March 31, 2013

What work engagement is

In this post I mentioned some questions about work engagement. Now, here are some answers about what work engagement is, what causes it, and what benefits is has.

1. What is work engagement?
Work engagement is a fulfilling state of mind of people at work which is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (ref). Vigor refers to the energy, effort, persistence, and resilience; dedication refers to involvement, sense of significance ,  enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge; absorption refers to concentration, happy engrossment in one's work, feeling that time passes quickly and finding it hard to detach oneself from work.
2. What are work engagement's benefits?
Work engagement is associated with workers’ creativity, their inclination to help colleagues, their organizational citizenship behaviors (ref; ref) and their mental health (ref). Also, clients of engaged workers tend to be more satisfied (ref).
3. How stable is work engagement?
Rather than being only simply an enduring state of mind of workers, work engagement tends to fluctuate on a weekly or even daily basis (ref; ref; ref).
4. Which factors affect work engagement?
Work engagement is affected by both contextual factors, such as the social support, performance feedback, job control, task variety and learning opportunities (ref), daily fluctuations in autonomy, supervisory coaching, and team atmosphere (ref) and personal factors such as self-efficacy, organizational based self-esteem, resilience (ref), how well rested workers go to work (ref; ref) and how well they are able to recover from stress during the day by taking breaks (ref) and by experiencing positive off-job social, creative, or sportive leasure activities (ref).
To summarize:
Work engagement is a worker’s state of mind which is affected by contextual and personal factors and which has many benefits for individuals and the organization as a whole.
Question: what small step could you take to improve your own work engagement and that of the people you work with?

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