Employee engagement

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Structured Equation Modeling for testing the impact of Organizational Communication Satisfaction on Employee Engagement.

ABSTRACT

Communication Satisfaction plays a very critical role in achieving employee engagement in organizations. It becomes even more significant and relevant in the context of the recent global crisis wherein organization’s focus on employee engagement was high and was aimed towards employee retention and motivation. While several researchers have studied the relationship between communication and employee involvement, very few studies have established a relationship between Communication Satisfaction and Employee Engagement.

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Using the second-generation analytical technique Structural Equation Modeling, the present study examines the relationship between various components of Organization Communication Satisfaction (Organization Integration, Supervisory Communication, Personal Feedback, Communication Climate and Media Quality) and various components of Employee Engagement (Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction and Withdrawal Cognition). A modified version of the Downs & Hazen’s Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire was administered on 235 personnel in the Information Technology/Information Technology Enabled Services industry in India. The scale was tested for reliability and validity using Confirmatory Factor Analysis. The results indicate that Organization Communication Satisfaction has a positive impact on Employee Engagement. The study findings have strategic implications for organizations with regard to laying a greater emphasis on increasing communication satisfaction through various human resource interventions, both at macro and micro levels in the organization.

Introduction

Employee engagement has been drawing a lot of importance in various organizations in recent times. A global workforce study conducted by Tower’s Perrin in 2007-2008 revealed that only 21% of the employees were engaged. A more disturbing finding of the study was that 38% of the employees were partly to fully disengaged. The study also concluded that companies with the higher levels of employee engagement are able to retain their valued employees as also achieve better financial results. Similarly, Gallup has also conducted a study on employee engagement and found that 29% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs, 54% are not engaged, and 17% are actively disengaged. Many researchers have studied employee engagement and have found that employee engagement predicts employee outcomes, organizational success and financial performance (Bates, 2004; Harter et al., 2002,). Similarly, Hewitt Associates (LLC, 2005, p.1) have also established a strong relationship between employee engagement and profitability through higher productivity, sales, customer satisfaction and employee retention. Unfortunately though, a lot of literature available is only those from Consulting firms and there is very little theoretical or empirical research available on employee engagement.

Today, as a result of continuous organizational restructuring (mergers, acquisitions, downturn imperatives), it is commonly observed that organizations are resorting to right sizing strategies. It certainly becomes the most critical priority of CEO’s around the world to ensure that the employees who survive the layoffs are fully engaged. Research indicates that there is a decline in engagement levels and that there is deepening disengagement among employees today (Saks,

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