Employee engagement is a vast paradigm that almost touches all parts of Human Resource Management. If employee engagement is not properly addressed and described, employees might fail to fulfill their assigned tasks. Managers around the world focus to enhance productivity and efficiency. Studies indicate that this can be achieved if employee satisfaction is maintained approximately at the optimum level. Gallup organization has defined employee engagement as the involvement with work and the enthusiasm for work. Robinson, a leading management theorist, has defined employee engagement as “a positive attitude held by the employee towards the organization and the organizational values. An engaged employee is aware of business context and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organization as a whole. The organization must work to develop and nurture the employee engagement within the organization, which requires a two-way relationship between the employer and the employees. Job satisfaction is of one the key characteristics to improve employee engagement and increase organizational performance. There are two aspects of job satisfaction i.e. affective job satisfaction and cognitive job satisfaction. Managers within the organization measure performance, perhaps by comparing it against a benchmark. They analyze and assess their findings and design their controls accordingly to advance the organization’s performance. Managing a commercial business is different from managing other types of organizations, as the business manager has a key responsibility for the economic performance of the business. For this purpose effective employee performance comes in to play. The levels of job satisfaction and employee engagement can be affected by many factors including rewards, recognition, quality of supervision, social relationship with the workgroup and the extent to which the employee is successful in getting his work done. Job satisfaction and employee engagement can be improved by the following factors:
- Appropriate rewards and recognition
Organizations across the world are driving to improve organizational performance regardless of the size of the organization or the industry. According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, there are hygiene factors that need to be in place to prevent the employees being dissatisfied which need to be in place such as sufficient pays for the employees, fair and consistent company policies and supervisory practices and appropriate working conditions for the employees as a whole. Herzberg further argued that there are specific motivating factors that provide motivation and the opportunity to feel satisfied to the employees such as the ability to achieve, being recognized for effective and good work and exposure to promotional activities. Organizational performance can be increased by implementing management by objectives and using a participative style of management i.e. by engaging your people, applying appropriate performance evaluation and reward systems, and enhancing the quality of work and instilling good feedback mechanisms.
- Good quality of supervision
Peter Drucker suggested that there are basically three aspects of manager’s responsibility i.e. managing the business, the managers, and the workers along with their work to achieve optimum standards of organizational performance. Drucker was the first theorist to use the term “Management by Objectives” because he believed that organizational performance success can be achieved when targets for achievement are assigned individually and that the individuals achieve them effectively. This can be achieved if the employees of the organization experience optimum level of job satisfaction within the business. Good quality supervision will benefit the organization through improved productivity and profitability. This shall also result in reduced employee turnover. As the organization’s reputation for being a happy place to work for the employees will help, retain them and hence reduce costs for staff turnover. This shall also be a stepping-stone to attract new employees.
- Social relationship with the workgroup
The better social relationship among the employees will help stabilize the work environment and will motivate the employees to work as a team. The team shall benefit more from harmonious interpersonal communication and will result in improved productivity. This is likely to manifest with increased productivity in the team and a strong team identity and reputation of the organization as a whole. The improved reputation for looking after the workforce may attract both the investors and the customers who want to be associated with a socially responsible organization who keeps its employees satisfied.
- Self-achievement of the employees
Performance evaluation and career progression can be a key motivating factor for the employees to work effectively and efficiently. Thus, increasing organizational performance. Performance measurement and reward systems in an organization establish views of priority i.e. what is important and what is not so important. This is essential, as individuals will focus on performance that earns rewards. The system must be a sound one so that people can rely on it. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of motivational factors, people will be driven to work if their targets of achievements are associated with the desired outcome. Rewards systems should be amended so that the rewards to managers and other employees are based on performance targets that are consistent with the requirements of the change. Employees should be rewarded for performance based on the desired behavior and results.
Organizational performance comes with job satisfaction. Levels of job satisfaction can be affected by many factors including rewards, recognition, quality of supervision, social relationships with workgroups and extent to which the individual is successful in the performance of their duties. According to Vroom, one of the best management theorists of his time, instrumentality (rewards system) affects motivation for the increase in organizational performance. Managers must keep their promises that they have given of rewards for performance and try to make sure that the employees believe that the management will keep its promises. However, performance targets do not usually have to be financial targets. They can be in other forms such as recognition, promotion etc.
- Feedback mechanism regarding the evaluation of the work
Employees need feedback about their performance. Employees need to be communicated about their actual performance and their expected performance. In this way, they will know their own performance level within the organization. Bonus must be kept for employees who work overtime and provide efficient results. For achievers, pay is a form of feedback about their performance. High pay and bonuses are a measurement of their success in achieving goals.
Management must adopt a democratic style of management in which they involve the employees in decisions and brainstorming sessions. Hence giving employees the belief that they are participating in all business decisions, which will associate all the employees as one unit. This will help in coordination among employees and taking responsibility. McGregor and Argyris, two brilliant management theorists, have argued in favor of a participative style of management and getting employees involved in problem-solving and decision-making. They believed that this style of management gets more out of employees, which eventually improves the performance of the organization. They also argued that the best leaders are individuals who harbor a need for achievement. Therefore, management should try to identify and develop high achievers among the organization.
- Engaging your people
According to the Gallup survey, engaging your employees to organizational goals is the key feature of every business. Employees can be engaged in their work if they are passionate about their work, deliver their best performance and strengthen their commitment. This can enhance organizational performance by a multiplier effect. This can be done by building a strong understanding of your business strategy throughout the employees, building trust and by making certain that all employees are using their desired set of preferred skills. The management should also ensure that all departments are improving its procedures and controls and targeting its activities on better achieving the company’s competitive differentiation through what the employees do and how they are doing it.
- Better internal controls and eliminating internal roadblocks
Individuals must have a better understanding of their metrics. Metrics that people focus on need to be understood by them to be within their influence. The management must design policies and internal controls that enhance the efficiency of work and eliminate all such procedures that are the roadblocks to success including unhygienic factors (as per Herzberg’s theory).
- Using Training and Development
Management must provide appropriate training and development to the employees to increase the efficiency of the employees individually. Management must devise appropriate training for every department. Management must develop an effective workforce plan, training, and development strategy and develop career paths for the success of every department. Thereby, leading to increased organizational performance.
According to Vroom’s expectancy theory, the strength of an individual’s strength to put an effort at work can be measured. According to him, there is a positive correlation between the efforts we make and the performance that is the result of our efforts. One of the factors that deeply affect an individual’s motivation is the belief that the individual’s efforts will lead to better performance results. In other words, the more effort we put in, the better the performance will be. Also, the fact that good performance will result in a desirable reward and the reward will satisfy an important need, is also one of the motivational perceptions of organizational performance. Motivation can hence be measured by valence and expectancy. Expectancy is the individuals believe that by putting in more effort, there will be better performance and therefore better results. Valence is the individual’s inner prerequisite for rewards
- Effective business strategy
Entrepreneurs with business acumen describe that the performance of an organization can be made more effective and efficient by customer intimacy, operational efficiency, and leading edge. Customer needs must be met by customization and by providing outstanding customer instances. The organization must strive to provide a universal set of products and diversify the business by providing improved products and services.
The management of an organization is accountable to the owners of the business for the performance and the achievements of the organization. This is usually demonstrated in the accounts produced by the management and presented to the directors in the Board of Director meetings annually. Managers can perform well and justify their authority only if they produce the desired economic results, for instance, the profits they have desired to achieve in a period of time. Management often uses the Operation’s Research to maximize the profit, yield, utilization and the performance. The management of an organization usually creates a measurement system to set targets for change and measure organizational performance.
Johnson, Scholes and Whittington have rightly said, “Poor performance might be the result of an inappropriate configuration for the situation or inconsistency between structure, processes, and relationships.” Management by Objectives:
Organization performance can also be described by evaluating the reliability of service and by understanding the quality of customers of the organization. Value can come from providing a reliable service, so that the customers know that they will receive the service on time, at the promised time, to a good standard of performance. As organizational change is inevitable, critical success factors and key performance indicators should be revised, so that they are consistent with the requirements of the change. Doing good quality work and providing quality results will increase organizational performance as repeated stimuli have a greater impact on performance than a single statement as it catches the attention.
- Communicate your expectations and lead by setting a positive example
The management must communicate their expectations and set a positive example themselves. A successful company culture is one that rewards initiative and performance. This can be done by setting the right examples. The management must communicate their expectations and provide appropriate training as a way to demonstrate that management is committed to helping employees achieve their highest potential by providing them access to opportunities to advance their careers.
These are one of the key ways to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement within the organization. This will result to increase in organizational performance. Increase in organizational performance can lead to the timely success of the business whether in a stable or an unstable environment. Conclusively, the major tactics to enhance job satisfaction include:
- Spending time developing employees’ skills and potential
- Involving and engaging the workforce through participative management
- Providing frequent and appropriate rewards and recognition
- Providing a positive working environment
- Encouragement and rewarding thoughtful risk-taking
- Investing time in evaluating and measuring job satisfaction
- Taking part in opportunities provided by the organization such as training opportunities
- Organizing work and setting daily goals
- Setting medium-term objectives and taking steps to ensure the opportunity is there to achieve them
- Taking time to revitalize, relax and refresh.
This is essential as jobs that do not offer much variety in their performance and are of a highly repetitive nature are disliked by employees and eventually results in intentional downsizing by the employees or decreased effectiveness. So, these methods are effective for both small and large organizations that are in a stable or an unstable environment. The impact of high job satisfaction will impact numerous stakeholders both internal and external and will affect the overall performance of the organization.
Asma Niaz is an Academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write stellar content on various educational topics, programs, trainings and courses. Zoetalentsolutions is a premium teaching division, which offers highly professional hr courses to excel at your workplace.
Jodi Shapiro says
Great tips here. Really like the bit about employee recognition and also a positive working environment. Employee recognition could be something as simple as an email recognition or something more extensive like a gift box. Positive working environments are so incredibly important and business culture is becoming ever more important and many small steps can be taken to help improve the environment in a workplace, even something as simple as introducing healthier snack options!
– Jodi Shapiro