Leadership Styles, the Employee engagement, and HRD – Integrative Research Paper

Introduction

The success of any organization highly depend on the workers contribution to the organization. Workers act as the most important stakeholders in an organization. However, their performance is highly influenced by the form of management provided to them. To ensure effective operation of workers, an organization need to embrace the best form of leadership which will promote trust, commitment and vigor among the employees. This increases the level of job satisfaction and workers involvement to their daily operations. This eventually nurtures workers engagement, an aspect that is highly associated with high workers performance. Based on this information, this paper focuses on developing a deeper understanding of workers engagement and what facilitate its development. It also aims at establishing the relation between transformational leadership and the development of workers engagement and finally, identifying various conceptual model developed to demonstrate the relation between workers engagement and transformational leadership. This will be done by conducting a literature review form credible journals related with work engagement and transformational leadership. The paper will be reporting on the literature finding on the two topic and how transformational leadership influences the development of the workers engagement.

Research Findings

Workers Engagement

Engagement is defined as personal satisfaction and involvement with work and also individual work enthusiasm. Engagement defines the intimate involvement with work and the work experience framework. When workers are engaged, they are said to be emotionally linked to others as well as cognitively vigilant to the team direction. Engagement takes place when workers are aware of what to anticipate, contain the resources to handle their work, take parts in chances for feedback and growth, and fell that they significantly contribute to the organization. Engaged workers have consistently demonstrated that they are more profitable, healthier, productive, safer, and less probable to leave their jobs or employer. However despite of this great revelation, only 30 percent of the world workforce is approximated to be engaged. Over 60 percent of the world workforce report to work, at emotionally, ambivalent and best uninvolved with their tasks. It is approximated that this gap of engagement cost the economy of the United States over $300 billion dollars every year in lost efficiency. Regrettably, workers engagement appears to be on a progressive decline. Irrespective of the low quantity of engaged workers, leaders of organizations rate workers engagement among the top most organizations priorities (Batista-Taran et al., 2009).

Workers engagement refers to the level in which worker commitment which include bot intellectual and emotional exists with regard to accomplishment of vision, mission, and work of the organization. Engagement can be noted as ownership heightened level where every worker wants to do everything they can for the advantage of their external and internal customers, and the entire organization success. Engaged employees go for an extra mile from the basic job. Therefore, they can easily assist a company in achieving far beyond its expectation. An engaged worker provides her or his firm 100 percent efficiency. Therefore, when workers are positively and effectively engaged with their company, they create an emotional link with the company. Thus, workers engagement acts as a barometer to establish the relation an individual has with the employer or the organization. It involves developing the passion among acquaintances to do work far beyond the anticipated (Truss et al., 2013).

According to Swathi (2013) there are five levels of workers engagement. They include the engaged, almost engaged, hamsters and honeymooners, burners and crash and finally the disengaged. Engaged level refers to happiest and highly productive employees that are typified by discretionary commitment and effort. Almost engaged level refers to employees that are comparatively contented with their work and reasonably productive. This group can be promoted into engaged level based on the effort in which an organization can employ. Hamsters and honeymooners level involves workers that are highly satisfied with their working position, compensation, and the employing organization. However, they still offer low level of organization success contribution. The period spent in this level could be temporal based on the organization effort to enhance in the high growth of the organization’s engagement level.

The crash burners’ stage involves workers who are highly productive, maximally contribute to the organization success, but are unhappy with their individual success. These employees can easily shift to disengaged employees since they do not have self-commitment. The disengaged level involves workers with high discontentment levels and negative view on the approaches employed by the company. However, this is not the only classification of employees, according to Truss et al. (2013), employees can be classified into three groups that include disengaged, not engaged and engaged. In their explanation, engaged workers highly suitable for attainment requirements of the organization, while disengaged workers are very unsupportive and they attempts to diminish fame of an organization by injecting co-workers with negativism. On the other hand, not engaged workers are not disengaged, however, they simply demonstrates low passion and employ less energy. They normally spend time without making any achievement or accomplishment. It has also been noted that engaged workers can gradually change to disengaged while workers with low engagement level can easily be supported to attain the engaged level by providing them with the right resources (Bhuvanaiah & Raya, 2014).

According to Ghadi et al. (2010) engagement level of employees’ raises when there is a positive association between workers and their immediate supervisor. It has been revealed that work engagement tends to be founded on aspects that include association they share with their managers. Irrespective of this assertion, workers claim that their immediate supervisors lack essential behaviors or skills to make then improved engaging leaders. Research figures according to Ghadi et al. (2010), demonstrates that only 28 percent of supervisors play a duty in subordinates engagement, while over 70 percent of the workers acknowledge that their recognition by managers is the main engagement component. These disturbing statistics stands for a serious organizations issues since workforce engagement can never be attained if leaders lack behaviors and skills needed to create improved workers engagement level at work.

Employee engagement can be developed in any organization. According to Truss et al. (2013), there are strategies that can be employed to enhance employee engagement in an organization. These strategies include career development, workplace learning, and organizational development interventions. The evaluation of organizational development cab be grouped into three key themes that include progressively utilizing and collecting workers engagement data, for systems and economic gain, employing strategies of communication that enhances meaning and finally promoting accountability of employees via development systems and inclusive performance. Human resource development literature on engagement of employee and learning at the workplace is centered in two areas that include management training and individual worker development. In the development of individual employees, the organizations offer chances for learning informal and formal ways by offering indirect and direct resources and support. On the other hand management training is regarded as workplace initiative of learning to develop managers with particular abilities, training, skills and knowledge which initiates development (Karanges et al., 2013).

Engagement in a work environment can also be managed via managing stress, promoting well-being of workers, and facilitating self-management. Past researches regarding workers engagement demonstrated that a number of organization practices of communication enhances employee engagement and communication. Literature has deeply emphasized on the need for communication between the employees and their supervisors. Consistent and clear communication is necessary to attain employee engagement. Moreover internal communication is very important for employee engagement attainment. To promote the sense of commitment and belonging among the employees, managers should consider it critical to share open and reliable communication with their workers. Communication also assist workers to understand the organization goals effectively. In this case, manager should consider focusing on internal communication, and leadership communication (Mishra et al., 2014).

Transformational Leadership Style and Employee Engagement

Leaders are referred as the persons in the organization that set the culture and tone of the organization. Leadership on the other hand is the process in which a person influences a group of persons to attain the organization goals. According to Bayram and Dinc (2015), an effectual leader has the aptitude to influence followers to attain the organization goals. Unlike a manager who creates consistency and order, a leader initiate change and workers motivation. Leaders have personal values that enable them to develop the association between them and their follow. Although there are different leadership theories which defines styles, traits and characteristics of different leadership styles and leaders, this paper will focus on transformational leadership and its influence to workers engagement.

Transformational leadership refers to a process that takes place when one or more individuals are involved with others in a manner that followers and leaders raise uplift each other to higher molarity and motivation levels. The transformational leadership contains four dimensions that include idealized influence that deal with creating trust and confidence, stimulating motivation that deals with inspiring the whole organization, intellectual stimulation that entails changing and arousing followers’ problems awareness and their ability to handle the problems, and finally personalized considerations that engages responding to the unique, specific requirements of followers to guarantee they are included in the organization transformation process.

Transformational leaders are frequently highly known and visible for their energy and passion is all their work aspects. They use a considerable amount of their time communicating with followers and searching for new initiatives which add value to the future of their team. They empower and motivate their follower, frequently going beyond short-term goals by centering on higher order intrinsic requirements. Leaders influences effectiveness of an organization via their followers. Leaders can contain a high effect on involving workers in the organization. Transformational leadership according to Bayram and Dinc (2015), emerges as a form of leadership which fosters the employee engagement development. It alters the manner in which followers perceive themselves from secluded persons to large group members. When followers perceive themselves as a part of collective group, they tend to embrace group goals and values, and this improves their motivation to add to the greater good.

Transformational leadership offers an inspiring goals vision which can assist overcome narrow factionalism and self-interest in organizations. They summon broader and new energies among followers. According to Soieb et al. (2013), workers who containing positive connections with their managers contain increased engagement levels. Moreover, the utilization of transformational form of leadership results to increased job satisfaction and organization commitment. In addition, according to Soieb et al. (2013), leaders who centers on trust development and relationship building increase levels of engagement. Transformational leaders are perceived as mutual support for a shared purpose which is the collective organization good and not as power figures. In this regard, transformational leaders contain the ability to directly influence levels of engagement of their workers, and are in a position of meeting the work and human needs of their workers, a dividend of a very empowering and unique style.

The theory of transformational leadership has changed as a motivational process effect. Motivational effect of this kind appears when leaders develop and change profession and personal characteristics of followers by demonstrating for forms of behaviors. The four identified behaviors include idealized influence that defined the leader’s level of aptitude to create devotion and loyalty without any regard for personal interests that assists followers be related with leaders. The second one is inspirational motivation which engages leaders’ aptitude to generate vision in a manner which appeals to followers and transform them into essential part of the organization. The third form is intellectual stimulation that entails ability of leaders to stimulate effort of followers to be creative and innovative via taking computed risks, questioning assumptions, and seeking followers input. The last one is the individualized considerations which refers to the level wherein leaders act as coach or mentor and play unique attention to differences of followers.  The four characteristics permit followers to get the foundation to change, to eliminate their negative behaviors, and to promote their potential. This boost followers’ productivity and increase their rate of success (Ghadi et al., 2010).

Contemporary Leadership and Employee Engagement Conceptual Frameworks

There have been a number of conceptualized models that can be used to explain the relation between effective transformational leadership and workers engagement. According to Ghadi et al. (2010), transformational leadership can be enhanced by employing four forms of behaviors advocated by the transformational leadership theory. These four behaviors that include idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized considerations, also known as four I’s assist in development of a conducive work environment and significant work. This initiates the development of positive behavior which include loyalty, trust and respect among the followers. The new development behaviors make workers change their perception on job and begin seeing work to be more meaningful. This initiates the sense of obligation, where followers feel indebted to reciprocating in a manner of being part of the work. This eventually initiate the development of workplace engagement which is characterized by absorption, dedication and vigor.

Engagement is also highly related to job satisfaction. Only workers with high job satisfaction can consider to be engaged to the work they do in an organization. Transformational leadership has highly been associated with job satisfaction. According to Byram and and Dinc (2015), there is actually a strong positive correlation between workers’ job satisfaction, and transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is also emphasized as the best technique to identify supervisor and employee interaction. It contains the main duty for being a part of stimulating and fostering information exchange for development of highly satisfied and hence highly engaged workers in an organization. This contributes to the organization accomplishment. Byram and and Dinc (2015) developed the following conceptual model to demonstrate the relation between transformational leadership in fostering job satisfaction and hence initiating workers engagement. This framework is demonstrated below: with this model, an organization can easily attain workers engagement.

Similarly, Breevaart et al. (2014), also proposed another conceptual model demonstrating how transformational leadership translate into workers engagement. According to the researcher application of transformational leadership on daily basis assist in gaining daily autonomy at the rate of 10% and daily social support at the rate of 33%. In addition, offering daily reward to workers based on their performance will initiate the development of autonomy by 10% and social support by 16%. However, the employment of management by exception will reduce social support by 3% and autonomy by 6%. In this case, to maximize in the development the daily autonomy and social support which initiate the development of work engagement, transformational leadership should be integrated with daily rewarding, resulting to workers engagement development

Summary and Implication of Results

According to the research, workers engagement is very beneficial to a company. It help in increasing the workers commitment and dedication to their daily operations. It initiates workers vigor and thus, enhancing their output. Workers engagement development is highly determined by the form of leadership adopted by an organization. An organization with effectual leadership will highly nature the development of workers engagement. Transformational leadership is highly credited for fostering workers engagement. With its ability to change the organization culture, it is easy to increase the job satisfaction, build trust and enhance the development of respect between the leader and the followers. Moreover, it enhances positive interaction that makes the workers to develop an emotional and intellectual relation with their jobs. This eventually results to the development of workers engagement.

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