Employees are key actors in connecting customers to companies. When this bridge is paved with an inner motivation by employees, it naturally results in a strong bond in-between. Therefore, organizations should focus more on engaging not only customers but also employees in order to grow a scattered workforce into a value-creating team. The invaluable role of engagement in organizational growth is the premise upon which Engage & Grow was born.

Employee Engagement is a psychological state (Kahn, 1990), which have outcomes on both employees and companies. Although it has received much attention for three decades now, there is still no consensus in its definition. There are two main research streams, though. Firstly, a pioneer qualitative work by Kahn (1990) has been mainly accepted by researchers, which defined “personal engagement” as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles”. According to this study, engaged employees “employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”. Second research stream has followed an outstanding study by Maslach et al. (2001). According to the authors, employee engagement was defined as the “positive antithesis” of burnout, in which burnout was claimed to gradually destroy engagement (Maslach et al., 2001). Similarly, Schaufeli et al. (2002) proposed that employee engagement was “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption”. Here at Engage & Grow, we accept engagement as a positive psychological state which naturally encourages cognitive, physical and emotional commitment of employees voluntarily and enthusiastically.

The popularity of employee engagement emerges from its positive outcomes for companies such as reduced turnover intentions (Saks, 2006), improvised performance (Hughes & Rog, 2008), augmented organizational commitment (Lee & Ok, 2015) and organizational citizenship, reduction in expenses (Kumar & Pansari, 2016), willingness to participate in innovation, and decreased burnout (Hakanen et al., 2018). Employee engagement has also positive consequences in terms of customer-oriented behaviors. It was observed to directly influence customer engagement, which in return drives trust in company and co-creation of value (Ferm and Thaichon, 2021), employees’ customer-oriented behaviors (Qin et al., 2014), behavioral intentions of customers (Chang, 2016), and customer service performance (Menguc et al., 2017). According to an analysis of several testimonials given by Engage & Grow customers, the most outstanding consequence of employee engagement is team spirit and organizational attachment.

Antecedents of employee engagement have been grouped into three categories: employee-focused, job-focused, and organization-focused. The first category covers employees’ personal preferences, personality traits, skills, affective attachment, psychological state, satisfaction, etc. The second category accommodates job-related constructs such as job-position conflict, professional expertise, and job properties. In the organization-oriented drivers can be listed atmosphere and roles at work, organization’s human resources policy, and coaching styles. Given the blurring frames of jobs, and organization’s power to support employee-focused matters with a solid talent management policy, the final category stands out as the most influential group. Engage & Grow focuses on business-level customers to help organizational growth by supporting individual employees with an engaging coaching style.

Engaged employees are value-creators of organizations. They are driven by nature and drive their environment intrinsically. Organizations should both focus on attracting engaged candidates and, at the same time, create engaging surroundings for current employees. Engage & Grow defines its role as a facilitator in this challenging responsibility of organizations.

References

Chang, K-C. (2016), “Effect of servicescape on customer behavioral intentions: Moderating roles of service climate and employee engagement”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 53, pp. 116-128.

Ferm, L-E. C. and Thaichon, P. (2021), “Value co-creation and social media: Investigating antecedents and influencing factors in the u.s. retail banking industry”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 61.

Hakanen, J.J., Ropponen, A., Schaufeli, W.B. and De Witte, H. (2018), “Who is engaged at work?: A large-scale study in 30 European countries”, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 61, No. 5.

Hughes, J.C. and Rog, E. (2008), “Talent management”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20, No. 7, pp. 743-757.

Kahn, W. A. (1990), “Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 692-724.

Kumar, V. and Pansari, A. (2016), “Competitive advantage through engagement”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 53, No. 4.

Lee, J. and Ok, C. (2015), “Hotel employee work engagement and its consequences”, Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 1-34.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B. and Leiter, M. P. (2001), “Job burnout”, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 52, pp. 397-422.

Menguc, B., Auh, S., Yeniaras, V. and Katsikeas, C.S. (2017), “The role of climate: Implications for service employee engagement and customer service performance”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 45, No. 3.

Qin, Q., Wen, B., Ling, Q., Zhou, S. and Tong, M. (2014), “How and when the effect of ethical leadership occurs? A multilevel analysis in the Chinese hospitality industry”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 974-1001.

Schaufeli, W.B., Salanova, M., González-romá, V. and Bakker, A.B. (2002), “The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach”, Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 3, pp. 71–92. 

Saks, A.M. (2006), “Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 600-619.

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