Influence of Employee Attitude, Work Context and Human Resource Management Practices on Employee Job Engagement

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

In today’s economic instability, organizations have started looking into people as an asset so that they can utilize their employees’ skills, knowledge and abilities to sustain competitiveness in the industry. This is because engaged employees who are committed to their organizations provide critical competitive advantages such as higher productivity and lower employee turnover.

Employee job engagement refers to a high level of energy and mental resilience at work even when the individual is faced with difficulties. This commitment fosters involvement, enthusiasm, inspiration, challenge, and pride in one’s work.It is a heightened connection between employees and their work, their organization, or the people they work for or with. When employees are able to do their jobs with minimal burden, they are more likely to develop a positive attitude to work, such as being energetic, dedicated and happy, all of which characterize work engagement. As a result, it is worth noting that employee engagement is frequently mentioned in professional fields where the work context requires that employees have frequent direct contact with the organization’s clients, as their services are knowledge based.Services rendered therefore depend on the skills and knowledge of the workforce. This will require that employees be engaged in their jobs for optimal performance.

However, recently, employee job engagement has drawn the attention of management researchers. Next to retaining the best talents and hiring skilled talents, employee engagement has been rated as the third critical human resource management challenge.The reason for this is because engaged employees are rated higher in their performance in assigned and extra roles, with implications for employee retention and job performance. Thus, human resource management practices, work context or role, and employee characteristics have all predetermined the level of employee job engagement.

Rastogi (2016) and Yadav (2016) proposed that adopting operational flexibility is one way of managing attribute talents, great employees, and enhancing their job engagement in an organization. Because employee attributes in professional service firms need to feel a sense of belonging to maximally deliver, it is important for organizations to adopt flexible human resource management practices.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Employees in the manufacturing sector are facing bigger challenges nowadays, as the expectations of their employers are increasing. The manufacturing industry in the whole world is facing a rapid transformation. The introduction of new techniques, technologies, systems, procedures, and standards is a daily occurrence, creating a huge need for employees to keep up with the evolving trends.In order to maintain the high output and efficiency of the employees, organizations are now very much concerned with the psychological state of their workers. Currently, organizations expect their employees to be proactive, collaborative, take responsibility for their own professional development, and be committed to high-quality performance. In other words, employers require engaged employees; those who go above and beyond in performing a task rather than simply ‘doing one’s job.’However, there are claims that the level of work engagement in manufacturing companies is very low. Workers are uninterested in their jobs, and the majority of them only work for a living.This low dedication has been discovered to be triggered by hostile human resource management practices (employee communications, employee development and rewards and recognition, work context (multi-tasking employee job roles and increasing their job demands in time and energy for completing their job without due compensation), and employee attributes. Thus, when an organization’s human resources management is not supportive of the employees, it limits employees from giving their best to the job, thus reducing their engagement, hindering employees’ optimal productivity and clamping down on organizational performance. As a result, this study seeks to investigate the impact of Employee Attributes, Work Context, and Human Resource Management Practices on Employee Job Engagement.

1.3       Objective of the study

The main focus of this study is to examine the Influence of Employee Attributes, Work Context and Human Resource Management Practices on Employee Job Engagement. Specifically it seeks:

  1. To examine the importance of employee attributes and employee job engagement in organization.
  2. To determine if human resources management practices affect employee job engagement.
  3. To examine if work context affects employee job engagement.

1.4       Research hypotheses

The research is guided by the following hypothesis

HO1: There is no relationship between employee attributes and employee job engagement.

HO2: There is no relationship between work context and employee job engagement.

HO3: There is no relationship between human resources management practices and employee job engagement.

1.5       Significance of the study

The study will be useful to the organization’s managers and stakeholders.The study’s findings have implications for organizational principals who hold managerial positions.The fact that human resource management practices largely predict employee engagement suggests the need for these managers to pay attention to human resource practices. In particular, it will reveal the need for managers to provide clear job descriptions as well as feed back to the employees. Hence, managers should allow a degree of flexibility in this area as well. The study will enlighten CEOs and managing directors of organizations on the need to engage professional and viable human resource managers who will employ the best practices so as to get the best out of their employees. The study will contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material for students and other researchers in this field.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the influence of Employee Attributes, Work Context and Human Resource Management Practices on Employee Job Engagement. The study is however limited to Dangote Sugar refinery.

1.7       Limitation of the study

The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research such as:

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8       Definition of terms

Employee Attitude: Employee attitude definition basically includes characteristics such as interest in the job, working without constant supervision, taking a positive dimension of things, always ahead of the game and lastly, employee’s willingness to contribute.

Work Context: Work context refers to concepts that can be used to describe the specific context of different jobs that belong to the same occupation. Work context can, for example, describe work places, job roles, types of companies, environmental conditions, products, technologies or business activities.

Human Resource Management: Human resource management is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage. It is designed to maximize employee performance in service of an employer’s strategic objectives.

Human Resources Management Practices: HRM practices involve the strategic operations of HR. They form the foundation and guidance for managing and coordinating the company’s employees towards achieving organizational goals.

Employee Job Engagement: Employee engagement is the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel to their places of work.

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