With All the Buzz about Employee Engagement are Organizations Missing the Mark?
Employee Engagement has become a hot topic among researchers, leaders, and organizations. There is no denying that when employees are engaged there’s a huge benefit to the organization in terms of performance and productivity. But as we investigated the topic of engagement, we found that while elements of employee engagement overlap with job satisfaction and organizational commitment the concept of employee engagement on its own doesn’t really hit the mark in terms of creating the kind of organizational culture most organizations desire.
We make several distinctions between the concepts of Employee Work Passion and engagement. First, Employee Work Passion is supported by a theory and model that explain how work passion is formed. We feel Employee Work Passion is better explained by social cognition, appraisal theory, and research—and encompasses both job commitment and organizational commitment; therefore, it is a different and more expansive concept than engagement. Employee Work Passion is an individual’s persistent, emotionally positive, meaning-based, state of well-being stemming from continuous, reoccurring cognitive and affective appraisals of various job and organizational situations, which results in consistent and constructive work intentions and behaviors while employee engagement is simply a measure of satisfaction.
Second, three key concepts influence Work Passion including organizational, relationship, and job factors which drive 5 key intentions. Engagement has been generally associated with either job commitment (burnout, well-being, etc.) or organizational commitment (intent to stay, endorsement, etc.) but typically not associated with both.
Third, the literature on engagement usually describes three states of engagement: engaged, disengaged, and actively disengaged. These three states lack a positive upper range of passionate commitment that comes with repeated involvement in self-defining activities and is distinguished by the concept of Employee Work Passion or active engagement. Employee Work Passion goes beyond simple engagement in various work activities to the incorporation of self-defining activities that become a central feature in an employee’s identity.
Employee Work Passion measures both affect (feeling) and cognition (thinking) as well as providing a measure of intent. Many engagement surveys focus on measuring cognition or perceptions. It’s important to note that the affect and cognition lead to the formation of intentions, which influence performance. Measuring cognition alone, as many engagement surveys do, does not indicate intention or behavior. Organizations rely on the dedication of passionate employees who are committed to going about and beyond on a daily basis to harness productivity, performance, and profitability.