It is commonly known that employee engagement is very low throughout the workforce. An engaged workforce is much more valuable than a disengaged one.
Research from Bath University aims to narrow down what makes an employee engaged. The job demand-resources theory is central to the study. It implies that our ability to participate in any endeavor is determined by our resources. These resources can include both tangible and intangible things like support and motivation.
The study suggests five strategies for managers to increase employee engagement:
1. Organizational Support: Giving someone the freedom to work the way they see fit involves a lot of trust in that person. Managers might consider nominating employees for awards or highlighting their work in the media. When people feel that they are valued, they tend to value their employer in return.
2. Give Feedback: Feedback is something that most of us appreciate, and this does not have to just be of the positive variety. Negative feedback can be crucial to our development, providing it is delivered in the right way.
3. A fair workplace: Being fair at work is not always easy, and research has shown that exhibiting fairness at work does come at a cost – but it is worth the effort. A desire for fairness is probably something that is hardcoded into us as humans, and there is unlikely to be anything more demotivating than a sense that the odds are stacked against you.
4. Job Design: The way our job is designed has a big impact on our engagement with it. Just as stakeholder buy-in is much higher for projects they have helped to design, so too are jobs that we’ve helped to craft. It’s been 20 years since the concept of job crafting was first aired.
5. Help to Improve: It is almost impossible to find an organization that is not suffering from some kind of skills shortage. Despite this, support for learning and development often lags woefully behind this evident need. The availability of development opportunities is a sure-fire way of boosting engagement in the workplace.
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