The Future of Work and Employment
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The Future of Work and Employment

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson and Michael Barry

This cutting-edge book charts the latest ideas and concepts in employment relations research. Mapping out the intellectual boundaries of the field, The Future of Work and Employment outlines the key research and policy outcomes for work and employment in the age of digitisation and artificial intelligence.
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Chapter 14: The future of employee engagement: the challenge of separating old wine from new bottles

Bruce E. Kaufman, Michael Barry, Adrian Wilkinson and Rafael Gomez

Abstract

This chapter charts the future of employee engagement. It reports engagement findings from a large, four-country survey of workers and management. Across all four countries the survey finds employers report considerably higher levels of employee engagement than do workers, with low to moderate employee scores indicating much room for improving employee engagement. The chapter also assesses future trends in employee engagement by estimating the likelihood of greater spread of the high-performance work system (HPWS), which is predicated on engaged workers. Taking into consideration a variety of factors, the authors settle on a sober assessment, noting that, while some trends such as growth in knowledge-driven and high-technology industries favor an expansion in HPWSs, other future of work trends, such as financialization and employment insecurity, work against the adoption of engagement practices through HPWSs.

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