The former relates to the task or job role and can lead to stress, moving on to another employer and even behaviour that is damaging to the employer. Emotional engagement on the other hand leads to higher performance, better wellbeing and discretionary effort.
Angela Baron, research adviser at the CIPD advises "it's not enough for organisations to focus on increasing their engagement scores without considering what type and locus of engagement is being measured... someone may be emotionally engaged with their profession and perhaps even their clients, but only transactionally engaged with their current role and organisation."
The solution is to underpin engagement scores with "insight from line managers and HR practitioners with the ability to identify the different dimensions at play in the workplace, the research finds.
Other recent articles, however, question how much employee commitment and loyalty and organisation can realistically expect in today's organisations. A post by "Rick" on the Flip Chart Fairy Tales blog, "Employee loyalty - What do I get?"
, cites a recent article from Wharton business school that reckons that employee loyalty is "a casualty of the new workplace".
Wharton management professor Adam Cobb says Employee behavior, Cobb says, has been influenced by the dramatic organizational restructuring that began 30 years ago.
"Firms have always laid off workers, but in the 1980s, you started to see healthy firms laying off workers, mainly for shareholder value.The trend was toward having the risks be borne by workers instead of firms. If I'm an employee, that's a signal to me that I'm not going to let firms control my career."
Another Wharton management professor, Matthew Bidwell, points out that "Employees are often more loyal to those around them -- their manager, their colleagues, maybe their clients. These employees have a sense of professionalism -- and loyalty -- that relates to the work they do more than to the company."
Blogger Rick argues:
"A strong attachment to an idea of the organisation that is at odds with that of the senior management can be a powerful barrier to management initiated change. The NHS has organisational patriotism in spades. Many of its employees see no contradiction between loving the organisation and loathing the people who run it."
"Employers can't just expect people to be loyal because they buy into some great company vision. That might work in a few cases, and for a short time, but most employees want to see something tangible from the employer in return."
"To me it was always a strange idea that people would be loyal to something as ephemeral as an organisation. Odder still is the suggestion that they should be loyal to something which, often by its own admission, exists primarily to provide returns for directors, shareholders or partners.
So is transactional engagement a more realistic goal than emotional engagement after all?
You can find links to more articles on employee engagement below, as well as coverage of social media and HR, leadership, talent management, corporate ethics and HR metrics, as part of my regular review of HR strategy-related content.
HR strategy (general)
"What should be the CIPD's new strategy?"
asks John Inghamon his strategic HCM blog. Ingham responds to the recent appointment of Peter Cheese as the CIPD's new chief executive with suggestions for his priorities
- Strategy should get more weight in relation to operational HR. But it needs to reflect a diverse range of approaches.
- As a prominent blogger it's not surprising Ingham proposes "more focus on Social HR".
- The CIPD needs to be more "membership based", and "'CIPD Towers' needs to see itself less as a head office, and much more of a facilitating and co-ordinating group, helping share and draw out key points from all of its members".
- The CIPD's annual conference needs to be improve (with more involvement of consultants (like Ingham himself!). This could involve different venues and more use of social media.
HCM, metrics, data, analytics
CSR, sustainability and business ethics
"Creating real value"
by Inam Ul Haq at London Business School. He says current thinking on value is flawed if we want to create a sustainable organisation.
"The Company behind the Brand"
by Karina on CSR International. A report by Weber Shandwick looks into how corporate reputation impacts brand preference today and to what extent. Between October and November 2011, a poll of senior executives and consumers from the US, UK, China and Brazil found that 70% of consumers say they will avoid buying a product if they don't like the company that makes it, and (67%) increasingly check product labels to see who the company is behind the product.
"The truth about HR: Good or evil?"
Steve Tobak (on CBS Money Watch) answers questions such as: Who does HR really serve, the company or the employees?; If you've got issues with your boss or a coworker, should you go to your HR person or keep it to yourself?; What was Dilbert creator Scott Adams really thinking when he created Catbert: Evil Director of Human Resources?; Are HR people the bad guys or just stuck in the middle with a thankless job?; and does the function do anything for the business or is it just a necessary expense?
Social media and HR
"Beware the digital hippies"
by Neil Morrison on Change Effect. They're online, they don't create wealth , or understand empirical evidence and they make a mockery of HR.
Managing at global scale:
McKinsey Global Survey results show executives at global companies are satisfied with their organisations' overall capabilities, but see room to improve in innovation and motivation. Better leaders are the key.