Engaging Employees: A Smattering of 'Pixie Dust' or Good Management Practice?

By Sally Rumbles and Gary Rees.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

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According to Truss et al (2012, 219), “Employee engagement has become something of an international phenomenon over the past few years.” Whilst this has partly been driven by an increased interest amongst academics in positive psychology, organizations and Human Resource practitioners in particular have seized upon engagement as a ‘magic formula’ for harnessing employee motivation towards higher levels of performance for the benefit of the organization. Linked to this is a growing body of research suggesting that if organizations could positively engage their employees then change management initiatives would be more successful. This paper explores the growing interest in the concept of employee engagement considering the nature of the concept, the links between employee engagement and organizational performance and considers how managers can engage their employees during times of change. The implications for managers and HR professionals are discussed.

Keywords: Engagement, Trust, Human Resources, Performance, Change

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.73-83. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 373.778KB).

Sally Rumbles

Course Leader of Human Resource Management Degrees, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

Lectures, writes and researches in a number of human resource management areas. Recently, these have focused on change management and the links to employee engagement, well-being and the role of HR. My recent publications include Rees, G. and Rumbles S., “Continuous Organizational Change and Burnout” (2012), The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management Vol. 11; Organisational Behaviour, second edition (2011) by French, R. Rayner, C. Rees, G. and Rumbles, S., Wiley Publications; CIPD Continuous Changes, Organizational Burnout and HR's role, HR Bulletin Research and Practice CIPD; and a conference paper presented on continuous changes and organizational burnout at the Australian Caucus of the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism (2010).

Gary Rees

Course Director of Postgraduate HR Programmes, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

Lectures, writes and carries out research in change management from an academic and practitioner perspective. Recent outputs include: “Continuous Organizational Change and Burnout” (2012), Rees, G. and Rumbles, S., The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, vol. 11; Leading, Managing and Developing People (2010) by Rees, G. and French, R. (editors), CIPD Publications; and Organizational Behaviour, second edition (2011) by French, R. Rayner, C. Rees, G. and Rumbles, S. Wiley Publications.