Companies are always searching for ways to become more profitable and increase productivity, but at what cost? There are many issues that result in overworked and stressed out workers that can lead to health issues and other problems such as depression and alcohol abuse. A more recent concept to help battle this type of burnout is work engagement, which can be described as workers “who approach their work with energy, dedication, and focus” (Association for Psychological Science, 2011). So how can work engagement help?
The goal of empowering your employees with work engagement is to give them the sense of purpose and fulfillment in their job. When an employee feels engaged in the work place they tend to produce more and be more innovated while taking initiative to help improve the work environment and the service and/or product they are working for. Arnold Bakker (2014) mentions that “research has revealed that engaged employees are highly energetic, self-efficacious individuals who exercise influence over events that affect their lives,” this can be beneficial not only for the company but also the employee (Bakker, 2014). If employees are willing to go the extra mile and feel satisfied in their work place no matter their position then one may guess their livelihood may be more satisifying as well. If you were happy and enthusiastic about your work that would carry over into your everyday life, and when you feel better about yourself you tend to make better decision in your life.
These choices can lead to healthier lifestyles and more active as well which can lead to less time sick. With less time being sick means you are out of office less and go to the doctor less, a win win for reducing cost in healthcare and increasing productivity in companies. So many illnesses are stress related and a main trigger of stress is work. Since the majority of people work at least at some time in the life it would seem like a great place to start would be in the workplace. The best way to improve the overall health and well-being of a population is promote healthier lifestyles and prevention of stress and illness (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012). A model to back up the support for work engagement is the theory of planned behavior or more importantly perceived behavioral control, where a person believes they have a certain amount of control or influence over their behavior and this is an important element in employee engagement.
When employees feel like they have control over their work and are a part of something bigger they tend to give more. And when an employer gives the same energy back the mutual effect is a bonus for both sides. After reviewing some of the top companies to work for Google is up on top a lot, but why? Maybe it’s they give their employees the freedom to choose when they work, incredible perks and stimulating work environments, and also a say what happens in the company, while these kind of things may not be able to be offered from other companies the point is that they may hold “the future of workplace leadership” (Crowley, 2013).
This type of intervention in the work place could affect the population is such a positive manner. Not only is it studied in health psychology but also in positive psychology, work engagement can be a powerful tool for the future of people’s life quality. “Employees’ own personal resources- such as self as self-esteem and optimism- also contribute to work engagement” so imagine if this influence could start in the work place where almost everyone goes on a daily basis (Association for Psychological Science, 2011). That really is an inspiring thought to think that everyone could enjoy going to work and stop dreading Monday’s, I only hope that more companies will start adapting this type of thinking for society as whole, for we might all benefit in our daily lives as well as a population.
Association for Psychological Science. (2011, July 20). Work engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity: They’re a virtuous cycle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720142459.htm
Bakker, Arnold. (2014). Work engagement. Retrieved September 26,2014 from http://www.arnoldbakker.com/workengagement.php
Bakker, Arnold & Leiter, Michael. (2010). Work Engagement: A handbook of essential theory and research. Psychology Press 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2014 from http://www.media.routledgeweb.com/pp/common/sample-chapter/9781841697369.pdf
Crowley, Mark C. (2013, March 21). Not A Happy Accident: How Google Deliberately Designs Workplace Satisfaction. Fast Company Inc, Mansueto Ventures, LLC 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014 from http://www.fastcompany.com/3007268/where-are-they- now/not-happy-accident-how- google-deliberately-designs-workplace-satisfaction
Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., & Coutts, L.M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (Second ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.