• Explain the term ‘employee engagement’.
Outline the advantages of employee engagement.
• This should include elements like: sales growth, profitability, link between employee engagement with customer satisfaction and retention.
• Possible negative results of having demotivated and disengaged employees
• Prepare a detailed description of the practical employee engagement techniques used by your chosen organisation to motivate staff. This should include both the extrinsic and intrinsic techniques used. Possible areas to consider include leadership styles, wages, promotion of staff, and communications used within the organisation, teams and groups, training and development.
• Based on the findings of the research, provide recommendations which you believe would improve employee engagement at the organisation, and would overcome the barriers to implementing employee engagement.
• The Harvard referencing system should be used.
Employee engagement is a very necessary factor of any organization, for betterment, growth and expansion of the company. Employees generally bring in the business, as they are the representatives of the company and their interaction with the customers make them feel better about the company and draws a good image in their mind about the company and make them loyal to the company. If the organization is able to make its employees happy, then employees would make the customers of the specified organization happy.
The emotional feelings of the employees towards their organization of employment are called employee engagement (Walker, 2012). This emotional feeling regarding the organization generally influences the behaviors of the employees of the organization, and thus also affects the level of work of the employees. Thus, it can be said that, more the engagement, more would be the effort provided by the employees. The nature or types of jobs are also involved within the employee engagement, if the employees might feel mentally stimulated, the employee – management communication, the trust between employees and management of the organization, ability of the employees to understand their contribution regarding the performance of the company through their own work, the growth opportunity of the employees within the firm, the level of pride the employees feel for their working in the specified organization (McGee, 2011).
According to the vision of Sainsbury’s, they want to be the most trusted retailer, so that people should love to work in their organization and also to shop. The strategy of Sainsbury’s is to be unique and different from its competitors, and these can be only possible with the help of the satisfied employees. Thus, employee engagement plays very important role in Sainsbury’s.
Generally, there are three types of employee engagement. These are as follows:
Firstly engaged, which represents such a situation where the employees usually work with a feeling of profound connection to the company where they are employed. The employees also feel to work with passion (Dickson, 2011). Thus, this type of employee engagement helps in innovation and in growth and expansion of the company.
Secondly not – engaged, this represents those employees which are ‘checked out’. In this type of employee engagement, employees are mainly working but not with their passion or energy (Garber, 2011). Thus, the result of the work is not much satisfactory here. Here work of an employee is equivalent to an individual walking in his sleep.
Thirdly actively disengaged, this represents a situation, where the employees are not only unhappy but are also busy in showing their unhappiness in the organization and in their work (Dickson, 2011). Thus, this type of employee engagement is very harmful for an organization, as this type of actively disengaged employees also affect the other employees and their contribution towards the organization.
Sainsbury’s human resource department has appointed a shrinkage specialist team to reduce the levels of wastage, loss and boost of the employees to maintain ‘engaged’ type of employee engagement.
The dimensions of employee engagement are
Employee engagement depends upon what the employees are getting in exchange of doing a job. This perk includes incentives, benefits, increment, and culture of the organization (Dhar, Kaila and Nair, 2009).
This depends upon the relationship between the seniors of an organization and the juniors. The employee should be well acquainted to the responsibilities the employee holds in the organization and also what they need to give to the organization.
When an organization that includes the employees in their decision making, it gives the employees a sense of belonging in the organization. It gives the employee a sense that the individual is a part and parcel of the organization and not there just to do the work (Ryde and Sofianos, 2014).
Motivating the employee with new challenges and growth and giving them timely increment and promotions gives the employee an idea of how it will help in personal growth. The employee will be motivated when the individual has knowledge about the career growth and the contribution will also increase towards the organization (Dhar, Kaila and Nair, 2009).
Sainsbury has retained 15,000 employees who have contributed to the company with 20 years of their professional career. Among these 15,000, there are 195 employees who have reached 40 years in the company. Sainsbury has started the Convenience Training College to train the team leaders, to achieve the dimension of the employee engagement (Ryde and Sofianos, 2014).
The business of an organization largely contributes to the employee engagement. The more the organization will grow, the more the people will get attracted to the organization. Before joining an organization, an individual first checks the history of the organization, annual output and how the organization will help in individual growth of the employee (Armstrong, 2013). Hence, an organization should work to enhance their business in order to increase employee engagement. Other factors within the organization which help in increasing employee engagement are providing better incentives to the employees, so that they get motivated. Provided the organization maintains a healthy atmosphere in the workplace, for example, marinating good relationship between juniors and seniors, healthy competition among employees, building trust among each other, they will also help in employee engagement (Armstrong, 2013).
Sainsbury has employed around 11,400 individuals who have reached the age of 60 in the stores across the country (Garber, 2011). They emphasized on employee engagement, by taking the annual colleague survey through groups like, Great Place to Work groups. Sainsbury employs various motivational theories to motivate the employees. They provide the employees timely incentives, and staff reward schemes. The idea of these reward schemes was started by Sainsbury’s direct business team, to enhance the productivity, increase sales, and inspire the employees to perform better. Sainsbury rewards the employees by giving them condition free bonus cards. The employees can avail discounts up to £1000 (Garber, 2011). The cards are initially deactivated, but once the employee orders something, the card gets activated. The person can buy anything starting from clothes, beauty products, and health items to food.
Motivation plays a very important role in an employee’s work-life. It is also helpful in maintain the work-life balance of an employee. Only motivated employees are found to be more engaged to their work as well as more loyal towards their employers. A motivated employee can achieve the goals of an organization more enthusiastically and rapidly. A healthy relationship between employer and employee also improves employee-engagement. Proper communication within the staff and involvement of employees in the decision making process, is the key strength of Sainsbury’s employee engagement activities.Rivera, A. and Flinck, J. (2011).
Motivational level of the employees, within an organization can be improved by–providing a positive working environment for the employees, by appreciating their work by giving rewards, incentives and recognition, by involving the employees in the decision-making process of the organization, by increasing employee engagement, open communication, encouraging the employees to develop their skills and abilities and a continues evaluation and measurement of job satisfaction is necessary. Good organizations conduct a job satisfaction survey at least once a year. Managers can help employees achieve an overall job satisfaction by motivating them, and an employee’s internal motivation drive will help increase performance on the job.
Sainsbury gives due importance to employee engagement activities as a result, it employs over 20,000 employees for more than 20 years. Hence, employee engagement in the given company has helped the company to survive in the market for long and also help taste success, and maintain a strong, healthy and long-term relationship with its customers.
Employee-engagement has a very powerful impact on the profitability of the company. Engaged employees are loyal towards the company, are secured about their jobs, hence work harder towards achieving the organizational goals of the company, and hence help maximizing profit for the company. Sainsbury lays emphasis on employee engagement programs. Brajer-Marczak, R. (2014).
Sainsbury believes in collecting a regular feedback from its staff as well as its clients so as to get a continual information about its products and hence is able to maintain a healthy relationship with its employees as well as its customers, which also help to continuously innovate its product and provide innovative and better services to its employees. The senior management staff of the company makes a weekly visit to all its stores to enquire about the progress of work.
By conducting a survey, Sainsbury has found that higher the level of employee engagement higher is the level of sales and hence higher profit. It was found that employee engagement contributes to about 15% growth of the yearly growth of a store.
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate objective or the ultimate aim of any company. In today’s world customers do not hesitate to switch their loyalty towards the companies and hence it is very important on the part of the company to give special importance to customer satisfaction. Continues innovation of products and services leads to customer satisfaction, also continuous feedback from the customers also helps improving the level of customer satisfaction.
As, Sainsbury’s employees give a weekly visit to all its stores, hence they get a first hand information about the feedback of the customers which helps them to improve its products and services as per the wishes of the customers and hence satisfy the customers. Sainsbury also gives ample importance to the suggestions given by its employees to improve the performance of the company as well as helps in achieving the goal of customer satisfaction.
Employee engagement also plays an important role in the growth of the organization. Satisfied employees are more loyal towards the company and hence are more concerned about the growth of the company; as a result work harder to achieve the goals of the company. Employee engagement helps in maintaining a healthy and a long- term relationship between the employers as well as employees. Sainsbury has found that employee engagement contributes to about 15% growth of the yearly growth of a store.
In a global survey, it was found that the companies, which had, at least 25% growth in employee engagement has accounted for twice-net annual income. On the other-hand, the companies, which had lower, level of employee engagement amounted to about 28% less than the average growth.
Employee engagement is also helpful in retaining employees. As, employee engagement helps in building a long-term relationship with the organization, it also helps retain the employees. In Sainsbury, more than 15000 employees are been working for 20 years. In addition, approximately more than 195 employees are working for more than 40 years. About 11,600 employees are over sixty years of age. J-sainsbury.co.uk, (2015)
Employee engagement also has a strong impact on the performance of the company and on the performance of the employees as well. A healthy employer-employee relationship ensures high level of performance of the employees as a result the productivity of the company also increases. This is the reason, Sainsbury is able to sustain in the market for so long and has maintained a sustained growth.
The most important disadvantage of unmotivated and disengaged employees is increase in number of resignations (Harb, 2011). Various factors that contribute to demotivated employees are unhealthy work culture, absence of trust factor among employees, disregard of individual performance and so on. Disengaged employees are mostly underperformers, if an employee is not engaged in any work, the efficiency will decrease, and hence it will result in laziness and lack of motivation in work. Demotivated employees can also affect the business of an organization which will affect the profitability of the company (Smith, 2011). If an individual does not find any interest in the work, that individual will take day-offs from work, as a result affecting the company’s business. If the rate of employee retention decreases, the recruitment process of the organization will increase. Every time, a new employee joins, that person will need sometimes to get used to the organization. Hence, it will affect the business of the organization as a whole (Smith, 2011).
Sainsbury in collaboration with shrinkage specialists Checkpoint Systems worked towards decreasing the level of loss, wastage and enhance availability. A study was carried out to find the shortcoming, where 200000 employees were interviewed to study the relationship between employee engagement and retail loss. The result said 25% of the stores with least employee engagement could gain 19.6% of reduction in loss of profits that was affected due to lack of availability. The study also revealed that if the employee engagement rate was increased then it would result in 25% reduction in shrinkage, 9.8% waste reduction, and 9.5% loss of cash could be saved. The collaboration of Sainsbury with ECR has helped the company to understand the relation between employee engagement and business enhancement. It is due to this study that Sainsbury has got a clear idea about the disadvantage of disengaged or demotivated employees (halliwell, 2014).
Thus, it can be concluded that employee engagement and motivation is a very important factor for an organization. If an organization wants to flourish the business, the organization should keep in mind the various factors that increase employee engagement, because it is these employees in the organization that helps the company to grow (Karsan and Kruse, 2011). An organization should also keep in mind the welfare of the employees. The organization should motivate the employees by engaging the people to do challenging tasks, so that the employees do not get disengaged. The organization should introduce various schemes and bonus cards, using which the employees can get discounts in various commodities.
Sainsbury has done a good job by introducing the scheme cards where the individuals can avail discounts up to £1000 in various commodities like, clothes, food, health products and so on. All these schemes motivate the employees to perform better and contribute to the growth of the organization.
Sainsbury gives ample importance to employee-engagement activities. Sainsbury mostly involve its employees in the decision-making process, other than that the company must involve other methods of motivating the employees as well. Providing incentives to employees, rewarding them, encouraging them to perform better, taking interest in their personal career growth as well, etc.
The company must ensure that its employees take pride in whatever they do and are satisfied with their jobs. This helps to improve the level of employee engagement in the company. The company should also make efforts to make the employees comfortable to work in their organization. There are many employee engagement activities or methods which can be implemented in order to increase the employee engagement. Such processes includes sensitivity training, simulation programs, role plays, in-basket exercises, etc. All these help to improve the inter as well as intra personal relationships within employees.
Brajer-Marczak, R. (2014). Employee engagement in continuous improvement of processes. Management, 18(2).
Bridger, E. (2014). Employee engagement. London: Kogan Page.
CONNOR, J. (2011). Sainsbury's Talks Talent and Joins the Employee Engagement Taskforce. [online] Available at: https://www.humanresourcesiq.com [Accessed 19 Jul. 2015].
Garber, P. (2011). Coaching employee engagement training. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press.
J-sainsbury.co.uk, (2015). J Sainsbury plc / Home. [online] Available at: https://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk [Accessed 19 Jul. 2015].
RAYTON, B. (2012). Employee Engagement Task Force. [online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net [Accessed 19 Jul. 2015].
Rivera, A. and Flinck, J. (2011). Employee-Led, Employee Engagement in the Federal Government: SAMHSA PeopleFirst. Advances in Developing Human Resources.
WALKER, P. (2013). Real-world facts about Employee Engagement. [online] Available at: https://www.marketingcompass.co.uk [Accessed 19 Jul. 2015].
Armstrong, M. (2013). How to manage people. London: Kogan Page.
Dhar, U., Kaila, H. and Nair, J. (2009). 40 Management Lessons from Corporate World. Himalaya Pub. House.
Garber, P. (2011). Coaching employee engagement training. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press.
halliwell, j. (2014). Sainsbury's tackles employee engagement to reduce shrinkage. [online] TheGrocer.co.uk. Available at: https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/people/people-news/sainsburys-tackles-employee-engagement-to-reduce-shrinkage/373782.article [Accessed 19 Jul. 2015].
Harb, S. (2011). Employee engagement. Davenport, Ia.: St. Ambrose University.
Karsan, R. and Kruse, K. (2011). We. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Ryde, R. and Sofianos, L. (2014). Creating Authentic Organizations. London: Kogan Page.
Smith, K. (2011). â€˜Deep engagementâ€™ and disengaged reason. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), pp.40-55.
Dickson, D. (2011). Fostering employee engagement. Amherst, Mass.: HRD Press.
Garber, P. (2011). Coaching employee engagement training. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press.
McGee, R. (2011). Employee engagement. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Walker, S. (2012). Employee engagement and communication research. London: Kogan Page.
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