“People are like electricity, of no use unless switched on.”
The public sector is a major force in the labour market in terms of the number of people it employs. Services provided by the public sector should be well managed and effectively delivered. People are the prime means through which public services are delivered. A capable, highly motivated and efficient public sector workforce is in the interests of everyone. Lockwood (2007) states that “The challenge today is not just retaining talented people, but fully engaging them, capturing their minds and hearts at each stage of their work lives.”
Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver of business success in today’s competitive marketplace. Further, employee engagement can be a deciding factor in organizational success. Not only does engagement have the potential to significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, it is also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation and overall stakeholder value. An engaged workforce is the key to sustained competitive advantage and accelerated business performance. Engagement means that staff are willing to go the extra mile to get things done and if an organisation is struggling, that could make the difference between whether or not they survive.
It is an ‘engaged employee’ who is intellectually and emotionally bound with the organization, feels passionately about its goals and is committed towards its values. Employee engagement relates to the employee’s commitment to the organization’s success. Engaged employees who are inspired and guided by the leadership, equipped with the right tools and managed by the right systems and processes deliver superior performance. Engaged employees have a sense of personal attachment to their work and their organisations which brings significant benefits to overall results.
The case for engagement is clear. It is for this very reason that employee engagement should be at the fore front of all organisations strategies. It is important that organisations mobilize their employees to better utilise their knowledge and expertise and encouraging them to shine. Engagement should always be designed to gain greater commitment from the employee, it is about empowering them contributing towards organisation’s goals and values.