Predictors of employee engagement: the case of an Indian PSU.

AuthorMishra, Bijaya
PositionPublic sector undertaking


Organizations today are facing the challenge of having the right kind of talent for implementing the business strategies. In their efforts to have the right talent mix, firms employ contemporary hiring and retaining practices. One of the keys for success in the hyper competitive marketplace is to have employees who are committed, engaged and motivated to create breakthrough products and services. Resource based view theorists suggest that employees are a source of competitive advantage. Employees with the right kind of skills, competencies, behaviors and attitudes will make a difference to the DNA of the organization. Organizations like GE, Google, Apple, Tata Group are defined by their employees.

The concept of employee engagement has been popularized mostly by business consultancy firms during the last one decade or so and it has subsequently caught the attention of the practitioners as well as the research/academic community. All efforts in management are to get the talent strategy right so that the best and the brightest stay and contribute towards the goals of the organization. The corporate world in the last few years has witnessed a lot of employee dissent and apathy towards the goals of the enterprise leading to lower efficiency and mediocre products and services. Needless to say, all those firms that have survived the global economic slowdown had employees who were deeply engaged with the vision, mission and goals of the organization. Since then, employee engagement has become a topic of interest for many. There are many factors that drive engagement. Several studies have been conducted to identify the drivers of engagement. Combinations of personal and organizational factors are found to trigger engagement. This study focuses on a combination of factors that drive engagement. The idea is to identify the critical factors that influence employee engagement.

Literature Review

Engagement means commitment of the employee towards organizational goals and values. Engaged employees care about their organization's interests and co-opt with other colleagues to achieve results. Engaged employees are euphoric about their firm and hold positive emotions for their workplace. They go beyond the call of duty. The onus lies with the organization to create an environment where employees have the sense of ownership of the firm they work for and create mutually symbiotic relationship. One of the first to define employee engagement was Kahn (1990)who described it as a multi-dimensional construct wherein employees can be individually or collectively engaged with the organization and their engagement could be cognitive and/or emotional.

Others like Schaufeli et al. (2002) described engagement as "positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption". A lot of disagreement exists among researchers on the definition of engagement. But the widely cited definition on engagement in the literature is emotional and intellectual commitment to the organization (Baumruk, 2004; Richman, 2006; Shaw, 2005). Macey & Schneider (2008) defined engagement as enthusiasm regarding work, absorption in work, and high energy towards work. Little and Little (2006) treated engagement as the unique psychological makeup and experience which is fostered by the ability of the employer to create an atmosphere that promotes engagement and employee interaction at all levels. Gallup defines engagement as employee involvement, satisfaction and enthusiasm towards work (Harter, 2002).

Because employees who are found engaged at work demonstrate greater workplace performance, the concept of engagement has gained widespread international attention. Conceptualized as a positive state of employee motivation (Kahn, 1990), research has shown that employee engagement shares an important relation with organizational outcome variables such as productivity, organizational citizenship behavior, and overall job performance (Harter, Schmidt &amp...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT