Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
Chapter 29: Developing and Validating a Global Model of Employee Engagement
Jack W. Wiley, Brenda J. Kowske and Anne E. Herman Introduction Most organizations today conducting employee surveys refer to their programs as “engagement surveys” or measure employee engagement as one of their survey topics. We estimate that 90 percent of our current global survey clients conduct employee engagement surveys. As others note (Macey & Schneider, 2008; Wefald & Downey, 2009), employee engagement, while a relatively new construct, has grown in popularity and acceptance, in large part because organizations believe that they can leverage employee engagement for positive organizational outcomes such as higher employee retention, greater customer satisfaction and improved financial performance (Harter et al., 2002). We accomplish several objectives with this chapter. First, we provide a definition of employee engagement and a method for its measurement. Second, we rank the countries representing the world’s 12 largest economies on our measure of employee engagement. Third, we identify the global drivers of employee engagement and compare and contrast these drivers with those derived from an analysis of country-level data. Fourth, we build an overall model of employee engagement and validate the model against organization-level measures of financial performance. Lastly, we suggest actions that organizations can take to drive employee engagement levels higher. Definition and measurement Literature reviews suggest that most definitions of employee engagement are similar in terms of their key components. These common components include enthusiasm for work, commitment, organizational pride, employee alignment with organizational goals, and a willingness to exert discretionary effort (ibid; Vance, 2006; Robinson, 2007; Schneider et al., 2009). Our...
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