Employee harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work

Employee engagement is the workplace approach through
involvement of employees that results in

emotional commitment the employee feels towards his or
her organization. The concept of employee engagement first appeared as a
concept in management theory in 1990s by William A. Kahn.

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The meaning of employee engagement is ambiguous among
academic researchers and among practitioners but when defined by Khan
(1990:694), employee engagement is “the harnessing of organization members’
selves to their
work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically,
cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”, as well as personal
disengagement as “the uncoupling of selves from work roles; in disengagement,
people withdraw and defend themselves physically, cognitively, or emotionally
during role performances”.

Employee engagement activities is important for
organizations as it not only helps the company to grow, it also helps the
employees to nurture and reach self-actualization. It is understood that the
better the engagement in each level: physically, cognitively and emotionally,
the higher the employee engagement.

A study ‘2013 State of the American Workplace Report’
conducted by Gallup determined three kinds of employees: Engaged, disengaged
and actively disengaged. Types of employee engagement are shown in figure X:

Figure X: Types of Employee Engagement

An engaged employee is defined as a person who is
satisfied with their job, drives innovation to further the organisation’s
reputation and interests and are less likely to leave the organisation. A disengaged
employee is one who do their jobs but do not put in energy or passion into
their work. An actively disengaged employee is not only dissatisfied with their
work but also bring negativity to the workplace by disrupting operations.

Another study by Institute of Employment Studies (IES)
states that engagement levels vary according to different biographical and
personality characteristics as well as seniority, occupation and length of
service in an organisation. The choice of engagement is dependent upon what the
employee considers is worth investing themselves in.

Employee
engagement is a concept that combines factors such as teambuilding, motivation
and empowerment of employees. The
concept employee engagement includes both motivation and satisfaction of
employees (Larkin, 2009; Truss et al., 2014), therefore allowing us to look at both
the cognitive and emotional element of the two-way employee-employer
relationship.

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