Influencing Factors on Employee Engagement in Woqod Company

Initial Literature Review

Employee engagement was conceptualised by Kahn in 1990 and he perceived it as harnessing employees to their organisational work roles (Davis et al. 2016). However, over the years research on the topic has widened resulting in different perceptions of employee engagement. For example, some researchers focusing on employee burnout report that employee engagement reduces burnout (Saks and Gruman 2014). Other researchers have studied the employee’s basic needs at the workplace and they establish that when workers are engaged, they perceive their work as meaning and their place of work as safe and with the required resources (AbuKhalifeh and Som 2013). Still, other researchers have studied the emotional perspective of work and they provide a comprehensive definition of employee engagement which focuses on emotional, cognitive, and behavioural components that effect an employee’s productivity at work (Dollard 2012). Therefore, there are different definitions of employee engagement. Among the most recurrent dimensions of employee engagement are employee identification, employee satisfaction, employee commitment, employee performance, and employee loyalty (Mariappanadar 2018). However, the five dimensions of employee engagement concur that employee engagement is the extent to which employees are committed and involved in the organisation and the organisational values. As such, an engaged employee understands the business context and works together with other employees to enhance performance within the job with an intention of promoting organisational performance (Gupta 2015).

meetings, story-telling, organisational justice, career development and training, compensation and benefits, and psychological empowerment. Internal communication helps orient new employees to an organisation, develop their work skills, solicit their ideas and comments, and listen to their concerns, which leads to higher employee engagement. On the other hand, Karanges et al. (2015) write that for employees to remain engaged, they must receive feedback and information on their performance. Emotional intelligence is seen an effective tool in building employee engagement. Khuong and Yen (2014) write that leaders should be attentive to the needs of their followers and respond appropriately. Similarly, Akhtar et al. (2015) state that leaders should use their emotional intelligence to connect with their followers while employees should use perception of a leader’s emotional intelligence skills to decide the type if a leader they have and respond appropriately. Transformational leadership is said to be effective in meeting the emotional needs of employees resulting in higher engagement (Khan et al. 2014). Story-telling helps align employees around the leaders’ strategic planning efforts. According to Davis et al. (2016), presenting strategic planning information in form of stories makes the information more memorable as compared to when the information is delivered using traditional modes and language. In the same vein, Frem (2016) states that by being creative in how to present strategic planning information to employees, leaders can invite employees to contribute to the process while giving them an easy way to share the information to others. Tandem to storytelling, Han (2015) states that leaders can in a more creative way use common workplace activities such as work-group meetings to engage their employees in that employee are more free at such forums compared to the official meetings. Kumar and Pansari (2015) establishe that employee involvement in organisational initiatives, employee participation in decision making, feedback, providing educational opportunities, and open communication are the most common tools of building employee engagement. On the other hand,


Bandura and Lyons (2017) believe that to enhance employee engagement, organisational leaders should first identify the dimensions of employee engagement and seek to develop each at a time. From this perspective, the authors state that enhancing employee satisfaction, promoting identification of employee, promoting employee commitment levels, enhancing employee loyalty, and promoting employee performance are effective tools to build employee engagement. Anitha (2014) emphasises the role of learning opportunities in enhancing employee engagement. Providing employees learning opportunities helps improve their skills and abilities, which in turn enhances their commitment to the organisation. In agreement, Taneja et al. (2015) state training and career development enables employees to use their abilities and skills to achieve personal and organisational goals; as a result, they feel they are useful to the organisation which promotes employee engagement. Still, Nawaz et al. (2014) write that training provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals, which in turn keeps them engaged to the organisation and its values.

Literature identifies various factors affecting employees engagement the most common being work design. Work design refers to how tasks, jobs, and roles are enacted, structured, and modified within the organisation (Miracle et al. 2018). According to Truss et al. (2015), work design has a significant influence on the experiences and actions of employees. The authors state that work design that does not provide job resources such as skill variety, autonomy, opportunities for growth, and performance feedback negatively affects employee engagement. The JD-R model of employee engagement claims that job demand and resources can be used to predict employee engagement and burnout (Kwon and Kim 2019). The model posits that high job demands depletes energy levels thus lowering employee engagement. Additionally, the model suggests that high job resources cushion employees against the effect of high demands thus enhancing employee engagement. From this model, high job demand reduces employee engagement but organisations can counter this effect by

providing the required job resources. On the other hand, the psychological safety climate model depicts that management support and commitment, organisational communication, management priority, and organisational involvement and participation are the four major factors affecting employee engagement (Idris et al. 2015).

Research Methods

Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected to answer the research question. The purpose of qualitative data will be to explore how employees at Woqod Company perceive employee engagement and the effectiveness of the tools that management uses to build employee engagement. The purpose of quantitative data will be to examine the relationship between factors affecting employee engagement (work design, management support and commitment, organisational communication, management priority, and organisational involvement and participation) and employee engagement. 6.2 How information will be collected Data will be collected from both primary and secondary sources. Secondary sources will help in development of hypotheses while primary sources will provide information essential in testing the hypotheses. The survey research strategy will be used in collection of primary data. According to Saunders et al. (2009), surveys allow a researcher to collect large amount of data from a sizeable population and the data can be standardized allowing easy comparison. Additionally, the survey strategy is authoritative as it gives a researcher control over what information to collect (Mukhopadhyay and Gupta 2014). The survey strategy is also easy to explain and understand promoting the accuracy of the information generated. Further, the survey strategy allows a researcher to collect data that can be analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Still, Russell (2013) writes that the data collected using surveys can be used to suggest possible reasons for the

relationship between variables. For this benefits, the survey strategy was selected for use in this study. A semi-structured will be used as the data collection instrument. In a semi-structured questionnaire, a researcher has a list of questions and themes to be covered but the order in which they are asked varies from interviewee to the other depending on the flow on conversation (Harrel and Bradley 2009). In addition, the researcher may omit some questions in particular interviews given the extent to which the respondent seems to understand the problem under investigation (McIntosh and Morse 2015). Further, additional questions may be asked to explore the research question and objectives given that employees differ in knowledge levels. The researcher will also use prompts and probes to stimulate interviewees’ thinking which is aimed at generating as much information as possible to achieve all the research objectives. The research population are employees at Woqod Company. However, not all employees and Woqod Company can provide the required information. Therefore, the target population are subordinate employees at the company. A sample of 10 participants will be selected using probability sampling. The rationale for probability sampling is to ensure every subordinate employee has an equal chance of being included in the sample (Acharya et al. 2013). Of the sampling techniques under random sampling, systematic sampling will be used to select the study sample. In systematic sampling, every nth case after a random start is selected. In this case, the researcher will identify the name of the third employee in the list of subordinate employees and then select every 5th name until 10 names have been selected. The contact information for the 10 will be acquired. They will then be emailed the aim of the study and their consent to be part of the study sought through an email. After establishing consent, the researcher will schedule interview sessions with individual respondents. Each interview session is scheduled to last 20 to 30 minutes. The interviews will be

conducted face-to-face but where impossible, the researcher will call the participants and the interview be conducted over the phone. Every interview sessions will be recorded and notes taken. To promote confidentiality, names and job titles of the employees will not be salient features of the study. In addition, the information recorded during every interview will be stored in a password-protected computer in a folder only the researcher has access to. The notes taken will be locked in a cabinet that can only be accessed by the researcher. However, the information might be shared with the supervisor but only for the research purpose. After data has been analysed and the researcher awarded a mark for the research paper, the recordings will be permanently deleted and the notes shredded. 6.3 Analysis techniques Thematic analysis will be adopted in this research. In analysing secondary data, the researcher will be keen to note recurrent themes on the topic of employee engagement. The themes of interest are perception of employee engagement, tools for driving employee engagement, and factors affecting employee engagement. The interview guide will be organised under these themes to ensure what is collected from primary sources can be easily compared to what was established using secondary sources. Therefore, the collected information will be analysed under the identified themes.

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  • Davis, P.J., Frolova, Y. and Callahan, W.T., 2016. Perceptions, Antecedents and Consequents of Employee Engagement Initiatives in Australian Organizations. American Journal of Management, 16(1). Dollard, M.F., 2012. Psychosocial safety climate: A lead indicator of workplace psychological health and engagement and a precursor to intervention success. In Improving Organizational Interventions For Stress and Well-Being (pp. 103-127). Routledge.
  • Frem, A., 2016. Engagement–The Power of People. In The Employer Brand (pp. 63-84). Routledge. GUPTA, M., 2015. A study on employees perception towards employee engagement. Globsyn Management Journal, 9(1), pp. 45-51. Han, Y., 2015. A Study on Employee Engagement Program in Full Service Hotel. Harrell, M.C. and Bradley, M.A., 2009. Data collection methods. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Rand National Defense Research Inst santa monica ca.
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  • Khan, M.I., Awan, U., Yasir, M. and Mohamad, N.A.B., 2014. Transformational leadership, emotional intelligence and organizational commitment: Pakistan’s services sector. Khuong, M.N. and Yen, N.H., 2014. The effects of leadership styles and sociability trait emotional intelligence on employee engagement. A study in Binh Duong City, Vietnam. International Journal of Current Research and Academic Review, 2(1), pp.121-136. Kumar, V. and Pansari, A., 2015. Measuring the benefits of employee engagement. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(4), p.67. Kwon, K. and Kim, T., 2019. An integrative literature review of employee engagement and innovative behavior: Revisiting the JD-R model. Human Resource Management Review, p.100704.
  • Mariappanadar, S., 2018. The impact of dissonance in schema based leadership perceptions on employee engagement: Evidence from Australia. Personnel Review, 47(7), pp.1309-1329. McIntosh, M.J. and Morse, J.M., 2015. Situating and constructing diversity in semi-structured interviews. Global qualitative nursing research, 2, p.2333393615597674. Mukhopadhyay, S. and Gupta, R.K., 2014. Survey of qualitative research methodology in strategy research and implication for Indian researchers. Vision, 18(2), pp.109-123.
  • Nawaz, M.S., Hassan, M., Hassan, S., Shaukat, S. and Asadullah, M.A., 2014. Impact of employee training and empowerment on employee creativity through employee engagement: Empirical evidence from the manufacturing sector of Pakistan. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 19(4), pp.593-601. Russell, R.M., 2013. Research methods. Final Report on the 2013 Season of The Mayapán Taboo Cenote Project, p.23.
  • Saks, A.M. and Gruman, J.A., 2014. What do we really know about employee engagement?. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 25(2), pp.155-182. Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. and Wilson, J., 2009. Business research methods. Financial Times, Prentice Hall: London. Taneja, S., Sewell, S.S. and Odom, R.Y., 2015. A culture of employee engagement: A strategic perspective for global managers. Journal of Business Strategy, 36(3), pp.46-56. Truss, K., Baron, A., Crawford, D., Debenham, T., Emmott, M., Harding, S., Longman, M., Murray, E. and Totterdill, P., 2014. Job design and employee engagement.

Timeline of Dissertation

  • Jamie,A.G.,& Alan.M.S.(2011). Performance management and employee engagement:Human Resource Management Review, 21(2), 123-136.

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