Employee Engagement

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INTRODUCTION
Employee engagement, also called worker engagement, is a business management concept. An "engaged employee" is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests. According to Scarlett "Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform is at work". Thus engagement is distinctively different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organizational culture. Employee engagement was "an employee's involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with work. Employee engagement is a part of employee retention." This integrates the classic constructs of job satisfaction, and organizational commitment for understanding the impact of engagement. The opposite of employee engagement is a zombie employee. A zombie employee is a disengaged employee that will stumble around the office, lower morale and cost the company money. More recently employee engagement has become an area of focus within organizations for the purpose of retention as a means of avoiding expensive employee replacement costs resulting from staff who voluntarily quit their jobs. 10 Common Themes: How Companies Measure Engagement

Employers typically assess their employees’ engagement levels with company-wide attitude or opinion surveys. A sampling of the criteria featured in such instruments reveals 10 common themes related to engagement: 1. Pride in employer

2. Satisfaction with employer
3. Job satisfaction
4. Opportunity to perform well at challenging work
5. Recognition and positive feedback for one’s contributions 6. Personal support from one’s supervisor
7. Effort above and beyond the minimum
8. Understanding the link between one’s job and the organization’s mission 9. Prospects for future growth with one’s employer
10. Intention to stay with one’s employer

Trends in Employee Engagement
Over the past decade, and particularly in the past three years, employers and employees have faced human capital challenges and an uncertain economy. The economic downturn had a significant impact on companies and the resulting decisions made by management. These decisions have impacted employee engagement levels and perceptions globally, leading to changes in leading drivers of employee engagement. In uncertain times, organizations need to focus on harnessing the discretionary effort that engaged employees deliver. This makes the difference in how companies are affected during the economic downturn, how quickly they emerge from it, and how strong they are in the future after the downturn passes. Top 5 Employee Engagement Trends

1) The recession was a perfect storm for Disengagement as pay freezes, benefit cuts and layoffs permeated the workforce. The organizations will utilize their most Actively Engaged employees as mentors to help motivate and re-energize their disenchanted colleagues.

2) Company morale and Engagement levels fluctuate dramatically during tough economic times. Now the economy is slowly rebounding, such ambivalence will lead more organizations to get a pulse on company morale through Employee Engagement Surveys, department meetings and focus groups. 3) As the economy continues to improve, more and more employees will begin to look for other job opportunities.  According to Harris Interactive, over half (54 percent) of employees plan on looking for a new job once the economy improves.  The importance of retaining employees, especially high performers, cannot be underestimated. HR professionals will start to devote more time and money toward establishing a strategic retention plan and understanding their organization’s key retention factors.  Beyond compensation and benefits, offering effective training and professional...
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