How Engaged are Your Employees?


Because there are so many publications on employee engagement and many not all that helpful this post will highlight 1 seriously scientific publication to help shine light on employee engagement.


In this article Bruce Rich and others see work engagement as the simultaneous investment of cognitive, emotional, and physical energy. This definition is based on the seminal article by Kahn who indicated engagement should be seen as the behavioural investment of people, who become physically involved in tasks, cognitively focused and attentive, and emotionally connected to their work and the people around them.

Leaders of companies and organisations are obviously interested in what the determinants are of work engagement. There are three antecedents or causes of work engagement:

  1. The first is a value match between what the company expects and what the employee expects of the role.
  2. The second cause is the perceived safety and trust the employee experiences as well as the perceived control over their role.
  3. Finally, the level of self-confidence and belief in own abilities is a determinant of work engagement.

Performance is conceptualised as both Task Performance [activities directly involved in the accomplishment of core job tasks ] and Organisational Citizenship Behaviours which is active, collaborative, innovative, and involved.

The survey questions used in this empirical research help to better understand how work engagement is being measured [on a five-point likert scale between “strongly disagree” (1) and “strongly agree” (5)] :

Physical engagement

  • I work with intensity on my job
  • I exert my full effort to my job
  • I devote a lot of energy to my job
  • I try my hardest to perform well on my job
  • I strive as hard as I can to complete my job
  • I exert a lot of energy on my job

Emotional engagement

  • I am enthusiastic in my job
  • I feel energetic at my job
  • I am interested in my job
  • I am proud of my job
  • I feel positive about my job
  • I am excited about my job

Cognitive engagement

  • At work, my mind is focused on my job
  • At work, I pay a lot of attention to my job
  • At work, I focus a great deal of attention on my job
  • At work, I am absorbed by my job
  • At work, I concentrate on my job
  • At work, I devote a lot of attention to my job

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