ABSTRACT:Employeeengagement is a broad construct that touches almost all functional activitiesof human resource management. Employee engagement is the level of commitmentand involvement an employee has towards his organization and its values.

  Employee engagement is stronger predictor ofpositive organizational performance clearly showing the two-way relationshipbetween employer and employee compared to the three earlier constructs: jobsatisfaction, employee commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour.  Inthe era of Global competition, organisations have realized the importance ofmaking their employees feel fully connected to their organization and to bepassionate about their job. This has a measurable and direct impact onproductivity, talent retention, financial results and customer satisfaction.

Anengaged employee is aware of business context, and works with colleagues toimprove performance within the job for the benefit of the organization. Thus,it is a barometer that determines the association of a person with theorganization.  Engagedemployees are emotionally attached to their organization and highly involved intheir job with a great enthusiasm for the success of their employer, goingextra mile beyond the employment contractual agreement. Keywords:Employee engagement, Employee commitment,Organizational citizenship behaviour, Job satisfaction, HR Practices.INTRODUCTION:Employeeengagement is relatively a new term in HR literature and it started to come toprominence from 2000 onwards. Melcrum Publishing (2005) found that from aglobal survey of over 1,000 communication and HR practitioners 74% began toformally focus on the issue between 2000 and 2004.

Employee Engagement is theextent to which workforce commitment, both emotional and intellectual, existsrelative to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organization.Engagement can be seen as a heightened level of ownership where each employeewants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and externalcustomers, and for the success of the organization as a whole.Thefast pace of technological advancement, rising complexities of managingbusinesses, pressures to become world class organizations and relative scarcityof people with Critical skills have resulted in problems of attracting,retaining and utilizing talent in most organizations globally. In the changedbusiness scenario, it is being increasingly realized that organizations cangain and maintain competitive edge through people as creators of assets. It isprecisely to that end that employee engagement assumes significance as a way ofmanaging people in organizations because engaged employees are believed todeliver high quality/committed service and they form work teams that producehigh quality results.

Employeeswill feel engaged when they find motivation and personal meaning in their work,get positive interpersonal support and also operate in a work environment thatis efficient (Bernthal,2004; Seijits & Crim, 2006). Employee engagementtriggers increased job satisfaction and employee retention. It maximizesworkforce productivity. It is essential for meeting corporate sales andprofitability objectives.EmployeeEngagement is the level of commitment and involvement an employee has towardhis organization. It is the positive attitude held by the employees towards theorganizations and its values. Kahn (1990) has defined personal engagement asthe harnessing of organizations members selves to their work roles; it means topsychologically present when occupying and performing an organizational role.

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION:Organizationsare paying more attention to employee engagement and HRD professionals areincreasingly asked to play a role in the development of engagement strategies.The gap in knowledge between the needs of organizations and the ability forprofessionals to respond effectively is problematic for HRD scholars,researchers, and practitioners as well as for the organizations that employthem. Organizations need HRD professionals who have well-researched, effective,and meaningful approaches to creating, building, and maintaining employeeengagement, and practitioners are looking to scholars and researchers for toolsand techniques that are well grounded. Looking back at how the concept hasevolved would help identify past and present states as well as provide a depthof understanding, context, and insight.

This historical perspective will helpdevelop informed strategies of practice as well as provide a solid foundation forfuture researchers to build on.  RESEARCH OBJECTIVES:Thestudy aims at the following objectives: 1.    Tostudy about importance and elements of employee engagement in the presentscenario 2.    Toanalyse the need of employee engagement3.    Toexamine the factors influencing Employee Engagement4.    Topropose a model for employee engagement. 5.

    Tosuggest methods for improving employee engagement practices to improve theperformance of employees.METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY:Thestudy is based on the secondary data. The data was collected from Text books,National and international journals and websites.REVIEW OF LITERATURE:Accordingto Macey and Schneider (2008), Employee engagement is a desirable condition. Ithas an organizational purpose, and connotes involvement, commitment, passion,enthusiasm, focused effort, and energy, so it has both attitudinal andbehavioural components.Maslachand Leiter (1997) and Maslach et al.

(2001) conceptualized engagement asopposite or the positive antithesis to the three burnout dimensions:exhaustion, cynicism, and sense of inefficacy. Schaufeli et al. (2002) provideda third approach for employee engagement, asserting that job engagement andburnout were independent states of mind and inversely related to each other.They defined engagement as a positive, fulfilling, work related state of mindthat is characterized by vigour, dedication, and absorption. Vigour refers tothe feeling of physical energy, emotional strength, willingness to investeffort, and endurance of difficulties.

Dedication is characterized by a senseof significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge. Finally,absorption refers to the state of being so completely concentrated and highlyengrossed in work that an employee feels time passes quickly and hasdifficulties detaching from work (Schaufeli et al., 2002). Wellinsand Concelman (2005) suggested that engagement is „„an amalgamation ofcommitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership. ?? Wellins and Concelman(2005) further said that engagement is „„the illusive force that motivatesemployees to higher (or lower) levels of performance.” A company can have the best reward system,training and development, and human resource (HR) policies, but if people donot feel good about themselves then neither can behavior change, nor trainingbe effective. Getting employees? commitment and loyalty is not easy. It is notabout giving to get, either.

  Employeesare not stupid. They know when the conditions are true and when it is right togive their all for the company. Thus, it is inferred that engagement is bothpsychological and physical presence of employees in the organizations whileoccupying different roles. Employee Engagement is also understood as emotionaland intellectual commitment to the organization (Shawand Fairpunt, 2005) andalso the amount of discretionary effort exhibited by employees in their job(Frank et al.,2004).

As per Robinson et al. (2006) Employee Engagement is „onestep up from commitment?. On the other hand, it can be deduced that employeeengagement is not a new thing rather a trend with different appearance or somemight call “old wine in a new bottle” Saks (2006).   From the above views of different researchersand understanding in general, it can be concluded that employee engagement is apsychological construct, although, in research literature it is not veryprecise, rather commonly it is used to refer to both role performance and aneffective state. It is actually much deeper than simply an incentive program.If management wants more performance from employees, then it becomes necessaryto understand how they are engaged with work environment, what factors areinfluencing on employee engagement.CONCEPTUAL FRAME WORK OF EMPLOYEEENGAGEMENT:Definitions:            Perrin’sGlobal Workforce Study (2003) uses the definition “employees’ willingness andability to help their company succeed, largely by providing discretionaryeffort on a sustainable basis.

” According to the study, engagement is affectedby many factors which involve both emotional and rational factors relating towork and the overall work experience. Galluporganization defines employee engagement as the involvement with and enthusiasmfor work.Gallup as cited by Dernovsek (2008) likens employee engagement to apositive employees’ emotional attachment and employees’ commitment. Robinsonet al. (2004) define employee engagement as “a positive attitude held by theemployee towards the organization and its value. An engaged employee is awareof business context, and works with colleagues to improve performance withinthe job for the benefit of the organization.

The organization must work todevelop and nurture engagement, which requires a two-way relationship betweenemployer and employee.” Importance of employee engagement:            Promotingengagement among the employees is done by leveraging the three sources ofinfluence for chance; that is leaders, employees as well as organizationalstrategies and systems. Organizations must be willing to tap into the workers’commitment, passion and their identification with the company (Wellins, 2009).This can also be done through building trust between the employees and opencommunication (3M, 2009).  Some of the factors that are employed toengage and retain employees include; a culture of respect, mentoring andfeedback, professional and advanced development, appropriate reward, effectiveleadership, job expectations, tools to finish work responsibilities and finally,motivation (Greenberg, 2009; Elton 2007).Thus Employee Engagement has becomevital so as to motivate the employees to work with commitment, going beyondtheir formal role requirements and making the climate of organisations morehuman centered and emotionally connected.Elements of Employee Engagement Theterm employee engagement has been defined by various researchers. A commonlyagreed upon definition would be physical, psychological or emotionalinvolvement of the employee while at work.

Four things are important when wetalk about employee engagement; commitment, motivation, loyalty and trust.Their level determines the quality of engagement of an employee.  Commitment:Commitment means the degree to which individuals associate themselves with thejob, the responsibilities and the organisational objectives. Engaged employeesare those who are fascinated by their work and committed to face everychallenge to attain their goals. They are dependable and highly productive andtherefore, are accountable for what they do.

Motivation:Up till recently it was believed that the biggest motivation is achievement.The reverse is also true, which means achievement results in more motivation.If employees put in their 100 percent efforts to take their organisation to thenext level, this attained status motivates them more than anything. Properrewards and recognitions can further motivate them to achieve more and more fortheir organisation. Loyalty:Employees who are actively engaged in their work show more loyalty towards theorganisation. The best part is that they need less focus and attention ofmanagers to perform their task as they themselves feel accountable for theirjob responsibilities and results attained. However, it doesn’t take much timefor actively engaged employees to turn into disengaged employees if theorganisation doesn’t have a well-established reward system.

Trust:High levels of employee engagement can be fostered only when trust prevails inthe organisation from both the sides. As they share strong emotional bond withthe organisation, the latter should also show trust in their abilities.Employees must be given autonomy to perform their tasks their way.

They shouldnot be restricted to a specific rules and regulations and therefore, should bemotivated to perform their task in a different and innovative manner.Employee Engagement andOrganizational Performance: Why should companies invest in employeeengagement? The answer is because employee engagement is interwovensignificantly with important business outcomes. In this part we will see howemployee engagement impacts organizational performance in the light of variousresearch works done.

Studieshave found positive relationship between employee engagement and organizationalperformance outcomes: employee retention, productivity, profitability, customerloyalty and safety. Researches also indicate that the more engaged employeesare, the more likely their employer is to exceed the industry average in itsrevenue growth. Employee engagement is found to be higher in double-digitgrowth companies. Research also indicates that engagement is positively relatedto customer satisfaction (Coffman, 2000; Ellis and Sorensen, 2007; TowersPerrin Talent Report, 2003; Hewitt Associates, 2004; Heintzman and Marson,2005; Coffman and Gonzalez-Molina, 2002). Engagedemployee consistently demonstrates three general behaviours which improveorganizational performance: ·        Say-the employee advocates for theorganization to co-workers, and refers potential employees and customers ·        Stay-the employee has an intense desire tobe a member of the organization despite opportunities to work elsewhere·        Strive-the employee exerts extra time,effort and initiative to contribute to the success of the business (Baumruk andGorman, 2006) Whatwill happen to an organization if its employees are disengaged? Employees whoare not engaged are likely to be spinning (wasting their effort and talent ontasks that may not matter much), settling (certainly do not show fullcommitment, not dissatisfied enough to make a break) and splitting (they arenot sticking around for things to change in their organization), have far moremisgivings about their organization in terms of performance measures such ascustomer satisfaction (Blessing White, 2006; Perrin Report, 2003). Meere (2005)based on the survey conducted by ISR on 360000 employees from 41 companies inthe world’s 10 economically strong countries finds that both operating marginand net profit margins reduced over a three-year period in companies with lowengagement, while these measures increased over the specified period incompanies with high levels of engagement.

FinancialNews, March 2001, as cited by Accord Management Systems (2004), reveals thatdisengaged employees are more likely to cost their organization. According tothe report, Employees who are disengaged: ·        Miss an average of 3.5 more days per year ·        Are less productive ·        Cost the US economy $292 to $355 billionper yearEmployee Engagement Practices inIT/ITES sector:HCLprides in its “campus organization”. HCL gets young minds fresh from thecampuses and groom them so that they attain leadership positions within theorganization.

The catching up exercise for such youth lacking experience isdone by training and development arm of HCL Info Systems. The training in HCLIis identified based on the individual, organizational and customer needs. Theyhave strict parameters for measuring performance, as performance in HCLI ismeasured on a daily basis and recorded in their systems. HCL was one of thefirst in India to talk about Employees Stock Option Plans (ESOPs), which theybraced in 1988 and by 2005 all employees were covered under the scheme.  AjubaSolutions India Pvt Ltd has pioneered and succeeded with the concept of”loyalty interviews” (as opposed to traditional exit interview) to find outwhat is it that makes its employees engaged with their firm. This feedback fromloyal employees is taken as a reflection on the leadership style and is seen towork as a great motivator RMSIis a Noida-based company which provides high-end Geographic Information System(GIS), modelling and analytical services. Mutual Admiration (MAD) is an eventwhere employee is given green cardboard leaving on which they scribble messagesof appreciation and pin them onto the MAD tree in the cafeteria.

The leaves area way of reaching out to colleagues and teams who have mattered. And at the endof the week, the foliage gets thick. Surely, the employees like being aroundeach other.

 Lenovo India has a work environment built in amanner that employees get the opportunities to reinvigorate themselves. Thecompany has a fun initiative club and simple initiatives like nominatingemployee of the month and celebrating their birthdays which tend to boostemployee morale.Employee engagement programs in PrivateBanks: Organizationsare focusing more and more on employee engagement programs and are takinginitiatives to make their employees engaged.·        Employees and Their Families – Family Day ·        Treating employees as a member of thecompany by giving a day off on their Birthday and anniversaries ·        Provide play and Meditation courts for theemployees to combat the work stress. • Star of the Week or Month awards ·        Employees Kids participating in PaintingCompetition ·        Festival Celebration – Diwali Dhamaka ·        Yoga Session ·        Self-Management Workshop – Art of Living ·        Create a culture of fun & spark atwork ·        Promote & recognize team performance,system adherence·        Excellence in execution along withconsequence management ·        Evolve an employee friendly & businessfocused policy·        Processes & systems with high degreeof automationCONCLUSION:EmployeeEngagement is a positive attitude held by the employees towards the organizationand its values. It is rapidly gaining popularity and importance in theworkplace and impacts organizations in many ways. An organization should thusrecognize employees, more than any other variable, as powerful contributors toits competitive position.

It has been observed that organisations with higherlevels of employee engagement outperform their competitors in terms ofprofitability.   Engaged employees can help the organizationachieve its mission, execute its strategy and generate important businessresults. They give their companies crucial competitive advantages— includinghigher productivity, customer satisfaction and lower employee turnover. Therefore,employee engagement should be a continuous process of learning, improvement,measurement and action.

The relationship between employee engagement andorganizational outcomes would be stronger if better measures are used. Thus,organisations need to understand how different employees are affected bydifferent factors of engagement and focus on those, in order to achieve thestrategic outcomes as well as to improve overall effectiveness. REFERENCES:1.      DernovsekD. (2008). Creating highly engaged and committed employee starts at the top andends at the bottom line Credit Union Magazine, May 2008. Credit Union NationalAssociation, Inc.

2.      Frank,F. D., Finnegan, R. P., & Taylor, C. R.

(2004), “The race for talent:Retaining and engaging workers in the 21st century”, Human Resource Planning,27(3), pp. 12-25.3.      Macey,W. H., & Schneider, B.

(2008), “The meaning of employee engagement,”Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, pp. 3-30.4.      Maslach,C., Leiter, M .

P. (1997), The truth about burnout. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco,CA.  5.      Maslach,C., Schaufeli, W.B.

, Leiter, M.P. (2001), “Job burnout”,Annual RevuePsychology, 52, pp.

397-422.6.      PerrinT.

(2003). Working Today: Understanding What Drives Employee Engagement The2003 Towers Perrin Talent Report U.S Report. Online Available:http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc? Webc = HRS /USA/2003/200309/Talent_2003.pdf(October 30, 2008)7.      RobinsonD.

, Perryman S., and Hayday S. (2004). The Drivers of Employee EngagementReport 408, Institute for Employment Studies, UK8.      Robinson,I. (2006), Human Resource Management in Organisations. London, CIPD. Rothbard,N.

(1999), „Enriching or depleting? The dynamics of engagement in workandfamily?. Dissertation Abstracts International US: University MicrofilmsInternational, 59 (10-A).9.      Saks,A.

M. (2006) „Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement?, Journal ofManagerial Psychology, 21(6), pp. 600-619.10.  Shaw,S.

, & Fairhurst, D. (2008), “Engaging a new generation of graduates”,Education _Training, 50(5), pp. 366-378.

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