Employee engagement in theory and practice - LSE Research OnlineEmployee engagement is a goal all businesses strive for, but often struggle to achieve. To tackle the issue of these disengaged masses, as business leaders we need to go back to basic and ask:. And from inconsistency comes confusion not only about what employee engagement is, but what businesses expect it to deliver in practice. Next, a big player in the world of business stats: Gallup. Gallup defines engaged employees as:. Gallup categorizes workers as "engaged" based on their responses to key workplace elements it has found to predict important organizational performance outcomes.
Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees. An "engaged employee" is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests. An engaged employee has a positive attitude towards the organization and its values. An organization with "high" employee engagement might therefore be expected to outperform those with "low" employee engagement. Employee engagement first appeared as a concept in management theory in the s,  becoming widespread in management practice in the s, but it remains contested. It stands in an unspecified relationship to earlier constructs such as morale and job satisfaction. Despite academic critiques, employee engagement practices are well established in the management of human resources and of internal communications.
First, some established definitions
Organizations are experiencing increased competition, disruptive innovation, and continuous changes in their social and economic context. Furthermore, the decrease of resources economic and human in such a demanding context make it imperative for organizations to find new models and strategies to make their service delivery more sustainable at the economic, environmental and psychological levels.
In recent years there has been a weight of evidence suggesting that engagement has a significantly positive impact on productivity, performance and organisational advocacy, as well as individual wellbeing, and a significantly negative impact on intent to quit and absenteeism from the work place. This comprehensive new book is unique as it brings together, for the first time, psychological and critical HRM perspectives on engagement as well as their practical application. Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice will familiarise readers with the concepts and core themes that have been explored in research and their application in a business context via a set of carefully chosen and highly relevant original and case studies, some of which are co-authored by invited practitioners. Written in an accessible manner, this book will be essential reading for scholars in the field, students studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as practitioners interested in finding out more about the theoretical underpinnings of engagement alongside its practical application. Search all titles.