ACACIA Learning Employee Engagement (5ENG) 5ENG IHR108001


  • Meaning, Principal Dimensions, and Components of Employee engagement and comparison with other related concepts such as organisational commitment, employer involvement and job satisfaction

Meaning of Employment Engagement

The employee engagement concept has been an aspect of high-level interest among researchers. This is influenced by what Stoyanova and Iliev (2017) identify as a high-level priority and popularity of the concept among multiple modern organisations in both private and public sectors. A common understanding of the concept among employers is that highly engaged employees tend to perform better than others by evidencing an increased interest in their function and working extra mile beyond their assigned roles. There lacks a standard definition of the concept of employment engagement. This is evidenced by MacLeod (2011) report that provided examples of more than 50 definitions.

The earliest definition, as quoted in Ariani (2013), is by Kahn’s in 1990, which identified the process as to how individuals express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally as they interact in their job roles. In other words, employment engagement is an internal phenomenon of operating in a close relationship with others to be able to achieve discretionary effort or moving the extra mile. The latest definition by Bailey et al. (2017) points out that employee engagement is a concept that leads to employee satisfaction. This is best illustrated by a reference to Gallup’s Q12 Questionnaire focusing on factors such as job clarity, job resources that include individuals’ strengths, recognition, social support, personal growth, employee voice, and employee motivation (Gallup, 2020).

Lastly, a common definition by Tladinyane and Van der Merwe (2016) that is based on the results from the Utrecht University Group of Occupational Psychologists has identified employee engagement as a state of mind. Through this, the employees, rather than getting burnouts, are characterised by a high-level vigorousness (high-level energy, being resilient and putting in place immense efforts), being dedicated (enthusiastic, inspired, and proud) and absorption (concentrated in their roles).

Principal Dimensions and Components

Principal dimensions include;

  • Emotional
  • Cognitive
  • Physical Engagement

In regard to the emotional principal is defined by Saks and Gruman (2011) by people who put an emphasis on other people in their workplaces or assuming a feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction in their performance levels. As noted by CIPD (2014), engagement directly impacts on the negative emotional experience in workplaces. Emotions include issues of frustrations and exhaustion for the inability to completing a particular role to a level of satisfaction or being exhausted in working on specific demands of different people. This is a critical dimension since it informs on the capacity of an employee to be effective in assigned functions.

Secondly, in regard to the cognitive dimension, it entails the process of identifying the extent to which employees are engaged in the employment sector, showing the cognitive focus on job roles and representation physically and being motivated to work for the extra mile.

Lastly, for the physical engagement dimension, it entails the level in which activities in a workplace and the extent of employee satisfaction in the physical environment. For instance, highly satisfied employees would have a high possibility of being involved in their distinct roles and to demonstrate the existence of significant job involvement. As illustrated in figure 1, the identified factors directly impact the job satisfaction level of an employee and the extent they are willing to take part in organisation’s essential roles.


Figure 1: Employer Strategies Influencing Business Outcomes

Further, for the employee engagement, they are;

  • Two-way Communication Strategy– For establishing an impeccable communication strategy, employers are tasked with establishing an environment where all employees are appreciated. This is by allowing an employee voice to share distinct ideas and make an appropriate decision. In affirming this, the George Shaw three-factor Model, as identified in Al-dalahmeh et al. (2018), noted that incapacity to implement a detailed communication could hinder a successful improvement of the entire communication in an entity.
  • Employees Appreciation/recognition– Employees who have a feeling of high value and appreciation are essential for harnessing the entire staff achievement, role motivation since this is advanced by achieving entity as the whole goals. For instance, to promote employee recognition, the employees offering rewards annually, monthly for individual employees, or the most performing team in an organisation.
  • Staff empowerment– This is achieved by ensuring that the employees in an entity are engaged to source on their views, act in a manner, and making decisions on roles and responsibilities influenced by the perceptions. This is identified in CIPD (2019a) as the organisational citizenship behaviour which is inclusive of working extensively beyond the assigned roles and guiding an organisation to operate beyond the scope of their job roles.

Comparing Employee Engagement with other Concepts

As illustrated in figure 2, the concepts that are related to employee engagement include;

  • Motivation
  • Organisation citizenship behaviour
  • Organisational commitment
  • Job satisfaction

The relationship between employee engagement and motivation is based on the view that the latter is evident in employees who are significantly engaged. The Inexistence employee engagement creates employees who are demotivated in their roles. Further, for the organisational citizenship behaviour and engagement, this is evidenced by an improved commitment and ensuring employees take part in their roles. The outcome of this is the employees working for the extra mile beyond the scope of their assigned roles. The commitment leads to harnessing the employee’s productivity levels, which is only possible when employee engagement is harnessed.

Figure 2: Employee Engagement Relationship with other Concepts

  • Justification of Alignment of Engagement Practices and Corporate Components

Corporate citizenship is an aspect that is influenced by the capacity and desire for engaging an entity staff. In affirming this, Gallup (2018) report that had delved on the employee engagement strategies in the USA; it was pointed out that 70% of employees are disengaged from their work roles. As a consequence, employees are disconnected from their colleagues emotionally and from their workroles hence reducing their productivity. Based on theory and personal experience as a HR professional, a successful alignment of engagement strategies with a corporate strategy is noted as being a win-win phenomenon since it eventually leads to comprehensive gains in increased engagement.

Further, aligning engagement strategies with corporate components leads to the establishment of a sense of improved involvement and engagement and, as such improved organisation connectedness. This is in line with CIPD (2014) study that had focused on evaluating the future of employee engagement and noted that an improved public reputation with a high-level satisfaction of employees and collaborative work roles with organisation gaining. Therefore, the alignment in a workplace is not a unique or a different concept but aligned with roles, values, and organisation mission representing the entire entity strategy.

In regard to the alignment of employee engagement with organisation roles, the existing gaps between the set organisation goals and active employee performance are identified. As noted by Personnel Today (2015), there is a necessity of ensuring that employees possess appropriate knowledge and skills in carrying out their roles and in alignment with an entity strategy, both short and long-term. An evaluation of the engagement extent, Key Performance Indicators such as annual performance metrics, can be used. Any failure to align the employee’s performance to an entity’s goals could be an appropriate indicator that a highly engaged staff is ineffective in guiding an entity to transition in achieving their identified roles.

In aligning employee engagement with the value and mission of an entity, it is clear that the organisation ought to prioritise on a clear vision that is future-based. To support this, Markos (2010) study note that engaged employees significantly dedicated to attaining their assigned roles is significantly relevant. The outcome of this would be more imminent in an event. The process is aligned with vision statements to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the vision and put their efforts towards their attainment. To affirm this view, Gallup (2017) had developed an evaluation of trends disrupting the workplace for the long-term. The findings of the study were that approximately 40% of the entire Millenials have their interest in the need to work and exist in a business environment promoting lives quality, with most having a direct alignment with their organisation mission. The existence of a disconnect is evident in the event of the inexistence of an immediate and establishment of multiple employees disengagement from distinct functions. This positively indicates the desire to link all staff engagement practices to the entire corporate strategy.

An alignment of the concept of employee engagement and organisation objectives favorably impact the need to increase productivity levels with a detailed important being an attribute of the entire organisation success. This directly influences the incurred profit, value of the sales products and services delivered to customers, employee retention rates, and satisfaction in assigned job responsibilities. Also, employees work effectively in high freedom and will and innovatively to resolve overall issues. This is since employees are not worried about their job security. It is only incentives that are advanced to the employees. Therefore alignment of the concerns of the employees and entity incentives contribute to the high-level productivity of all employees (CIPD, 2019b).

2.1 Principle drivers of employee engagement and business benefits for organisation and different stakeholders

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