According to researchers at Utrecht University, “engagement is a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterised by vigour, dedication, and absorption” (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004).
More and more organisation are recognising engagement as an important workforce issue, the well being, motivation and degree to which workers feel connected to their roles is significant in assessing performance. In fact corporations are looking at strategies that will enhance the levels of employee engagement as instrumental Google acknowledge that its aim is “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world,” – a noble ambition. The question is how can we create a workforce that is “happy” and productive?
Corporations often look to address disengagement through Investment in material perks such as gym membership, free food and beverages, bonus and rewards etc. Though I am sure welcomed by employees, whether such measures actually addresses the fundamental causes of employee disengagement and in fact promote the development of an engaged workforce is yet to be proven.
The real question is more of “how can organisations connect the hearts and minds of their workforce?”Harder from Gallup Polls states "Most people come to work well intentioned and only turn sour when their basic needs aren’t being met." To appropriately address employee engagement and ensure such basic needs are met, orgnaisations must first look to the leadership team and the culture within the organisation. Employees want to know that there is a culture of genuine care for them as individuals, leadership is authentic, honest and value based. An organisation that promotes worklife balance and employee wellness, goes a long way to reconnecting with their workforce.