Currently “engagement” is a very common concept for HR management, but, as it is relatively new, there is not enough consensus with respect to its meaning and the best way to assess it. It is usually associated to aspects so relevant for the companies such as involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, effort and energy that the employees have to do their work.
From the academic point of view, engagement has been defined as a positive mental state, of work realization, which is characterized for:
- High levels of energy and mental resilience in the performance of the work duties and the wish to make an effort even in the presence of difficulties.
- High work involvement and significance feeling, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge.
- Complete concentration in the development of the work duties: time goes by quickly and it is difficult to disconnect.
The results of the research show that the engagement is related to positive attitudes towards the organization, such as work satisfaction and commitment. It also shows a relationship between lower turnover, pro activity, motivation to learn and work performance and low levels of depression and stress. All these aspects, at the same time, are related to desirable consequences for the companies. In this line, the companies that encourage engagement state that it increases profitability because of higher productivity and a longer permanence of the employees in the company.
The engagement benefits not only the company, but also the employee, as it encourages employee growth, and also, its realization to the maximum level. But engagement in the work place is not spontaneous. It is necessary to build an organizational context to promote it.
We recommend the following publication to learn further about this concept:
Salanova, M. y Shaufeli, W. Engagement at the work place. When work becomes fashion. Alianza Publishers, Madrid, 2009.