Employee engagement dependent upon conditions created by employer

November 20, 2008

In a new article in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, William H. Macey and Benjamin Schneider examine the meaning of employee engagement, which they view as leading to unusually effective employee behavior with subsequent reflection in organizational success. Employee engagement refers to the positive feelings employees have about their job as well as the motivation and effort they put into their work.

The authors contend that employees will feel – and act - engaged when their employer creates conditions that permit them to do so. The key condition for feeling engaged is fair treatment, which creates a feeling of trust and, in turn, feeling safe to be engaged.

Some people confuse engagement with satisfaction and/or commitment and consider retention and turnover to be indicators of engagement. However, Macey and Schneider's view of employee engagement concerns both feelings of engagement (focus and enthusiasm) and engagement behavior (proactivity and persistence).

Engagement is not synonymous with satisfaction. Engagement connotes energy and not satiation, while satisfaction connotes satiation and contentment but not energy. Employees come to work ready to be engaged, and the challenge for organizations is to create conditions that will release that energy.

"Our framework places an emphasis on the management of human resources in ways that respect the energy people bring to the work place, and it puts the responsibility on management to create the conditions for employee engagement," the authors conclude. "Management is responsible for creating the conditions at work that will facilitate employee engagement."

This article is accompanied by a set of 13 commentaries taking differing positions on the issue.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Explore further: Hunger drives unethical acts, but only in the quest for food

Related Stories

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...

Human in chatbot mode: Interface study explores perceptions

May 29, 2015

Researchers Kevin Corti and Alex Gillespie of the London School of Economics and Political Science are delving into interesting human interface territory. If a "real" person speaks with chatbot answers, will it affect the ...

Poker-faced professions take toll on employees

January 11, 2011

Employees who have to maintain a neutral disposition while they are on the clock tend to spend more energy to meet that requirement; therefore, they have less energy to devote to work tasks, according to new research from ...

Recommended for you

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

November 24, 2015

Many animals exhibit learned behaviors, but humans are unique in their capacity to build on existing knowledge to make new innovations. Understanding the patterns of how new generations of tools emerged in prehistoric societies, ...

First Londoners were multi-ethnic mix: museum

November 23, 2015

A DNA analysis of four ancient Roman skeletons found in London shows the first inhabitants of the city were a multi-ethnic mix similar to contemporary Londoners, the Museum of London said on Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.