Network - Summer 2010 - (Page 23)
Making the Case for
Enhancing Employee Engagement
By Val Kinjerski, PhD
ecent research in both North America and Europe confirms the value of promoting employee engagement. If you or your organization needs convincing, a report by the Employee Engagement Consortium Project of Kingston University, London, can help. Released in January 2010, Creating an Engaged Workforce offers strategies for engagement and provides insights into the outcomes of engagement for both the public and private sectors. Employee engagement is a critical issue in Canada and elsewhere. In a study of more than 86,000 employees worldwide, Towers Perrin (2006) found that only 17% of Canadian employees were highly engaged. Another 17% were actively disengaged. The rest fell somewhere in between; this is the majority often referred to as being simply enrolled. Our recent economic uncertainty has only made matters worse. Employers have seen a 9% drop in engagement levels of all employees due to the actions employers have taken in response to the global recession. A reduction in resources has resulted in layoffs, mergers, frozen salaries, increased workloads and shifts in priorities. The shocking news is that engagement has dropped by 25% for our top-performing employees (Watson Wyatt, 2009).
agreement on the research definition of “employee engagement.” For the Kingston study, employee engagement was defined as “being positively present during the performance of work by willingly contributing intellectual effort, experiencing positive emotions and meaningful connections to others” (2010, p. 5). Elsewhere, employee engagement has been defined as “emotional and intellectual commitment to the organisation” (Kular et al., 2008, p.3). However it’s defined, this is what I call spirit at work, which is about finding meaning and fulfillment through work. Employees with spirit at work have profound feelings of well-being, know that their work makes a contribution, sense their connection to others, share a common purpose, and feel connected to something larger than self.
What do we really mean by employee engagement?
We all know what it feels like to be engaged in our work and feel good about our contribution, but there is still little
NETWORK O Summer 2010
Improving employee engagement
is a key retention strategy.
www.hria.ca O 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Summer 2010
Network - Summer 2010
HRIA President’s Message
Congratulations to our Award Winners!
HRIA Conference Coverage
Coaching Conversations Support Organizational Effectiveness
Strategic Human Resources: Avoiding Circular Conversations
Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Making the Case for Enhancing Employee Engagement
The Role of Human Resources Departments
Innovate or Evaporate: The time to act is NOW!
Positioning Yourself for Executive Roles Now
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers
Network - Summer 2010