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Employee Engagement: The Case Of Sainsburys Add in library

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Identify the relationship between strategic objectives, functional management and business environment; Determine the management problems arising from organisational change and how these might be mitigated?




Employee engagement is the commitment and involvement made by the employees in accordance with the values of the organization. Employee engagement is crucial for any organization. If the employees are able to connect with the mission and values of the organization, realize their contribution towards the organization and feel that the employers care about the employees then they would get the encouragement to get committed to the organization or derive motivation to improve their performance. In the field of HR employee engagement is a popular aspect where the employees hold positive attitudes towards the organization. Most of the large companies are concerned with the workforce management but many do not really realize the importance of the employee engagement (Brajer-Marczak, 2014). This is because employee engagement can be described in myriad ways in which trust and the association between the employees and the employers are significant. The meaning of employee engagement is wide and shall be discussed in this assignment. The basic concept of the employee engagement occurs when the employee willingly put discretionary effort in their work with the utilization of time, ideas and energy beyond the call of duty. The employee engagement is diverse in nature. The involvement can be in the form of providing information to the colleagues, individual supervision and sharing knowledge and information and getting actively involved in the work. This would enhance not only the performance of the employees but also the organization as a whole (Custers, 2012). In this assignment the organizational practices of Sainsbury are discussed along with recommendations that are required to be made.

Employee Engagement:

Employee engagement can be defined as the workplace aspect which is directed towards the commitment of the employees to the values and goals of the organization, encouragement of the employees so that they benefit the organization and bring success and at the same time employees are able to motivate themselves so that they improve their own performance. An employee who is engaged is aware of the organizational context in which they are able to offer beyond their capability and potentiality. Employee engagement is the relationship between the employees and the organization (Custers, 2012). It is said that the engaged employee is the one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic by the work and also undertakes positive actions so that reputation of the organization is maintained. An organization with high employee engagement has the ability to perform well as compared with those with low employee engagement.

It was William Kahn who came up with the definition of personal engagement where he believed that the within the role that the employees perform it is the engagement that is most important. He defines that in the process of engagement the employees express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally. It is very difficult to define employee engagement but in 2011 Shuck and Wollard recognized for concepts to understand the term.

  • Needs Satisfying approach- this explains the aspects of the engagement in which the employees prefer themselves within the task.
  • Burnout antithesis approach- The concepts of energy, involvement and efficacy are posed as opposites of the burnouts which are exhaustion, cynicism and the absence of achievement.
  • Satisfaction-engagement approach- This is evident from the Gallup’s Q12 survey on engagement where the coefficient of correlation was 0.91 with the job satisfaction. This proves that the employee engagement is associated with the job satisfaction.
  • Multidimensional approach- this approach highlights the differences between the job and organizational engagement. Here the main focus is on the role performance instead of the organizational identification .

There are three categories of employee engagement which are discussed below:

  • Engaged- These kinds of employees are highly committed to the organization. They are the consistent performers who utilize their skills and talents to work with passion. In this way they aim to move the organization towards innovation and growth.
  • Not-engaged- These types of employees emphasizes on the task instead of the outcomes and goals of the organization. Their motive is to accomplish task rather than achieving the outcomes. Another important aspect is that they do not have sound relationship with the employers.
  • Actively Disengaged- They are the unhappy part of the workforce who are consistently against the task, goals or outcomes. They tend to increase the cost of the organization by rendering low quality of work, low customer satisfaction and neglected opportunities .

The real benefits of the organization when they have engaged workforce are given below:

  • Employee Satisfaction- The engaged employees are generally the satisfied employees. The relationship between the employees and the employers are able to enhance the commitment and loyalty of the employees. The engaged employees generally get the encouragement to work for the company and achieve the goals .
  • Productivity- if the employee engagement is high within an organization then they would be motivated and encouraged to perform well. This depends upon the trust within the organization. The increase in the motivation implies that the employees perform well and thereby increase the productivity.
  • Retention- Engaged employees pose lower risk of turnover for the organization and hence the employee retention is crucial for the success of the organization. When the employees are engaged and satisfied, they would not leave the organization easily.
  • Innovation- with greater employee engagement and job satisfaction, the productivity would increase. This would encourage the employees to innovate and generate new ideas for the development of the organization .
  • Profitability- An organization with high employee engagement and greater productivity would imply that the organization is performing well. This would imply that engaged employees are more efficient and they contribute positively to the profit margin at low operating cost .

The negative impact of hiring de-motivated and disengaged employees imply that they are not interested in working for the organization and that they are concerned only on the accomplishment of the task rather than achieving the goals and outcomes of the organization. On hiring them, the productivity and efficiency of the organization would decline which would cause a fall in the organization’s productivity (Shuck and Rose, 2013).

ges and Promotion: The role of a leader in identi

Detailed description

The employee engagement techniques used by Sainsbury would be critically analyzed to have an insight in the employee engagement techniques used by them including extrinsic and intrinsic techniques for motivation.

About Sainsbury

Sainsbury is the supermarket chain in UK that have nearly 17% of the market share as on date. The operations started from one unit since 1896 which has given the net income of 798 million UKP in 2014 with employee strength of 161000 plus as on date. The operations for the brand is out of 1254 plus locations so the diversity and offerings are so varied and wide that only skilled employees at Sainsbury can manage the operations. Further innovation and change with time was key to the organizational development and growth story all throughout. The huge number of employees and the turnover itself suggests the operational outlook for the brand where the changes in the business environment were well studied and incorporated by the brand. Being in a fiercely competitive market the brand has developed its own ways to manage the employees to get the best output at any time.

Employee Engagement Techniques: A Case of Sainsbury, UK

Like every organization, Sainsbury too is committed in developing its people to achieve the best and most productive workforce for the business. Thus Sainsbury being a retail outlet is dependent on its people and the way they work to make Sainsbury more attractive for the consumers. Thus in the oligopolistic market, Sainsbury have invested enough to be in the competitive position where it can achieve high levels of employee motivation to have better output and thus develop better market sustainability (Abrahamson and Eisenman, 2008). To achieve employee engagement and thus motivation, the brand has created opportunities well enough for the employees to benefit from and develop a process ownership. The representation of employee values, culture and behavior at work on consumer satisfaction is well recognized by the Sainsbury to implement the same in the behavior (Grewal, 2011). Thus the various elements of employee engagement are discussed from Sainsbury’s point of view.

Leadership Style: The leadership style of the Sainsbury is well logged in case the process is transactional. For daily operations the employees are aware of what to do, when to do and who to do so the ambiguity of leadership is diminished (Korzynski, 2013). The leaders know the team and are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the people working under them. The transition phase is different from the transactional phase where the motive is to change the way the business behaves. This style is to have the best approach for a particular situation in which the business is in. The daily transactional relations are based out of the daily operations where the leaders of a store would schedule who would be in charge of which department, for how long and who relieves whom. In Sainsbury the Lewin’s leadership style is visible where Autocratic leaders, democratic leader as well as the supportive Laissez-Faire kind of leadership are all visible (Mikkelsen et al., 2015). This is dependent upon the job and tasks within it where the business dose everything to see the job is done. In transition phase where special qualities of leadership is needed the business would select a leader from among the people with it who would take the process at hand up to perform the feat in which others would follow him. The communication of the processes that are undertaken in the process of change (say payment receipt from Credit cards for an example) would be the target. The leader communicates the process parts, develops the framework and uses the team interdependence to communicate the new process in place (Harris et al. 2014).


Wages and Promotion: The role of a leader in identifying the best performer is immense where they use the same is done to develop employees and encourage them. The employees gets motivated with a rise as well as gets the charge to something more for the business with enhanced productivity and coordination. This process that involves the wages hike and promotion, encourages people to go an extra mile to achieve the objectives of the business. The technique encompasses intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for the achievement of organizational objectives (McGuire and McLaren, 2009).

Communication: The communication at Sainsbury has a great role in employee motivation where it can be used to communicate the expectations from an employee while take feedback from employees about operational details and process modification if needed for better operations (Ryan, 2012). The communication is also used to get intrinsic motivation in among the employees. The best performer or achiever of a business objective is communicated among all in the business so that people feels the belongingness more. Further, communication also opens the door for better suggestions via feedback mechanism. The intrinsic motivation is received by the employee when the name and achievement is been communicated to all that which psychologically boosts the individual in question. Sainsbury choose the communication as part of a regular mode of employee engagement achievement by boosting their morale (Williams et al. 2003)

Teams and Group: People working at Sainsbury are well integrated in a team with a similar objective. Thus Sainsbury understands that team is a group while a group is not a team. Every member at Sainsbury are given an induction and the job is designed in a way which encourages mutual cooperation and coordination for a successful completion. Therefore the team efforts are well integrated and a hierarchy is in place at Sainsbury teams. Further the business uses interdepartmental coordination and communication to integrate people in a team when the joining is new so that each member may recognize themselves as well as others as integral part of the group (Pawowska and Postua, 2014). Thus the people are well integrated with the business and have a team effort on in the daily operations where each one serves the other one

Training and development: The training and development is an effective way to develop the skills of an employee for operations. This added skill not only gives the employee new knowledge and ways to perform but also adds the needed motivation to complete, innovate and apply the new job techniques at work. Sainsbury have used this for improvement of skills of an employee and have succeeded in gaining the motivation out of the personnel engaged in regular shifts (Chen and Silverthorne, 2005). The training not only serves as a skill addition tool but also have the ability to enhance the productivity and group behavior within the business. The personnel with added skills would be at par with the standards needed for a job completion and thus feel more at par and motivated.


Therefore the business of Sainsbury uses the aforesaid to have employee engagement at work. Employee engagement gives the business a cutting edge in achieving the needed consumer satisfaction where the people are well aware about the processes and the person dedicated for it. The motivation is again a very substantial business tool that helps the business to grow along with its people and achieve the needed employee engagement. Employee engagement has given the business an edge to design, implement and practice the best practices of Sainsbury so that the employee satisfaction guaranteed each time. The business too has used the tool well to motivate and engage the employees with their jobs. The suggestion and feedback for improvement was achieved with open communication channels where people participated. This engagement was well integrated in the business process to gain best of team building and this team eventually gave the needed employee motivation to perform. Sainsbury have introduced the needed business changes as per employee feedback and eventually have built a team of well engaged people, motivated and performance oriented.

Conclusion & recommendations:

The main focus of the assignment is on the aspect of the employee engagement and the success of the organization. As the arenas of employee engagement are diverse in nature, the definition of employee engagement is rather difficult. In this respect the four concepts and approaches of employee engagements are discussed. The employee engagement has several benefits for the organization. It can be said that the employee engagement is strongly correlated with the employee job satisfaction which means that the employee retention and productivity are enhanced. The employee engagement practices and techniques of the Sainsbury’s are discussed in this assignment which implies that they have taken up leadership styles, wages and promotion, communication strategies, formation of teams and groups and the training and development program within the organization for the enhancement of employee engagement. Thus the success of the organization is also in the hands of the employee enagement. The five recommendations that can be suggested to the Sainsbury’s are:

  • The organization must conduct employee engagement survey to extract opinions about organization by the employees.
  • The organization must also focus on the local and organizational level of engagement so that the performance of organization is improved.
  • It is important for the organization to select the appropriate managers who would encourage and praise the employees to motivate them to increase involvement .
  • The managers must be trained so that the employee engagement can be measured accurately for further development.
  • The most important aspect of the employee engagement is the defining engagement goals in a realistic.


Abrahamson, E. and Eisenman, M. (2008). Employee-management Techniques: Transient Fads or Trending Fashions?. Administrative Science Quarterly, 53(4), pp.719-744.

Brajer-Marczak, R. (2014). Employee engagement in continuous improvement of processes.Management, 18(2).

Chen, J. and Silverthorne, C. (2005). Leadership effectiveness, leadership style and employee readiness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(4), pp.280-288.

Custers, M. (2012). Rethinking Existing HR Technologies for New Gains in Employee Engagement and Benefits. Compensation & Benefits Review, 44(6), pp.332-335.

Dickson, D. (2011). Fostering employee engagement. Amherst, Mass.: HRD Press.

Garber, P. (2011). Coaching employee engagement training. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press.

Grewal, D. (2011). Perspective: Building a Team Science Training Program. Science.

Harris, P., Haigh, F., Thornell, M., Molloy, L. and Sainsbury, P. (2014). Housing, health and master planning: rules of engagement. Public Health, 128(4), pp.354-359.

Jeve, Y., Oppenheimer, C. and Konje, J. (2015). Employee engagement within the NHS: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 4(2), pp.85-90.

Korzynski, P. (2013). Employee motivation in new working environment. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(5), pp.184-188.

McGee, R. (2011). Employee engagement. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

McGuire, D. and McLaren, L. (2009). The impact of physical environment on employee commitment in call centres. Team Performance Management, 15(1/2), pp.35-48.

Mikkelsen, M., Bøgh Andersen, L. and Jacobsen, C. (2015). Managing Employee Motivation: Exploring the Connections Between Managers’ Enforcement Actions, Employee Perceptions, and Employee Intrinsic Motivation. International Public Management Journal, Pp. 11

Pawowska, A. and Postua, A. (2014). Employee and employer. Research considering mutual perception of relationships between employee and employer with projection techniques. PZ, 12(1), pp.30-49

Pegg, T. (2009). Creating engagement through employee benefits. Strategic HR Review, 8(2), pp.5-12.

Ryan, S. (2012). When is a team a team? Teamworking and the reorganisation of work in commercial cleaning. Employee Relations, 34(3), pp.255-270

Shuck, B. and Rose, K. (2013). Reframing Employee Engagement Within the Context of Meaning and Purpose: Implications for HRD. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 15(4), pp.341-355.

Transformational Leadership: The Emerging Leadership Style of Successful Entrepreneurs. (2015). JLAS, 5(1).

Vestal, K. (2009). Managing Challenges: Employee Engagement. Nurse Leader, 7(4), pp.6-7.

Williams, S., Graham, T. and Baker, B. (2003). Evaluating outdoor experiential training for leadership and team building. Journal of Mgmt Development, 22(1), pp.45-59


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