work for everybody.
Programs tend to be focused too narrowly on specific goals like achieving a target (e.g. Production target) while other equally or more important aspects are being ignored (e.g. Quality)
Programs tend to be focused on visible goals like reduced production time, etc. ignoring the fundamentals like communication, teamwork, etc. which have long term values
Programs with specific goals can limit performance.
Inconsistent and Unfair Administration. One of the major reasons that reward and recognition programs are unfairly administered is that the program guidelines are unclear and open to interpretation
Programs are added Stress for Supervisors 程序增加了主管的压力