employee engagement

Topics: Management, Behavior, Human resource management Pages: 70 (8136 words) Published: March 9, 2014
Managing for sustainable employee engagement
Developing a behavioural framework

Acknowledgements

We are most grateful for the support from the
members of our research consortium and from all the
participating organisations who were involved in the
project. We are also grateful to Ben Willmott at the
CIPD for his help in getting the project off the ground
and producing the report and guide.
This Research Insight was written by Rachel Lewis,
Emma Donaldson-Feilder and Taslim Tharani of Affinity
Health at Work (Rachel Lewis is also a lecturer at
Kingston Business School). Affinity Health at Work is a
specialist consultancy offering research and consultancy
solutions to improve workplace health and well-being.
For further details about the research project or Affinity
Health at Work, please contact Rachel Lewis,
rachel@affinityhealthatwork.com or Emma
Donaldson-Feilder, emma@affinityhealthatwork.com
or visit www.affinityhealthatwork.com

2    Managing for sustainable employee engagement

Contents

Introduction4
What is engagement?

4

Why is employee engagement important?

4

Employee engagement in a changing world

5

Engagement vs well-being?

5

Transactional vs emotional engagement

5

Well-being + engagement = sustainability

6

Managing for employee engagement

7

Managing for employee well-being

8

Managing for sustainable employee engagement: aims of the current research

9

Methodology10
Results: framework of competencies for ‘managing for sustainable employee engagement’ 11 Discussion and conclusions

15

The way forward

17

Implications for employers

17

Implications for managers

18

Implications for public policy-makers

18

Future research

19

References20

Managing for sustainable employee engagement    3

Introduction

What is engagement?

social engagement: actively taking opportunities to

Although it is widely accepted by both academics

discuss work-related improvements with others at

and practitioners that employee engagement

work (acting).

has a significant and positive impact on both the
organisation and the individual (Schaufeli and

The current study aims to define employee

Bakker 2010), there is no general consensus on the

engagement in such a way that it encompasses all

conceptualisation of employee engagement. A recent

the key definitions used in both academic research

review of the literature (Lewis et al 2011) noted that

and practice. The definition was developed in the first

HR professionals and management consultancies

phase of this research (Lewis et al 2011 – see below

place a strong emphasis on engagement with the

for the findings of the first phase):

organisation, whereas academic definitions tend to
place more of an emphasis on engagement with

‘Being focused in what you do (thinking), feeling

roles and tasks. The majority of HR professionals

good about yourself in your role and the organisation

and management consultancies define employee

(feeling), and acting in a way that demonstrates

engagement in terms of organisational commitment

commitment to the organisational values and

(a desire to stay with the organisation in the future)

objectives (acting).’

and employees’ willingness to ‘go the extra mile’,
which includes extra-role behaviour and discretionary

Why is employee engagement important?

effort that promotes the effective functioning of the

Evidence suggests that employee engagement has

organisation (Schaufeli and Bakker 2010).

a positive and significant effect on organisations:
for example, in Towers Watson’s 2007–08 Global

In contrast, academics have defined engagement as a

Workforce study, organisations with high employee

psychological state. Schaufeli and Bakker’s (2003) is the

engagement showed a 19% increase in operating

most widely used...

References: GATENBY, M. (2010) Creating an engaged workforce.
PETROV, G. and GEORGELLIS, Y. (2012) Emotional or
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and
KUPER, H. and MARMOT, M. (2003) Job strain, job
AMATI, C.A
BLACK, C. (2008) Dame Carol Black’s review of the
LEWIS, R., DONALDSON-FEILDER, E
BURKE, R.J. (2000) Workaholism in organisations:
psychological and physical well-being consequences.
MACLEOD, D. and CLARKE, N. (2009) Engaging for
Stress Medicine
DONALDSON-FEILDER, E. and LEWIS, R. (2011)
Information
MELCHIOR, M., CASPI, A. and MILNE, B.J. (2007)
Personnel and Development.
(2009) Preventing stress: promoting positive manager
behaviour
J. and ROBINSON, V. (2011) Sustainable organisation
performance: what really makes the difference?
FAIRHURST, D. and O’CONNOR, J. (2010) Employee
Shaping the Future, Final Report
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