Effective employee engagement and internal communication are critical elements to the success of any organization. Employee engagement is defined as the ability of the employees to identify with their primary tasks in an organization and contribute fully towards the realization of overall organizational goals (Shuck & Wollard, 2014). Internal communication refers to the communication activities that take place between managers and their employees as the day-to-day activities of an organization are carried out (Foss, Laursen, & Pedersen, 2015). It is vital to the general understanding developed between employees and the management, and it enhances trust, which breeds a positive work environment (Fossum, 2014) and promotes employee engagement.
Employee engagement yields some benefits to an organization. To begin with, it improves the knowledge of the employees and helps them perform their tasks with improved competency (Mazzei, 2014). Managers communicate their requirements to workers who are then assigned tasks to execute to yield performance. When employee engagement is clear and consistent, employees gain enough knowledge about their tasks and are incentivized to bring out their best in performance (Xu, & Cooper, 2015).
Secondly, employee engagement helps to reinforce the values of an organization, thus fostering the desired culture, which will contribute to improved work performance (White, Vanc, & Stafford, 2014). As pointed out by Mishra, Boynton, and Mishra (2014), poor employee engagement creates a disintegrated organization where groups of employees carry out their duties by their values and preferences rather than organizational values. The result is that employees lack a sense of belonging to the organization, as values that helped create a unifying culture are not properly communicated.
Thirdly, effective internal communication helps to keep employees focused on the bigger picture and share in the vision of the organization (Ruck & Welch, 2014). Focused employees are more committed to performing their tasks towards improving the results achieved by an entity.
Employee engagement is one key factor of effective internal communication; it can influence employee engagement by reducing or increasing the morale to participate in organizational activities (Zajkowska, 2013). Internal communication and employee engagement become more important in situations where organizations are adopting new ways of doing things (such as new technology), and employees are expected to adjust to the new model in the shortest time possible.
Employee engagement determines how well the employees will embrace the change and how effective the process will be in meeting the goals of the organization. It suffices to say that an engaged workforce will adopt new changes quickly and help the organization transition smoothly into a new era of doing things. Additionally, the expected benefits from the implemented change will be realized more easily if employees enthusiastically embrace the change. The study on how employee engagement can be improved is of paramount importance to all companies which want to increase their profits and have a larger market share.
Background of the Problem
Kahn (1990) came up with the engagement theory and said that when individuals were fully engaged in their workplace, they can express themselves emotionally, physically and cognitively in the best way possible. For the success of any organization, employees have to engage themselves fully in their various roles. Workers must use all three selves (a) emotionally, (b) cognitively, and (c) physically for engagement to occur (Jose &Mampilly, 2014). Leaders who strive to create, promote and enhance employee engagement end up having productive and better-quality environments. There are several benefits that a company gets from employees who are fully engaged in their workplaces. These employees have higher retention rates compared to those who are not; they are more motivated and more productive and increase the profits of the company (Kim, Kolb, & Kim, 2013).
However, when employees are less interested in what they are doing, they do the minimum and least amount of work that is expected of them. These employees detest change; they influence their fellow employees negatively and come up with reasons to avoid contributing meaningfully to the workplace (Marrelli, 2015). These employees create a negative work environment which suffers from low productivity and negative employees.
It is the responsibility of leaders to ensure that their employees are engaged. To achieve this goal, several strategies must be implemented, and the leaders should have long-term leadership commitment to the organization (Keeble-Ramsay & Armitage, 2014). It is also the role of leaders to ensure that they motivate their employees and bring out the very best in them (Serrano &Reichard, 2014). There are substantial business results to be gained by leaders and their organizations if the levels of employee engagement are high.
Engaged employees have to be fully aware of the organizational activities and play a crucial role in moving the organization forward towards its goals. As argued by Zajkowska (2013), employee engagement represents a higher awareness where the staff and the management consider themselves parties in one boat who have to constantly work in collaboration to meet both individual and organizational goals. Employee engagement provides an organization with a number of benefits. At the onset, it fosters a positive collaboration and works attitude between the staff and management, which creates a favorable environment for increased work productivity (Xu, & Cooper, 2013).
Organizations whose employees are less engaged will suffer from low productivity, employee retention, reduced profits, increased absenteeism and constant customer complaints. When it comes to implementing any changes, there will be a lot of resistance faced since disengaged employees are resistant to change. If the employees are highly engaged and fully identify with the proposed change, there is a high probability that the results will reflect what will take place if the project is implemented in other entities. Moreland (2013) poised that organizations with low employee engagement had a 33% reduction in the profits made.
This study will investigate whether disengaged employees are the reason for the low productivity levels in Coppell, Texas engineering industry. The study will also seek to establish whether engineering leaders in Texas engineering service industry lack the techniques and knowhow to improve employee engagement.
This qualitative research study aims to analyze some of the strategies that Coppel, Texas engineering leaders and supervisors, apply so that they can increase the levels of employee engagement. The target population will consist of engineering industry leaders and supervisors with successful employee engagement strategies at a small engineering firm in Coppell, Texas. The findings of the study will contribute to positive social change through enhancing the engagement levels of the employees. This will help in bringing about social change through enabling workers to improve their health, overall living settings, and maintaining a work-personal life balance.
Nature of the Study
The main research method used in gathering information for this research study will be qualitative research method. The approach was selected to be the best method as both the two designs are required to address the problem (Best and Khan, 2014).
The first part of the research needed a qualitative design that would necessitate the deep analysis of existing facts and figures to the main problem. The use of in-depth interviews will enable collection of adequate information with regards to the variables being analyzed. Qualitative approach is incorporated in the research process because it provides answers to questions and in gathering evidence. Additionally, the approach will also help in collecting data that concerns the opinions of people with regards to the questions asked. It is also important in comprehending and understanding intangible features that are not easily available. This approach will help in the assessment of the employee engagement strategies.
In-depth interviews and observation are the two research approaches that will be used as part of the qualitative approach. These variables will provide the answers to the questions in the above study objectives. Qualitative research technique has several advantages. First, it is flexible and thus enables the researcher to group the responses as stated by the calculations. Secondly, qualitative research method is simple and friendly. It is easy to supervise interviews and handle the feedback from the chosen population. Thirdly, the approach is formal and helps in the accessibility of primary stakeholders. Other than analyzing the existing literature, getting first hand information from the stakeholders increases the validity of the information.
Qualitative research approach is also used because it makes it easier to gain access of statistical and numerical data. Gathering of information about the level of economic growth is facilitated by this approach. In-depth interviews and secondary data review, which are part of qualitative research techniques, are the two methods which will be used in this research. As such, the research depends wholly on qualitative approach as its main research method. Tangible results can only be obtained through an analysis of the theoretical perspective of this study by the use of qualitative approach because it is more of an epistemological constructionist paradigm. Data gathering will be conducted through qualitative approach; this data will then be tasted through qualitative techniques. More emphasis will be laid on the qualitative approach since it will be used in the verification of the authenticity of the collected information and identifying whether it is deceptive or fallacious.
An exploratory study system will be incorporated as well. This is a great way of establishing what is taking place while seeking new insights, asking questions and evaluation of phenomena in better ways (Saunders et al. 2013). An exploratory research design will help in establishing the levels of employee engagement while providing suggestions on the ways through which engagement can be improved.
Methods of data collection
The main research question of the current study will be: How do strategies and techniques used by engineering business leaders and supervisors increase employee engagement? Feedback was obtained through interview questions and focus group interviews. Focus groups were chosen to be better so that the research could cover a wide range of companies within the limited time that was available. The reasons why the research settled on the focus group was due to the limited number of human resource that was available and time to cover all companies singly. The focus groups were also important to form the research as the phenomenon under the study required the collective discussion that could bring the understanding of the circumstances, opinions, and behaviors. The groups could also allow for a room of developing greater insights according to their dynamics of consequences. The focus groups consisted of supervisors that represented the group of companies in the industry. The number chosen from the companies were enough samples to represent the opinions and views of all the companies' board of management. They had the potential of giving a wide scope of information. Exceeding the number of the participant was not necessary as it may...
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