The problem with trying to motivate employees and ensure that they remain motivated is that engagement consists of many different facets and is a movable feast, according to a new report.
The research undertaken by Kingston University’s Employee Engagement Consortium Project on behalf of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development revealed that staff engagement with different aspects of their work and working environment was not a static thing but varied both in depth and intensity over time.
Angela Baron, the CIPD’s engagement and organisational development adviser, said: “An important aspect of engagement has been largely overlooked – the locus. Managers need to get behind the engagement score to really get to grips with what button to press to trigger employee engagement if they are to truly drive competitive advantage through their people.”
As a result, it was important to understand that engagement was not a static thing but occurred “in a context that will impact on perceptions of fairness and the ability to harness engagement and translate it into sustainable organisation performance”, she added.
The report entitled ‘Locus of engagement: Understanding what employees connect with at work’ indicated that the highest engagement levels were generally seen among those workers undertaking a job that they felt was meaningful and that offered them variety and autonomy.
Other critical motivational factors included having a positive relationship with line managers and colleagues and feeling able to voice any concerns. A good company reputation and feeling well-treated by their employer were also moderately important considerations, but for some organisational engagement was based mainly on financial reward.
Interestingly however, while the study said that engagement was a major driver of business performance, it warned that over-engagement by workers with particular facets of their job could have a negative impact on organisational agility and flexibility.