Understanding employee engagement is an important tool to the success and performance to every organisation.
Macey et al (2009) defined employee engagement as an individual’s purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability effort and persistence directed towards organisational goals. In support, Alfes et al,(2010) defined employee engagement as being positively present during the performance of work by willingly contributing intellectual effort, experiencing positive emotions and meaningful connections to others.
In view of this, being engaged simply means that you are fully involved and interested in the work so that it holds your attention and inspires you to do your best. Employee engagement is a relationship of trust and respect between the employer and the employee. Managers at westlion, share their future prospects clearly with their subordinates, encourage employees towards the improvement of attaining organisational goals, and also create a conducive environment to engage employees at work.
However, Westlion engages its employees to an extent of making them feel connected and trust the organisation. Employees are emotionally connected with their work to the extent for having a positive attitude towards the organisation. For example; employees devote their time to come to work even on a holiday when they are not obliged to work.
Employees engaged in Westlion have a complete focus on the work and not think about anything when performing tasks. This helps them devote their full attention to work. An example; there are accidents free within the organisation and also errors are reduced.
Engaged employees in Westlion helps to an extent where they are willing and able to display positive behavior to go the extra mile and work beyond their contract terms and also see work as a source of energy. For example; employees stay behind to work for extra hours of which they are not obliged to.
Moreover, there are various drivers to employee engagement.
After all, leadership is a key driver of employee engagement. Leaders are the face of the organisation who set strategic goals and objectives to guide the organisation in the right direction to achieve its vision.
Soane (2014) claim leaders play an important role in creating the environment within which employees can be engaged at work and make the difference between work as a mundane grind, devoid of meaning and purpose and work as an enriching and fulfilling experience that provides an essential source of identity which infuse e all aspects of being.
In view of this; employee engagement is enhanced when senior leaders communicate frequently, clearly, chatting the direction of the organisation and letting employees know what is expected of them to help make business successful.
Employee voice is the means by which people share their views and have significant input into work and its decision making. Also meaningfulness is when employees feel very useful and valued.
Furthermore, theories in support of employee engagement could be:
Theory X and Y by Douglas McGregor (n.d) which states theory X is a way of directing. It stresses the importance of strict supervision, external rewards and penalties. Theory X assumes that employees are unmotivated, lazy, and must be supervised constantly to get work done. Mangers of Westlion and supervisors believe employees will try to avoid work and must be forced with threat of punishment in order to get work done.
Theory Y assumes that employees are happy to work, are innovative, and enjoy taking on additional tasks. It climax the motivating role of job satisfaction and encourages workers to approach task without direct supervision. Managers of Westlion usually give employees more freedom and trust with hopes that the outcome will be happier workers who will go the extra mile for the organisation. Also Westlion often involves their employees in decision making process. For example, Westlion manager will ask the staff to help interview a new candidate that has just applied for a job.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a model in which motivation is used to achieve higher level of needs (social, esteem, self-actualization) after the basic needs physiological needs and safety needs are met. It is believed that higher levels can be achieved through the sense of achievement, having autonomy, having feelings of self-worth and realizing one’s potential.
Therefore, the impact of employee engagement on the success of the organisation is discussed below;
Firstly, Increase in revenue and productivity. Westlion employees are engaged in the organisation, their opinions are taken into consideration and feel recognised, and employees deem it an honorto be a part of attaining organisational goals, and they turn to work out their best in increasing productivity therefore revenue increases.
Secondly, quality product can be improved when employees are given opportunities. Westlion engages employees and this helps in maintaining the improved quality of the organisation and this influences customer satisfaction. Westlion commits towards effective engagement and this increases quality level.
Moreover, customer loyalty has an impact on the success of the organisation. When employees become more engaged with their jobs assigned to them, they tend to have good relationship with customers resulting in the increase of customer base. Westlion employees have understanding on how to meet customer needs and satisfy them and as a result, customer loyalty tends to be a priority in the organisation so employees maintain a very good relationship with their customers.
Staff strength and development. Management empowers their employees by developing their skills and capabilities at work. Westlion provides their staff with the right learning opportunities for personal development and this has improved employee’s performance as a result. They respond best to opportunities to build on their strengths, rather than simply addressing perceived gaps and weaknesses
THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE WORKING IN WESTLION WITH RELEVANT THEORY AND EXAMPLES.
Employee Engagement I s defined as being positively present during the performance of work by willingly contributing intellectual effort, experiencing positive emotions and meaningful connections to others.
The most important aspect of employee engagement is the psychological contract.
“Psychological Contract is defined as the unwritten promises and expectations between the employer and the employee at the workplace. Basic promises and mutual understanding are not written. This is based on trust and belief that both honors the contract agreed..
Westlion has an effective workplace culture which recognizes, listen to and respect its employees. Unlike the written, formalized employment contract which may, in many cases, offer a limited and uncertain representation of a person’s ongoing role within the organisation. Psychological contract is more fluid and evolving.
If an employee feels the manager is not upholding their end of the deal or vice versa, the mutual understanding on which the contract is based becomes unbalanced and the contract is breached.. Therefore Westlion has a good relationship between the managers and the employees as well as these employees and their colleagues is important in ensuring a positive contract. As with an effective workplace at Westlion ,a balanced psychological contract shows the employees are valued and respectful for the role they play within the organisation. Regular interaction and communication also helps improve employee commitment to the organization by allowing people to realize their potential and work towards a goal.
Expectations of Westlion managers on a psychological contract are to pay for performance, opportunities for training and development, recognition for innovations, an attractive benefit package (motivation), reasonable job security, respectful treatment etc. that of the expectation of employees are to work hard, uphold a good reputation of the organisation, maintain high level of attendance and punctuality, show loyalty to the organisation, be honest and come out with new ideas etc.
it is believed every employee should have a working experience Employee experience is based on the number of years spent with an organisation. Experience from 1-2 years at Westlion are deem as learners. They are being directed as to how to get things done properly for a period of time. Experience from 3-5 years at Westlion are experts. These experts approach to work tasks without direct supervision and are trusted with hope to attain the goals and objectives of the organisation.
The benefits derived from the practices of the promises.
First of all, employee satisfaction which indicates that, Westlion employees are engaged with the organisation in that job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty. Satisfied employees play a key role in the organization, they promote and support the company’s mission and strategy and brand.
However, there is increased in Productivity. Engaged employees in Westlion are top performers, who are committed to go the extra mile to achieve business success. As employees are more engaged their absenteeism lowers and their motivation increases leading to increased productivity. What this means is that, these employees work harder, produce more, and produce quality because of the pride they take in their work.
Moreover, Retention and recruitment. Retaining good employees is key to the success of every organisation. Westlion engaged employees are more invested in the success of the company and also more loyal. Simply put, employees satisfied and engaged are far more likely to stay with Westlion coupled with retention, Westlion have a highly engaged workforce which have increased ability, attract new qualified employees. When employees feel needed, and appreciated in the organisation employee retention is boosted.
Also there is Innovation. There is a close relationship between innovation and employees engagement. Westlion engages employees to perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job. Highly engaged employees feel they have a real stake in the organisation, they strive to efficiently create new products, services and processes.
Increased in Profitability. Organisations with more engaged employees tend to have higher profitability rates. When employees are engaged they become more productive and efficient, positively affecting the company’s bottom line and are more likely to find new and better ways of completing tasks and projects.
In support of a theory, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a model in which motivation is used to achieve higher level of needs (social, esteem, self-actualisation) after the basic needs physiological needs and safety needs are met and has been used to explain job satisfaction. It is believed that higher levels can be achieved through the sense of achievement, having autonomy, having feelings of self-worth and realizing one’s potential. For instance, within Westlion, financial compensation and healthcare are some of the benefits which helps employees to meet their physiological needs, physically safe in their work environment and having suitable company structures and policies. When this happen it creates a positive relationships with colleagues and their supervisors at the workplace and feel they are indeed part of the organisation. Final step is where the employee seeks self-actualise; where they need to grow and develop in order to become anything they are capable of becoming.
THE IMPACT OF REWARD ON LEVELS OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AT WESTLION.
According to Armstrong and Taylor (2017) reward management is term used to describe the formulars, approach and systems essential to recognise the worth and present of employees to the attainment of organisational goals.
Reward is acknowledging the effort and achievement of an employee. This can be used as incentives to motivate employees and improve performances. Examples of reward; public recognition, additional pay, bonuses etc. There are 2 types of rewards; the extrinsic rewards which shows the reward an employee receives like the bonuses, salary raise, gifts, promotion and other tangible rewards to focus on employee’s activities to attain a goal. The intrinsic rewards also tend to give personal satisfaction to the employee such as information, recognition, trust etc, which makes employees feel better in the organisation.
The aims of reward is to reward employees fairly, equitably and consistently in relation to the value of these employees to the organisation.
Firstly, increase productivity. According to a Westminster College study (n.d) , 69% of employees stated that they would work harder if they felt that their efforts were better appreciated. People always want to be recognized for their achievements and the moment they get this positive recognition from management and co-workers they are more likely to push themselves to exceed the goals of the organisation.
Secondly it reduces turnover. Rewards makes employees happy and stay loyal with the organisation. When employees efforts are recognised and appreciated them really have joy in their work to boost them work out their very best and do not want to leave to work elsewhere.
Thirdly, it recognises valuable employees. Westlion avoids the cost of hiring and training new employees because when new employees are hired the organisation spends more on training them of which it could have been best on the valuable employees in the organisation in order for them to work out their best.
It also helps in engaging employees. Employees at Westlion feel engaged and always want to work more harder because they feel recognised and respected in an organisation.
There are various level of employees in the organisation, they are the operational employees, tactical employees who are the middle managers for example HR manager, Marketingmanager etc. strategic employees who are known as the top executive managers for example Managing Director, Chairman etc.
Reward has an impact on employees, according to Kim Harrison leads to greater employee satisfaction and
Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
Teamwork between employees in enhanced.
Better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.
Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.
The link between reward management and employee engagement is such that, Peter AdokoObicci (2015) reward play a vital role in determining the significant performance of an organisation and its positively associated to employee outcomes like engagement. Reward represents what the individual wants to obtain from work or what they perceive from cash payments to working conditions (urReham et al 2010). There are 2 types of rewards; the extrinsic rewards which shows the reward an employee receives like the bonuses, salary raise, gifts, promotion and other tangible rewards to focus on employee’s activities to attain a goal. The intrinsic rewards also tend to give personal satisfaction to the employee such as information, recognition, trust etc, which makes employees feel better in the organisation.
Employee engagement is a key driver of organisational success. Saks (2006) defined employee engagement as the degree to which an individual is attentive to their work and absorbed in the performance of their roles. Being engaged means that employees are fully involved and interested in the work which holds their attention and motivates them to do their best. According to Baumruk and Gorman (2006) , an engaged employee advocates for the organisation to co-workers and refers potential employees and customers. Such an employee has an intense desire to be a member of the organisation despite opportunities to work elsewhere.
Furthermore, the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are positive influence on employee outcomes, they exist to examine the effect of rewards on employee engagement. A study by May et al (2004) found that the meaningfulness, safety, and availability were significantly related to employee engagement. They found out that meaningfulness had a fixed relation to various employee results in terms of engagement.
Therefore, there are benefits of rewards to employees. Where work is meaningful it is said to have an intrinsic motivation for employees and to promote and sustain motivation.
However, employees have a sense of achievement. Westlion employees have a good feeling or the pride especially when they have attained a challenging task, or worked out their best on a specific project. With this sentiment they always want a challenging task that will engage them in the organisation.
Furthermore, Westlion employees feel proud of the job they do because they know it makes a different, for instance, Westlion employees would expect performance-related bonuses for meeting the needs and wants of customers. Employees feel delighted at satisfying the needs and wants of customers which play a vital role of inspiring them in the future, and sustaining their levels of engagement.
Better still, employees are committed and satisfied. Rewards motivates employees and drives them to be committed and satisfied with their work. For instance Westlion employees are very loyal to the organisation and speak well of the organisation to enhance its reputation. Employees are punctual, put in great effort to enhance productivity, enhance good relations with customers and also increase profitability.
Employees are results oriented. Employees are oriented by knowing what results are important and focusing on resources to achieve them. An employee at Westlion provides his or her time, knowledge and abilities he or she can deliver to require results. In so doing he or she takes personal responsibility for achieving those results. This helps employees to be very innovative.
THE PROCESS OF CREATING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES AT WESTLION AS AN ORGANISATION.
Strategy is defined as a plan of action designed to achieve a long term or over all aim.
Organizational strategy is the sum of actions the organisation intend to take to achieve long term goals. Strategic plans take at least a year to complete, requiring involvement from all levels of the organisation. Top management creates the larger organisational strategy while middle and lower management adopt goals and plans to fulfil the overall strategy step by step. When employees are engaged at work they are more productive, drive higher level of profitability, they are customer focused and more likely to stay with current organisation.
Factors important to organisation strategy include resources, scope and the organisation’s core competency. Resources are finite, allocating them, people, facilities, equipments and all that. This means diverting them from somewhere to elsewhere in the organisation. For example; Westlion to become a no.1 in Accra Ghana sales, needs more focused plans because of its competitors. Competitive advantage is where an organisation is best at its core competency along with the sum of what it knows through experience talent and research. Other factors to be considered include;
The mission and vision of the organisation: the organisation’s strategy should be in line with its missions which explains the existence and why the organisation is in business. Every activity performed should fulfil its purpose. The mission guides all strategic goals and the vision describes what the organisation will have achieved in fulfilling its mission.
Business and functional objectives: for a strategy to work, it must be disintegrated into smaller, shorter term goals and plans. Middle management adopts goals and creates plans to compete in the market place. The lower levels of the organisation, functional managers concern themselves with the day-to-day activities of the organisation taking days, weeks and months to complete their objectives. This engages the employees to work harder to attain their goals.
Organisational culture: is a system of shared assumptions, plans and beliefs which governs how employees behave in the organisation. On the other hand it is the way things are done. This is a factor to consider in organisation strategy because it has strong influence on employees. For example, employees are dedicated on how they dress most especially decently and presentable. This also engages employees making them feel recognised in the organisation.
Organisational structure; this demonstrates how roles, power, responsibilities are assigned and how information flows between the different levels of management within the organization. This helps in identifying specific roles of staff in the various department in the organisation. For example in Westlion every department such as HR play a role of recruiting employees, Marketing department has a role of advertising the products and services, Sales department also play a role of rendering sales to the organisation etc. they work hand-in-hand with each other without conflicting with their various roles and responsibilities.
Leadership: leaders are the profile of the organisation who lay down planned goals and objectives to guide the organisation in accordance to attain its goal. They also create good environment to which employees can be engaged to achieve their strategic goals. The leadership style for employee engagement strategy is vital. Leaders at all levels should aim at building a very healthy relationship with employees. They should also be visible, communicate clearly and consistently to their employees for them to be effective to meet business strategy.
According to managementstudyguide.com (MSG) every organisation seeking sustenance and growth in the ever changing world of work quickly respond to the needs of employees along with designing and implementing a customised process to increase the levels of employee engagement.
The process of creating employee engagement strategies in Westlion is as follows;
Prepare and Design: The first step in the process is about discovering the specific requirements of your organisation and deciding the priorities. After that a customised design of carrying the whole process can be designed. It is recommended to seek advice of expert management consultant in order to increase the chances of getting it done right at the first attempt.
Employee Engagement Survey: design the questions of the employee engagement survey and deploy it with the help of an appropriate media. It can be either in printed form or set online depending on the comfort level of the employees and your questionnaire evaluation process. The survey should be done in a way to engage employees to be part of the action.
Result Analysis: this is the most important step in the entire process. It is time when the reports are to be analysed to find out what exactly motivates employees to perform their best and what actually disengages them and finally compels them to leave the organisation. At this period every view and opinions of the employees are taken into consideration. The results and information can be delivered through presentations which helps implement strategies.
Action Planning: how to turn the results of the survey in to an action is a challenging question that organisations need to deal with the utmost care. Coaching of the line managers as well as HR professionals is very important in order to tell them how to take appropriate actions to engage employees. They should also be told about the do’s and don’ts so that they can successfully implement the changes. A flexible leadership style like the democratic style where leaders respect employees and also involve employees in decision making will be appropriate to get action done.
Action follow-up: Action follow up is necessary in order to find out if the action has been taken in the right direction or not and if it is producing the desired results. With this communication will help get a feedback in order to monitor actions.