Employee engagement is currently becoming an increasingly important issue in HR studies and policies because it allows for greatly enhancing employee performance and for bringing numerous benefits to virtually all aspects of a business, as well as to workers themselves. This paper provides a discussion of some of these benefits, also considering several ways through which employee engagement can be increased and used more effectively.
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Some Business Benefits That Are Likely to Be Caused by Employee Engagement
Benefits for the Organization
Engaged employees bring numerous benefits for organizations that they work for. Research shows that engaged workers are considerably more productive that the disengaged ones, which results in greater productivity and performance (qtd. in Kruse). Also, companies with engaged workforce are considerably more likely to better implement innovations (Kruse). In addition, the enhanced productivity and performance of employees are positively correlated with the sales of a business, its profits and total shareholder returns (Kruse).
Benefits for Executives/Managers
Executives and managers of an organization where the employees are engaged also obtain significant benefits. For instance, engaged workers are usually much more loyal to the company there work for (Kruse). This results in greater staff retention and lower turnover, which means that it is easier for the managers and executives to preserve talented personnel; the need to seek and train new workers is also lower (Kruse). Another benefit is decreased rates of absenteeism (Kruse).
Benefits for the Workforce
Importantly, workforce engagement leads to greater rates of employee satisfaction, for the workers who feel energetic, vigorous, confident, and interested in their tasks will have higher rates of satisfaction with their job (Cole et al. 1552-1553, 1562; Truss et al. 132). Engaged employees will usually stimulate their colleagues to work better as well. Also, it is stated that workforce engagement is positively correlated to safety levels at the workplace (Kruse).
Benefits for the Customer Base
Engaged workers will try to better serve their customers, greatly increasing the quality of service in the organization (Kruse). This often leads to higher rates of customer loyalty (Kruse).
The Application of Employee Engagement
Job design plays a critical role in the effectiveness of a company’s personnel. It can also affect employee engagement. For instance, a high-quality job design should provide employees with the training that is necessary to perform the job properly; it ought to allow for effective work/rest schedule; it should enable workers to gain adequate feedback and distribute their efforts efficaciously. Thus, a good job design might contribute to employee engagement, and also permit for extracting benefits from it by effectively managing the workforce (Truss et al. 133-135).
Employees’ discretionary behavior includes beneficial actions that go “beyond the minimum requirements of the organization” (Ariani 49); for instance, workers’ own initiatives and extra activities. Clearly, employees will be more engaged when they are allowed to e.g. realize their own projects. Promoting and stimulating discretionary behavior lets employees show initiative, engage in activities that are interesting to them, promote innovation, etc., and, therefore, allows for effective use of engaged workforce.
Employee autonomy means the ability of the worker to control their tasks. It may provide greater levels of employee engagement (Truss et al. 62); for instance, because the personnel will be able to select the tasks which are e.g. more interesting to them. Clearly, interested and motivated employees will bring better results for the company, and will benefit from the job more themselves.
Organizational citizenship behaviors are the voluntary commitments of employees which are not included in their regular, contracted duties, but which bring benefits to organizations and its personnel. Engaged employees are more likely to demonstrate organizational citizenship behaviors (Ariani 46), for instance, due to the greater levels of commitment to their firms; this leads to increased gains for the businesses.
Therefore, employee engagement allows for significantly increasing the profits of a company, as well as for bringing numerous benefits to various aspects of the organization and to the workers themselves. Improving job design, as well as promoting discretionary behavior, role autonomy, and organizational citizenship, might permit for enhancing employee engagement and using it more effectively.
Transferring the Obtained Knowledge into Working Practices
The knowledge obtained while working on this paper can be transferred into working practices by proposing more effective job designs, and by promoting an organizational culture that stimulates organizational citizenship, discretionary behavior, and role autonomy. Understanding the benefits that employee engagement brings may allow for an easier popularization of such a culture.
Ariani, Dorothea Wahyu. “The Relationship between Employee Engagement, Organizational Citizenship Behavior, and Counterproductive Work Behavior.” International Journal of Business Administration, vol. 4, no. 2, 2013, pp. 46-56.
Cole, Michael S., et al. “Job Burnout and Employee Engagement: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Construct Proliferation.” Journal of Management, vol. 38, no. 5, 2012, pp. 1550-1581.
Kruse, Kevin. “Why Employee Engagement? (These 28 Research Studies Prove the Benefits).” Forbes, Web.
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Truss, Catherine, et al. Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice. Routledge, 2014.