Employee engagement is the corporate world concept that involves employees enthusiastically in their work and their all actions are directed towards the organization goals and objectives. Employee engagement is also considered as their positive and negative emotional attachment with their work, peers and organization. This attachment influences their willingness to perform well in their duties and learn new skills to excel in their career in that organization. Employee engagement is quite different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organization culture.
Employees engaged enthusiastically with the company are concerned about the future of the company and are willing to invest unrestricted efforts for the development of the company (Seijts, Gerard H. And Dan Crim, 2006). All the outperforming companies have been valuing the process and outcomes of the employee engagement in an organization. It has now become the integral part of the corporate goals and objectives which is beyond the initiatives of the Human Resource Management policies and objectives. Employees when are actively engaged with the organization they feel strong emotional bond that enables them to produce more efficient outcomes with better productivity, high retention rate and lower absenteeism (Robinson, 2003). On contrary employees when disengaged with the organization weakens the spirit of colleagues and teams with whom they work. This will in turn increase employee related issues like absence from work, employees not committed to their work; decline in productivity; customer complains increases and will bring bad image to the company.
Employee Engagement a corporate conceptual framework
In the corporate conceptual framework, employee engagement is actually the process of leading people by making them achieve what is necessary for the organization's high performance outcome and growth that will bring success to the business and increased level of involvement of the people. However, employees perceive the engagement process to be their emotional attachment with the company which is brought in through the management action and their experience with the company. These experiences are the 'drivers' that is bringing out the engagement process and growth to the company thus employee engagement is the 'drivers to growth' for the company. Here the leadership role is to manage these experiences to the positive level and not controlling employee's actions through command and authority. Thus employee engagement also brings in new role of leadership in the organization from the corporate perspective that directs the employee's actions towards the desired state (Scarlett, 2008).
In the business context employee engagement is the positive intensity and quality of efforts the organizations can get from individuals within the specific job they perform. Organizations are also concerned with the individual talent which when combined with employee engagement can bring to the company high level of quality products and services; increased efficiency measured through revenue per employee; innovation, creativity and conviction for continuous improvement in the organization; high customer loyalty and increased return on investment.
The leadership role in achieving high level of employee engagement can be done through:
a) Senior Leaders as Role Models: Senior leaders establish the culture of development. They are mentors for the employees and other middle management group. The abide by the principles of developing employees, creating an organization of high level of commitment, create every possible effort to take care of all the stake holders and gives priority to organizations value system by setting standards and benchmarks.
b) Roles and responsibilities well communicated: Leaders primary function in creating workforce engagement is to foster communication with them. Through open and supportive communication system employee feels valued and set their own targets to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. Through this process leaders are best able to set performance standards and employees are best able to understand the level expected from them and give in their extra to achieve these levels.
c) Encourage learning: Employees are committed to work when they feel their learning capacities are increasing as they progress in work. They seek to learn new skills from their day-today operations. Leaders create the environment of learning so that employees work progress increases, creates creativity in an organization and employees are able to face all the challenges of work with full commitment and talent.
Action Plan for Employee Engagement
The leadership role define above will create an environment of employee engagement in an organization. Employees when they join the organization they are very much enthusiastic about the work and firm but with the passage of time this enthusiasm rust due to many reasons prevailing with and out the domain of organization. It is the responsibility of the leader to function as an anti-rusting agent and not let the commitment level drop in the employee's work functions. This is the essence of building employee engagement in an organization. The model which can be adopted by organizations in achieving this goal is 'the employee engagement model' (Esty and Gewirtz, 2008).
The Employee engagement model provides a guidance to increase employee engagement in an organization. The focus of the model on creation of the environment of employee engagement is through creating the culture of engagement in an organization. Once this culture have been created then it's not the management hassle to work on building the engagement plan every year, it will become a system which will be inbuilt in an organization.
Fig 1: Employee Engagement Model
Source: Katharine Esty and Mindy Gewirtz (2008). Creating a culture of employee engagement
It is apparent from the figure above that the left side of the model list five points that are directed to the Culture of Engagement in the center. These five parameters are basically the 'drivers' that runs the process of employee engagement. In other words it can be said that these are basically the 'reinforces' that execute the action plan and make it functional in an organization. These parameters are two-way feedback system, building trust in leadership, career development of the employees, employees are best able to understand their role in overall success of the organization and creating a sense of shared decision-making. These drivers translate the process of creating the culture of engagement into employee engagement. The outcomes of the process can be seen as increased organizational performance, high level of productivity, greater financial success and retention of valued employees. In actual the outcomes of the process are not limited to these points but they serve as the generic standards which are achieved through the creation of culture of engagement in an organization.
Success of the Plan
The success of the plan or model is measured in the level of outcome it produces in the organization. These outcomes are measured through financial numeric values, performance management system and operational efficiency of the organization. Besides these measurable figures which can be analyzed any time, the plan will work for the following main reasons:
a) Introduction of new skills in an organization: The management and leaders role is to rejuvenate the skills and learning of employees on continuous basis. The model for creating employee engagement seeks to achieve this objective and will produce outcomes for which leaders are responsible for achieving. It will create an organization of 'learning centers' where employee gets chance to learn new skills and creatively apply in their routine activities. This will foster employee engagement in the organizational goals and overall development.
b) Effective Interpersonal Relations: Through this model leaders are able to give high level of input to the employees, increases communication and system transparency. This will strengthen the communication system within the organization thus creating effective interpersonal relations. When the interpersonal relations of leaders and employees are strong they are more committed to work and employee engagement will enhance for long-term.
c) Provide development opportunities: Career development is achieved through leaders more involvement in the process. Employees when feel their career is being taken care off in the company they are less likely to think about…