One of the main fundamental concepts of an organisation is employee engagement and the effort to understand and describe, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the type of relationship between the organisation and its employees. Employee engagement is a “workplace approach” designed to ensure:
- That employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values.
- They are motivated to contribute to organisational success.
- They are able, at the same time, to enhance their own sense of wellbeing.
As it stands today, the three key things we know about employee engagement are that it is measurable, can be identified differently across different levels of an organisation and that engagement can be correlated with performance.
It has been highlighted by many authors that work engagement has become an important factor in determining an organisations outcome and is strongly associated with organisational success. An engaged workforce holds many beneficial factors with the potential to enhance the competitive edge required in today's financial economy. Though high levels of employee engagement add value, low levels of engagement can have a damaging effect on the bottom line of an organisation.
In today’s employment, most adults spend a significant amount of time working. Therefore the way they feel about their work can have a significant impact on their life and wellbeing. By being able to provide a positive and suitable environment for an individual to work comfortably, this positively increases how an individual views their working environment. It is essential to keep a working environment positive as it increases employee motivation and engagement.
It is understood that engaged employees are more hands-on, dedicated to maintaining a quality standard of performance, show responsibility for their growth and are more involved with their jobs than ever before. Using and adapting every skill and capability they hold to enhance and fulfil multiple roles in business. As well as being happier, healthier and more fulfilled, engaged employees are also motivated to deliver improved business performance. However, this is dependent on how employees are managed and their attitude towards work itself. By creating a positive relationship between employee and employer, it is evidenced in profit, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, productivity, innovation, staff retention, efficiency and health and safety performance. With this in mind, a positive working environment means, efficient and engaged employees.
Although you may be aware that a positive working environment increases engagement, it has come to light by the Guardian and ONS, that only a third of UK employees say they are actively engaged at work, with another 64% stating they have more skills and talent to offer to their current role. With these statistics in mind, engagement can be created by providing employees with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards or incentives.
What are intrinsic and extrinsic rewards?
Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are two different ways to reward individuals that share different views on what motivates them to work. Intrinsic rewards are suited to individuals who are motivated within their work. Someone who is working for their satisfaction and may value challenging work that they believe to be meaningful to the organisation. Intrinsic rewards are also seen to be a healthy and sustainable source of motivation for employees. However, despite the benefits that stream from intrinsic rewards, managers underestimate their importance, continuing to believe that the key motivational tool is financial treats (extrinsic rewards). In contrast to intrinsic rewards, extrinsic rewards are the tangible rewards given to employees by managers such as pay rises, bonuses and benefits. The reason why they are called intrinsic rewards is that they are external to the work itself.
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