Employee Engagement And The Reality Of It Essay

Employee Engagement And The Reality Of It Essay

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In an employment era characterised by people-centric organisations, it is understandable that the concept of employee engagement has gained increased prominence. In theory, employees are motivated when given autonomy, self-confidence through feedback, respect from management, and freedom to take action without reprisal, which increases productivity and service levels (Macy, 2009:12-13). Unfortunately, despite this conceptual ideal, contemporary research and practitioner studies continue to demonstrate that there is a lacuna between the theory of employee engagement and the reality of it in day-to-day businesses. According to a recent report, The State of Employee Engagement, published by Smith and Henderson, only one third of businesses focus on improving employee engagement (Bridger, 2014). Despite the wide promotion of people-centred management theories, such as employee engagement, the exertion of tighter control by organisations onto employees, through the theory of scientific management, is also examined with the support of Taylor and other academic references, thus analysing Taylorism’s impact on society. Furthermore, this essay briefly explores the rhetoric of employee engagement, and its theoretical ideal compared to its practical reality, but also seeks to explain why Taylorism (the theory of scientific management) retains such a strong grip on organisational practice.

In today’s competitive marketplace, employee engagement can be regarded as a key determinant towards business success, as it affects employee productivity, loyalty, overall customer satisfaction, as well as the reputation of the company. This can be done through recognition of employees’ work, as well as awarding them, thus motivating them to work harder t...

... middle of paper ...

...by each member of the company, with minimal supervision from above.

This essay has critically considered why, despite the ideal of employee engagement, it is often superseded by tight organisational controls and the pervasive principles of scientific management. Similarly, the theoretical ideals of employee engagement differ greatly to the practical reality, thus reverting towards more efficient means of production. It is concluded that, unfortunately, extrinsic factors such as increasing competition and the pursuit of relentless growth cause organisations to be short-term in their approach to employee management, rather than taking the time and effort to build trust with their employees as the foundation for an engaged culture. Regrettably, until this cycle is broken, it is likely that scientific management principles and the ideals of Taylorism will remain.

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