Employee Engagement A review of current thinking
Gemma Robertson-Smith and Carl Markwick
Published by: INSTITUTE FOR EMPLOYMENT STUDIES Mantell Building University of Sussex Campus Brighton BN1 9RF UK Tel: +44 (0) 1273 686751 Fax: +44 (0) 1273 690430 www.employment‐studies.co.uk Copyright © 2009 Institute for Employment Studies No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage or retrieval systems – without prior permission in writing from the Institute for Employment Studies. ISBN 978 1 85184 421 0
Institute for Employment Studies
IES is an independent, apolitical, international centre of research and consultancy in HR issues. It works closely with employers in all sectors, government departments, agencies, professional bodies and associations. IES is a focus of knowledge and practical experience in employment and training policy, the operation of labour markets, and HR planning and development. IES is a not‐for‐ profit organisation.
Summary 1 Introduction 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2 Why is engagement of importance and interest? IES research to date Purpose of review Method
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What is Engagement? 2.1 Defining engagement
Outcomes of Engagement 3.1 3.2 3.3 Organisational outcomes Employee outcomes The downside of engagement
Variations in Employee Engagement 4.1 Are some people more likely to engage than others?
Enabling Engagement in Practice 5.1 5.2 5.3 Drivers of engagement Barriers to engagement In summary
Measuring Employee Engagement 6.1 6.2 Existing measures Acting on feedback
Areas of Overlap With Other Concepts 7.1 7.2 Similar concepts General thoughts
Conclusion 8.1 8.2 Developing a culture supportive of engagement Future research into engagement
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Bibliography Related Publications
1. Engagement is consistently shown as something given by the employee which can benefit the organisation through commitment and dedication, advocacy, discretionary effort, using talents to the fullest and being supportive of the organisation’s goals and values. Engaged employees feel a sense of attachment towards their organisation, investing themselves not only in their role, but in the organisation as a whole. 2. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with the organisation, perform 20 per cent better than their colleagues and act as advocates of the business. Engagement can enhance bottom‐line profit and enable organisational agility and improved efficiency in driving change initiatives. Engaged individuals invest themselves fully in their work, with increased self‐efficacy and a positive impact upon health and well‐being, which in turn evokes increased employee support for the organisation. 3. Engagement levels can vary according to different biographical and personality characteristics. Younger employees may be positive when they first join an organisation, but can quickly become disengaged. Highly extravert and adaptable individuals find it easier to engage. Engagement is a choice, dependent upon what the employee considers is worth investing themselves in. 4. Engagement levels vary according to seniority, occupation and length of service in an organisation but not by sector. The more senior an individual’s role, the greater the chance of being engaged. Presidents, managers, operational and hands‐on staff tend to be the most engaged, professionals and support staff the least, but this varies between organisations. 5. There are seven commonly referenced drivers of engagement: the nature of the work undertaken, work that has transparent meaning and purpose, development opportunities, receiving timely recognition and rewards, building ...
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