Article in Inter Business Issues

The October issue of Inter Business Issues has an article that I have written called The Impact of the Recession on Employee Engagement.  Read it here

http://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2011/oct/impact-recession-employee-engagement

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Two Book Recommendations: The Gallup Studies

During my research with Employee Engagement in the Workplace, I have discovered two sources that continually reappear, The Best of the Gallup Management Journal 2001-2007, by Geoffrey Brewer and Barb Sanford; and Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter, by John H. Fleming and Jim Asplund.

In this emerging field, these are two resources that I consider to be seminal works. The Gallup Studies have withstood academic rigor and have been used by practitioners in workplace applications. The information in these books is international in scope and broad in sample size. Gallup has conducted a variety of experiments in many venues and applications, allowing the reader a smörgåsbord of materials to draw on for examples in Employee Engagement.


Let’s Talk About Engagement

As Will Rogers once said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong”.  Yes, we need to crawl before we walk, walk before we run, and practice does make perfect, so I’ll attempt to start a dialogue with my fellow bloggers to understand their opinions concerning employee engagement in the workplace.

Will Rogers also said, “Man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”  Normally, I’m a face-to-face person, but I value the input I can get by associating with smarter people wherever they may be. So tell me what you think!

For what it’s worth, here are some of my thoughts. Engaged people are more productive, show up to work (or have less absenteeism than their disengaged counterparts), and give better customer service, which sustains the business.

I believe engaged people need a voice in the workplace.  They are the unofficial leaders.  They are those we seek out when we need an answer. They are the “go to” people.

Engaged people have a passion for the work they do.  They are positive and enthusiastic with a healthy respect for their organization.  They tend to do their jobs and then help others when they are finished with their own tasks.

Nelson and Simmons (2003) substantiate my thoughts. They say, “High levels of work engagement are when employees are involved with, committed to, their work.  Work engagement has been defined as when employees feel positive emotions toward their work, find their work to be personally meaningful, consider their workload to be manageable, and have hope about the future of their work.”

Other various concepts of engagement include related concepts such as extra-role behavior, personal initiative, job involvement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and “workaholism”.

These are my general thoughts; now, let’s hear from you! I look forward to reading your contributions.


Introduction

As many of you know, I am a Doctoral Candidate at NorthernIllinoisUniversity, DeKalb. I am retired from the U. S. Postal Service and I have conducted approximately 10 years of research on Employee Engagement (EE) in that organization and others.

I am a firm believer in the statement “All of us are smarter than any one of us.” For that reason I decided to begin writing this blog because I value your opinion and I hope you can gain insight from my research and past experience.

I would like to begin with the topic that is near and dear to my heart – Employee engagement is a complex phenomenon. Further defining the experience will make the term Employee Engagement more understandable and accessible to both workplace practitioners (leaders, managers, supervisors, and employees) and researchers to stimulate further research and theory-building efforts.

My personal view of engagement is as follows:

  • Engaged employees are people in the workforce who feel a vested interest in their organizations’ success (corporate citizenship) and are motivated to perform at levels that exceed their job requirements.
  • Employee engagement fosters and drives discretionary behavior, eliciting employees’ best ideas and their genuine commitment to the success of the organization/company for which they work.
  • Employee engagement is related to individual, group and corporate performance. Engagement contributes significantly to performance, leading to improvements in quality of service, customer satisfaction, productivity, employee retention, and long-term financial results.

I believe that engaged employees act as business partners to the organization for which they work; their efforts accomplish its mission, vision and objectives. These employees (1) possess a passion for work, (2) are emotionally mature, (3) have a positive disposition, (4) believe in their capabilities to produce and influence events that affect their work-life (self-efficacy), and (5) are achievement oriented. The knowledge, skills and attributes possessed by today’s workforce present multiple challenges and opportunities.

Now we can begin a dialogue on your personal insights of Employee Engagement. I am eager to hear from you.


Back to Blogging

I’ve been on a hiatus gathering information concerning employee engagement. My studies have directed me to discovering the impact of the great resession on workplace engagement.

I ran across an article that is entitled The Employment Gap Between the Educated and Uneducated is Incredible. Click the link for more information.

In the Peoria area alone the layoffs are:

2011: 29 employers laid off 911 workers

2010: 28 employers laid off 1,730 workers

2009: 96 employers laid off 6,382 workers

2008: 12 employers laid off 1,535 workers

For these people to become gainfully employed in the future, they most likely will have to enhance their skills to procure a job.