The Impact of Employee Engagement on Employee Performance

The Impact of Employee Engagement on Employee Performance


Employee engagement is a diffuse term with no concise definition. Some schools of thought define employee engagement as the employee’s enthusiasm to assist his company to achieve its goals majorly by providing unwavering support on a sustainable basis. Others hold the view that it refers to an individual’s sense of purpose and energy focus that can be easily recognized by other employees through a show of personal initiative, persistence, effort and tenacity directed towards the achievement of organizational goals (Solomon & Sridevi, 2010, pp. 89-96).

Employee engagement is a key factor that impacts on almost all sections of the management of human resource within organizations. According to research, there is a significant correlation between employee engagement and the general productivity of an organization (Emma, 2014). The output measures influenced by employee engagement include the company’s productivity, customer satisfaction, product quality and turnover, profitability and interpersonal employee relations.

Every facet of the human resource should be appropriately addressed, failure to address this, and employees may not adequately engage themselves in their job duties. Concepts such as commitment and motivation of the employees and job satisfaction build the concept of employee engagement. The concepts relate mutually between the employer and the employee. The major advantage of employee engagement is that the employees become emotionally attached to the company and work with enthusiasm resulting in significant success. This may surpass the contractual agreement requirements and job description (Jamie & Allan, 2011, pp. 123-136).

Evolution of Employee Engagement

The concept of employee engagement has formed the subject of numerous scholarly works for nearly two decades. It originates from earlier concepts of human resource management i.e. organizational citizen behavior (OCB) and employee commitment. Employee engagement heavily borrows from the two concepts; the ideologies demonstrated therein are largely similar to and overlap with those expressed in the two concepts (McGraw, 2013). Employee commitment denotes a positive attitude and willingness to employ energy towards an organization’s success, taking pride in being a member of the company and identifying oneself with its values. OCB on the other hand involves observing an organizational culture within the work place demonstrated through executing innovative initiatives focused on achieving organizational goals.

Whereas the two concepts’ characteristics are manifest in employee engagements, the latter exhibits a unique 2 way mutual process between the organization and the employee (Meredith & Oried, 2010, pp. 313-326). Therefore, employee engagement is an advancement of older concepts and it reflects the modification of these to meet the current demands of the work place environment.

Drivers of Employee Engagement

            The identification of factors influencing employee engagement forms the basis of developing appropriate models for managers who will wish to increase the levels of employee engagement. The Hierarchy of Engagement Model which is similar to Maslow’s Need Hierarchy model places the basic needs of pay and benefits at the base.

Once satisfied with these, an employee will shift focus onto other needs such as development opportunities, promotion, career progression, and leadership styles within an organization. The next platform of focus will then be of a higher level whereby employees look for value-meaning exhibited by a sense of belonging and association, common purpose and a mutual feeling of meaning at work (Kerstine, et al., 2010).

Studies reveal that 60% of employees need a reassurance of growth opportunities in order to remain satisfied and be retained at their jobs. Managers need to factor in employee-manager relationship as a vital ingredient in employee retention strategies. To achieve this goal, managers need to empower and assist people to progress and develop, provide support and reward where applicable, and promote collaboration and teamwork. Ultimately, the single most important driver of employee engagement is the management’s interest in the well-being of the employees (Brad, et al., 2015).

Strategies of Employee Engagement.

In order to achieve an effective and highly engaged workforce, stakeholders in organizations need to formulate working strategies that enhance the organizational goals. Well organized and executed tactics in task development has been shown to yield the best results whenever appropriate strategies for task completion are employed (Owoloabi & Makinde, 2012).

Some of the elements of such strategies include:

  1. Starting it on day one: A newly hired company employee should be oriented on an organization’s cooperate values, mission and vision immediately when they report to the work station. All policies should be clearly enumerated and precisely laid out for the employee to fit into the organization’s culture.
  2. Start it from the top: A committed leadership that’s keen on implementing a company’s objectives is key in enhancing its goals including a highly motivated employee workforce.
  3. Employee engagement through two-way communication strategy: involving the subordinates in decision making processes and factoring in employee inputs is key in fostering a good employee-employer relationship. This creates a sense of well-being and belonging hence a highly engaged workforce.
  4. Resource availability: employees need to be adequately endowed with resources to execute their duties effectively. These include human resource, financial and capital resources and information resources.
  5. Training and career progression: a skilled workforce is key in delivering on good company performance. Whenever employees get to know more about their job, they exhibit greater confidence which in turn builds more self-efficacy and commitment.
  6. Feed-back systems: the presence of proper channels enables employees to hold the management accountable and vice versa. Regular surveys are necessary in mapping out the employees’ needs and demands. It’s important for managers to prioritize factors that make a great difference to the employees and strive to improve in such areas.
  7. Motivation and incentives: managers should prioritize their best performing personnel and offer them rewards and incentives in the form of promotions and monetary awards. There should be a company culture of appreciating success and performance whilst condemning low productivity and negative employee output.

Whereas most researchers concentrate on studies on the drivers of employee engagement, insufficient literature exist on the challenges managers face in their effort to improve their employees’ engagement scores (William, 2014).



Literature Review

Solomon, M. & Sandhya, S., 2010. Employee Engagement: The Key to Improving Performance. International Journal, 5(12), pp. 89-95.


The authors of this journal article discuss the importance of utilizing the concept of employee engagement as a tool for human resource management. They propound that the concept is built up of the earlier concepts of job satisfaction, organizational citizenship behavior and employee commitment.


The authors conducted a critical review of various literature on the ideology of employee engagement.

The key words used for the research included employee commitment, employee engagement, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior.


The research conducted revealed that even though the concept of employee engagement appears to be a standard practice, various entities employ their own approaches towards keeping their employees engaged. This finding is based on the fact that different entities operate in different manners. As such, their approach towards employment engagement cannot be alike. However, some practices such as consultation and continuous training apply uniformly.

The literature searched also suggested that the engagement of an employee starts on the first day that an employee reports to work. The orientation conducted should demonstrate that commitment and inclusion are the bases for the operation of the company’s business. This will ensure that employees learn early enough so that they find it as a natural part of their job duties.


The revolution of the mode of operation especially due to technological advancement demands a new approach towards engaging employees. Employees now have advanced technological skills and as such, they cannot be managed in the traditional totalitarian way. Among other things, employees expect job satisfaction, status and operational autonomy (Solomon & Sandhya, 2010). Job satisfaction refers to how content an employee is with their job. Years ago, job satisfaction was a major parameter of determining how efficient a company was. One of the major factors that influenced job satisfaction was pay. However, employees now look beyond pay. They derive job satisfaction from engagement in their job duties. This entails both the emotional and intellectual connection with the job (SHRM, 2016). The emotional connection is achieved majorly through engaging the employees.


The authors of the journal suggest various ways through which the challenge of disengagement may be cured. These include ensuring leadership commitment, employing a two-way approach in communication, granting the employees an opportunity for advancement, giving the employees both monetary and non-monetary benefits, training the employees appropriately, building a corporate culture that is distinctive and having an efficient and strong feedback system.

The information in the journal is relevant to the study as it provides a basic understanding of the concept of employee engagement. It also points out the fact that there is no standard definition of the concept and as such, it should be analyzed depending on the peculiar circumstances of each case.


Madhurka, B. & Deepika, P., 2014. A Study on the Drivers of Employee Engagement Impacting Employee Performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 133, pp. 106-115.


The study is on the drivers of the concept of employee engagement and how it impacts on the performance of the employee. The three drivers explored include work life balance, communication and leadership.


The researchers conducted a literature search on the drivers of employee engagement. Although there are numerous drivers, they narrowed down on the three aforementioned drivers.

The key words used included; performance, employee engagement, communication and human resource.


The research showed that the concept of engagement is today one of the most powerful sources of competitive advantage. Apart from deriving personal satisfaction from the job, an engaged employee is more creative and comes up with initiatives which go towards expanding the success of the business.


Human resources is a significant department and has a major role to play when it comes to employee engagement. There are several critical aspects that the HR managers should focus on in order to ensure productivity. One of these is communication. Communication helps to create trust within the organization. This will help in productivity as the employees will feel free to communicate to their superiors on any strategies they feel may improve the performance of the company (Madhurka & Deepika , 2014).

Work life balance refers to the proper prioritization between career and lifestyle. Basically, it means not giving too much attention to one aspect and leaving the other unattended. Balancing between work and life ensures that the employees are happy and as such more productive. There are various benefits of work-life balance including reducing the turnover of the staff, lowering the incidence of absenteeism, improving the brand perception and improving employee engagement.

Leadership on the other hand as a driver of employee engagement refers to giving a chance to the staff to manage different tasks. Although not all the employees can be managers, they should be given opportunities to take leading roles. This makes them feel that their input is valued and when such an opportunity presents itself, they brainstorm to find the best ways through which they can deliver on the task. Leadership has a second facet. This refers to the adaptation of relevant initiatives by the managers and employees in supervisory positions to ensure that the employees are appropriately engaged. As a matter of fact, employee engagement is an obligation of the human resource management. Efficient leadership ensures productivity and expansion.


The authors of the article suggest that the human resource managers of an entity should look into the concepts of work life balance, communication and leadership as an entry point into employing the concept of employee engagement. This will ensure that both the company and the employees develop to the maximum possible capacity.

The scholarly article is relevant to this study as it explores the building blocks of employee engagement. However, the research did not discuss the different parameters that are used in measuring the drivers suggested. For instance, how will the HR ascertain that communication within a company is effective?


Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 2013. The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, s.l.: Harvard Business.


The researchers conducted the study to analyze the impact of employee engagement on performance. They assert that engaging employees has an impact on productivity, innovation and the overall performance of the company. It also reduces the costs of hiring and retaining in competitive markets.


A global survey was conducted on 568 subjects from different organizations that had at least 500 or more employees. They were from a variety of industries namely IT and communication firms (16%), financial services (14%), energy and utilities companies (9%), manufacturing companies (12%), healthcare (8%), education (8%) and the remaining sectors constituted 33%.

The respondents were drawn from all levels of employee cadre’s i.e. senior level executives, board members, middle level management and lower level employees. Besides this, they were selected from various departments within their organizations.

The data was collected by way of questionnaires. These were administered to the subjects seeking to find out the understanding of employee engagement and its effects on business performance. They also sought to elucidate the key drivers of employee engagement and its importance in customer satisfaction.


71% of the participants viewed employee engagement as a critical factor in achieving the objectives of the company. 72% of the participants felt that the recognition of high performance within organizations had the highest influence on employee engagement. However, only 24% of the subjects responded that employees in their organizations were highly engaged.

The data collected showed that employee engagement ranked third behind customer service and communication as the most important factors likely to lead to successful companies.



The study showed that companies are executing employee engagement programs to increase productivity and performance. However, few companies have ways of measuring tangible and objective performance indicators related to employee engagement (HBR, 2013). Since only 24% of the employees felt that they were highly engaged, there is still room for improvement in the sector. Most companies prioritize employee and customer satisfaction as the only measures of performance leaving out other parameters such as revenue growth and increased market share.

The choice of the study sample was appropriate as it was drawn from a wide range of companies from each and every continent. The sample size was adequate and as such, conclusions drawn from the study mirror the status of corporations worldwide.


A large number of studies have demonstrated that employee engagement may reduce operation costs such as turnover and at the same time improve the output of the company.

The results of this research are relevant to the paper in that they provide a general overview of the concept of employee engagement globally.


Research Question

This paper seeks to explore the impact of employee engagement on company performance. The several limbs of the question that will be discussed include:

  • Does employee engagement affect the performance of a company?
  • What are the different approaches to employee engagement?
  • Has the concept of employee engagement evolved in light of the evolution of technology?


Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this research study proposal is to analyze the impacts of employee engagement on performance of a company.


  • To determine the extent to which employee job satisfaction affects the performance of a company.
  • To determine the drivers of employee engagement and their effect on employee performance
  • To determine the extent to which the concept of employee engagement has evolved


The research paper utilized an online search on the scholarly works on employee engagement. These included journals and corporate websites.  Some of the journals reviewed included; Harvard business review, human resource management review and the journal of psychology. Various governmental and non-governmental reports on the impact of employee engagement were also analyzed.

The literature search was limited to works published between 2010 and 2017. On inclusion of the key word ‘impact’, the search yielded an approximate of seven articles. The exclusion of the articles that were more than 7 years old yielded 5 case studies, of which 4 were selected for the paper.

Limitations of the Study

The main challenge encountered is that most of the available literature on employee engagement is based on specific focal points. A limited number contain data that reflects the situation globally.

Secondly, the fact that the findings of the research are self-reported presents an opportunity for erroneous conclusions. However, this challenge was solved by trying to adopt an objective rather than a subjective approach to the research.

Thirdly, the nature of the instruments used for the research may also lead to subjective findings. This is because the secondary data was collected by authors who had a hypothesis in mind when conducting the study. As such, the results have a chance of bias.












Brad, S., Tonnete, R. & Cooper, T., 2015. New Perspectives in Employee Engagement in Human Resources. First ed. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Emma, B., 2014. Employee Engagement. New York: Kogan Page.

Kerstine, A. et al., 2010. Creating an Engaged Workforce: Findings from the Kingston Employee Engagement Consortium Project, London: Chattered Institute of Personnel and Development.

McGraw, T., 2013. Human Resource Management. s.l. S.n.

William, R., 2014. Creating Engaged Employees: It’s Worth the Investment… First ed. Alexandria: ASTD press.


HBR, 2013. The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, s.l.: Harvard Business .

Jamie, G. & Allan, S., 2011. performance Management and Employee Engagement. Human Resource Management Review, Volume 21, pp. 123-136.

Madhurka, B. & Deepika , P., 2014. A Study on the Drivers of Employee Engagement Impacting Employee Performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 133, pp. 106-115.

Meredith, E. & Oried, S., 2010. The Relationship between Charismatic Leadership, Work Engagement and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors. The Journal of Psychology, 44(3), pp. 313-326.

Owoloabi, A. S. & Makinde, O. G., 2012. The Effect of Strategic Planning on Coorporate Performance in University Education.. Journal of Business and Management, 2(4), pp. 27-44.

SHRM, 2016. Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Revitalizing a Changing Workforce, New York: Society for Human Resource Management.

Solomon , M. & Sandhya, S., 2010. Employee Engagement: The Key to Improving Performance. International Journal, 5(12), pp. 89-95.

Solomon, M. & Sridevi, M., 2010. Employee Engagement: The Key to Improving Performance. International Journal of Business and Mnagement, December, 5(12), pp. 89-96.