Engaged employees — those who approach their work with energy, dedication, and focus — are more productive and more willing to go the extra mile for their employers. Moreover, engaged workers take the initiative to change their work environments to stay engaged.
So what do we know about the inner workings of employee engagement, and what can employers do to enhance it to improve job performance? Much of the early research on this issue was done by the Gallup organization, and used by consulting companies such as Hewitt Associates to assist leaders in developing practices to assess and increase engagement.
The most recent research conducted by Arnold B. Bakker and associates at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and published in the journal, Current Directions in Psychological Science, has concluded that work engagement depends on two kinds of resources: Job resources such as social support, feedback and opportunities for autonomy, variety and growth. The second resource is the employee’s personal resources, such as self-esteem and optimism. Interestingly, engagement is greatest when the demands of the job are highest, Bakker contends.
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