Will Better Employee Engagement lead to Improved Productivity?
Read Time: 3 mins
Written by Michelle McDonagh
What will I learn about Employee Engagement and Productivity in this article?
- Evidence of Link between Employee Engagement and Productivity is Weak
- Is Investing in Employee Engagement worthwhile?
- What Areas of Employee Engagement Should Employers Focus On?
Evidence of Link between Employee Engagement and Productivity is Weak
Employee Engagement has been a buzz word in human resources for many years and leaders are encouraged to create environments of highly engaged staff with the belief that it will lead to high performing organisations.
However, if you look for a definition of employee engagement as a starting point in what we are setting out to achieve, you will soon find a web of confusion and contradictions. Even where you find a seemingly reliable definition, the link in the evidence-based research to improved performance, either individual, team or organisational performance is at best weak.
Is Investing in Employee Engagement worthwhile?
3 + 2 = 5 is not the only way to get 5
Why bother investing any money in HR if employee engagement does not lead to better business results?
Because….3+2=5 is not the only way to get 5. There may not be a direct straight line of cause and effect between employee engagement and improved business performance but focused effort in the right areas will indirectly help you to achieve your goal. We are dealing with people after all, not widgets.
Let us embrace the positive learnings from exploring the evidence, even if the concept of employee engagement as a fad does disappear. Breaking what we broadly perceive to be employee engagement down into component parts, allowed us to see that productivity in knowledge workers improves from managers support and high team cohesion (Iulia Cioca, 2019). Achieving enhanced organisational performance is a magical mix of multiple factors, as any business owner can attest to.
What Areas of Employee Engagement Should Employers Focus On?
My own conclusions after working in this area and writing a master’s thesis on a case study of knowledge workers in Ireland leads me to recommend focusing on the following areas:
- focus on clarity of purpose and role responsibilities
- ensure that managers have an active, involved style of management
- ensure that supervisors are active and supportive
- adopt the principles of effective team building and group level engagement support will improve employee well-being and performance.
This finding is supported by Iulia Cioca (2019), who highlighted that focusing on such areas will also reduce important negative aspects such as voluntary turnover, employee burnout and health.
To find out more: https://scienceforwork.com/blog/employee-engagement-performance/