Elements of Empowerment6
Methods to Empower Employees7
Employee Engagement Approaches for Employees10
Activities to Develop the Culture of the Organization12
Team building activities12
Leadership development activities12
Employee engagement in action: Sun Microsystems13
Employee empowerment in action: Verisign14
Establishing and strengthening emotional bonds between employees and organization is not a new concept by any means. Employee engagement is not a new buzz word or an old adage that is being revisited. In today’s extremely competitive marketplace, where companies are vying for that one unique advantage that sets them apart from their counterparts; employee engagement and empowerment programs gain paramount importance. Every organization consists of employees with their unique background and personal experiences. How an organization embraces this wealth of uniqueness is a different issue altogether. Employees can be a company’s greatest asset. It has been proven time and again that organization that invests in the recruiting, development and retention of these assets gain exponential returns. However, it is important to ensure that everyone participates from the ground up. Employees alone do not drive engagement. The entire organization, its managers and its employees comprise the level of engagement. For employees to truly “work” employees must both feel satisfied and produce quality work. In other words employees need to be happy and productive. Managers have an important role to play in this process. They must communicate and lead their employees towards the goals of the organization. Organizations and leaders must set forth clear visions and goals, and encourage the spread of their vision throughout the company. Employee engagement is an approach to business and employees that is producing exceptional results. Mentalities and attitudes must be altered for the better in order for this belief of employee engagement to take hold and thrive in the organization. Proper training, marketing and support are mandatory for engagement to thrive in any corporate culture.
True employee engagement not only requires, but demands a comprehensive, strategic approach that creates positive, lasting results when implemented effectively. Employee engagement encourages productive and dedicated team members with vested interest in the company; managers motivated by positive results and a bottom line that benefits from increased employee retention and efficient operations. Simply stated, employee engagement is vital to building and maintaining a successful organization.
Kahn (1990) defined employee engagement as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”. The cognitive aspect of employee engagement concerns employees’ beliefs about the organization, its leaders and working conditions. The emotional aspect concerns how employees feel about each of those three factors and whether they have positive or negative attitudes toward the organization and its leaders. The physical aspect of employee engagement concerns the physical energies exerted by individuals to accomplish their roles. Thus, according to Kahn (1990), engagement meant, to be psychologically as well as physically present when occupying and performing an organizational role.
Most often employee engagement has been defined as emotional and intellectual commitment to the organization (Baumruk 2004, Richman 2006 and Shaw 2005) or the amount of discretionary effort exhibited by employees in their job...