1. Introduction Leading the businesses to success in a perfectcompetition remains a big challenge to all the managers nowadays.
Organizationsare rational to increase their performance by increasing both efficiency andproductivity and this requires high efforts from all the staff (especiallymanagers) of the organization. None of the managers will deny making criticaldifference in innovation, organization performance, and competitiveness by theemployees to ultimately lead to the business success. Making employees to work proactively andcommunicate smoothly with others, take responsibility of their own careerimprovement and also keeping them committed to high quality performancestandards becomes one of the priority tasks for organizations. Employeeengagement which was defined as a persistent, positive affective-motivationalstate of fulfillment in employees that is characterized by vigor, dedicationand absorption (Maslach et al.
, 2001) became a hot topic within organizationsas many research results have shown that employee engagement have a statisticalrelationship with productivity, profitability, employee retention, safety, andcustomer satisfaction (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999; Coffman &Gonzalez-Molina, 2002).1.1 About UN Migration Agency(International Organization for Migration) Established in 1951, IOM is the leadinginter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closelywith governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
With169 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and officesin over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderlymigration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and adviceto governments and migrants.IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humanemanagement of migration, to promote international cooperation on migrationissues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problemsand to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugeesand internally displaced people.
The IOM Constitution recognizes the link betweenmigration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to theright of freedom of movement.IOM works in the four broad areas of migrationmanagement:§Migration and development§Facilitating migration§Regulating migration§ Forcedmigration.IOM activities that cut across these areasinclude the promotion of international migration law, policy debate andguidance, protection of migrants’ rights, migration health and the genderdimension of migration. International Organization for Migration inAfghanistanIOM’s mission in Afghanistan was established in1992 and has maintained an uninterrupted presence in the country. IOMAfghanistan is one of the largest IOM missions worldwide, with over 450 (Dec-2017)staff and offices in Kabul, Badakhshan, Balkh, Bamyan, Herat,Kandahar, Nangarhar, Nimroz and Paktia.IOM currently implements a range of humanitarianassistance, community stabilization and migration managementinitiatives in Afghanistan, in cooperation with government and humanitarianpartners as well as local communities.Mission Statement”IOM is committed to the principle that humaneand orderly migration benefits migrants and society”.
As the leadinginternational organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in theinternational community to:§Assist in meeting the growing operationalchallenges of migration management.§Advance understanding of migrationissues.§Encourage social and economic developmentthrough migration.§ Uphold thehuman dignity and well-being of migrants.InternationalOrganization for Migration Organizational Chart(IOM)-Afghanistan 1.
2 Conceptual Framework W. D. Kahn (1990) is credited withconceptualizing the major components of employee engagement. His model proposesthat engagement differs from basic job involvement, in that it focuses not onworker skills but, rather, on how one commits him/herself during theperformance of the job. Engagement entails the active use of emotions inaddition to the simple use of cognition while completing work tasks (May,Gilson, & Harter, 2004).
The major propositions of the model are thatpeople express themselves cognitively, physically, and emotionally whileperforming their work roles.The model proposes that, in order for individualsto fully engage with their job, three psychological conditions must be met inthe work environment: meaningfulness (workers feeling that their job tasks areworthwhile), safety (feeling as though the work environment is one of trust andsupportiveness), and availability (workers having the physical, emotional, andpsychological means to engage in their job tasks at any given moment) (Kahn, 1990).Another major proposition of the engagement modelis that these three key psychological conditions are, to some degree, withinthe control of agency management.Employee engagement is also something that ischangeable, and can vary widely from one workplace to another (Coffman &Gonzalez-Molina, 2002). Studies indicate that workers are, to some extent, areflection of the administrators of an agency. Low or conversely highengagement scores have been traced back to the organization’s leadership, fromtop to bottom (Townsend & Gebhardt, 2007). Therefore, the results ofengagement studies should have considerable applicability to the social workfield.
For instance, leaders in human service agencies could utilize data fromengagement studies to create and implement strategies that would increase staffengagement, thereby decreasing the potential for burnout and maximizingsuccessful outcomes for the agency and for the clients they serve.1.3 Problem StatementEmployee Engagement became a very popular conceptduring the past 2.5 decades. Organizations try to figure out if their employeesare engaged and how to keep them engaged through different surveys and tools.In IOM Afghanistan such survey has yet not been conducted and this will be thefirst survey conducted on Employee Engagement.
In this survey the focus of the surveyor is onfinding the relation of well-being, information, Fairness and Involvement onthe Employee Engagement. Many organizations focus on designing a successfulreward system to keep their employees engaged and productive. But of most ofthese organizations miss one of the key tricks where the line supervisor whoplays a key role in employee engagement is overlooked. Managers who ultimatelyserve as the face of an organization to its employees are typically the one whowork or fail the engagement tools (Stark & McMullen, 2008). Tangible orintangible incentives such as job design, career development are all heavilyinfluenced by management behaviors which have an enormous effect on employeeengagement (Amble, 2006).
Research undertaken on behalf of the CIPD (Alfes etal, 2010) indicated that positive perceptions on line management aresignificantly related to employee engagement. Specifically, in order to foster the employee engagement, it isimportant for line managers to make sure that goals and objectives are clearlycommunicated; right people are on right jobs; opportunities for development andpromotion are provided; and effort is appropriately rewarded. 1.
4 Research Question · What is the relation ofbelow four terms to employee engagement in IOM Afghanistan?§ Well-being§ Information§ Fairness § questions: The research question will be answered byanswering the below sub questions:1. What is employee engagement?2. What are the forerunners andsignificances of employee engagement?3. To what extend the WIFI (well-being,information, fairness and involvement) influence employee’s engagement? 1.
5 Research ApproachThe employee engagement in IOM Afghanistan willbe studied as single case. The main purpose of this case will be to identifythe problem and its causes and to suggest the best available alternate solutionto this problem. Case study is used as the research method in exploring theoccurrence of low employee engagement in IOM Afghanistan. This method is chosenbecause case study was defined as an empirical inquiry that investigates acontemporary phenomenon within its real life context (Yin, 1994). The case studyapproach is useful in answering the “why?” and “how?” questions.
In this casestudy multiple data collection methods like interview, documentations andobservation will be used. In this case study the research question will beanswered by answering the sub-questions and the sub-questions will be answeredby the following approach.a. Review of the existing literature onemployee engagement to understand “what is employee engagement” and ‘what arethe forerunners and significances of employee engagement in an organization”.The literature review will provide a theoretical foundation to the research.b.
Conduct a structured survey throughquestionnaires in IOM Afghanistan to collect data for quantitative analysis. c. Conduct the quantitative data analysis andtest the model to identify “to what extend the WIFI affect employeeengagement”.d.
Suggest some techniques and answers thequestion of “what actions can be taken to improve the employee engagement inIOM-Afghanistan?”e. Examine the feasibility of proposedsolution by taking the employees’ feedback. 2.
Literature Review 2.1. What is EmployeeEngagement? There is no universal definition for employeeengagement. Employee engagement has been defined in numerous different ways byconsultancies, research institutions, academic researchers and organizations. In the academic literature, employee engagementwas first conceptualized by Kahn (1990) as “the harnessing of organizationmembers’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and expressthemselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performances”(p. 694).
According to Kahn (1990), the engaged employees are physicallyinvolved in the tasks, whether alone or with other, cognitively concernemployees’ belief about the organization, its leaders and working conditionsand display their thinking and feeling, their beliefs and values in their waysof working and service. Engagement is not only about physical energies ofinvolving or accomplish the tasks, but also about the psychological aspects ofhow people’s experiences of themselves and their work contexts. So thedefinition of employee engagement includes both employees’ psychology abouttheir work and workplace and the resulted employee’s behaviors in theworkplace.
Similar to Kahn (1990), many other academicliteratures about employee engagement refers to engagement as psychologicalstate. Maslach, Schaufeli and Leiter(2001) suggested that engaged employees have high levels of energy and thewillingness to invest effort in their job without fatigue (Vigor); engagedemployees feel enthusiasm and significance by involving in their work and feelproud and inspired (Dedication); engaged employees who completely immersed intheir work and feel pleasant (absorption). Later, Hallberg and Schaufeli (2006)define it as “being charged with energy and fully dedicated to one’s work”(p.119). The definitions of engagement in academicliteratures are mostly about employees’ attitude towards their jobs andcompanies.
IES (the institution of employee studies) which is a center ofresearch and consultancy in human resource issues investigated 10000 employeesin 14 organizations and defined engagement as “engagement is a positiveattitude held by the employees towards the organization and its values. Anengaged employee is aware of business context, and works with colleagues toimprove performance within the job for the benefit of the organization. Theorganization must work to nurture, maintain and grow engagement, which requiresa two-way relationship between employer and employee” (Robinson et al., 2004p.IX). In one of the researches on employee engagementof CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) which is thelargest Chartered HR and development professional body in the world, theemployee engagement was defined as “being focused in what you do (thinking),feeling good about yourself in your role and the organization (feeling), andacting in a way that demonstrates commitment to the organizational values andobjectives (acting)” (CIPD, 2011). Other than the academic research, employeeengagement was also defined differently by many international organizations intheir business context. For example, ING suggested an engaged employee will beenergized by work to provide better service to customers and will be more opento change and deliver better results.
In turn, that leads to better business results(ING, 2010). Heineken recognizes that engaged employeesunderstand the ambitions for the company, feel a connection to it, and deliveron the individual and functional contributions they can make (Heineken, 2012). Summary of definitions The definitions which are used byacademic researchers or consultancy and research institutions are mostly aboutemployees’ emotions, feelings and psychological attitude about the work and thecompany. Engaged employees commit to the companies’ values, feel fulfilled andenthusiastic in their work, they are focused and energized in their work.
Thepositive outcomes of engagement are also identified in the definitions. Engagedemployees will be fully involved in their work, they are willing to spend timeand make efforts on their work to perform better. Engaged employees will morebehave in the interest of the companies. The companies tend to link theemployee engagement to organizational benefit in the definition. Engagedemployees will deliver better service to customers, make more contributions tothe companies and help the companies achieving their ambitions.
2.2. Employee engagement andother constructs It can lead to confusion thatmany definitions of employee engagement have overlaps with other constructs(i.e. job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job involvement andorganizational citizenship behavior). Many researchers start their study with aquestion of “is the engagement old wine in the new bottle?” or “is it samelady-different dress?” (Hallberg & Schaufeli, 2006; Macey & Schneider,2008; Newman & Harrison, 2008).