Academic journal article IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior

The Influence of Employee Engagement on the Work-Life Balance of Employees in the IT Sector

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior

The Influence of Employee Engagement on the Work-Life Balance of Employees in the IT Sector

Article excerpt

Introduction

If we look back at the evolution of human resource management, it is interesting to see that with every advancement, expectations of both employee and employer have changed. Organizations have changed their approach from being paternalistic to guiding, mentoring and now there is no hitch in providing employees with nurturing and blooming environment which encourages employees to take decisions in a more dynamic manner. Organizations compete in the era of performance management; now is the time when organization's entire focus rests on the reinforcement of employee-employer relations.

In the present era, organizations are managing diverse workforce with the dominance of Generation Y Generation X joins an organization with a plan of staying and retiring from the same organization (Carey, 2001), whereas Generation Y although brings a new style and perspective, yet organizations have to take the risk of unwanted turnover, thus, losing billions of dollars every year (Sujansky and Ferri-Reed, 2009). Organizations are still offering traditional reward system and career plans to Generation Y (Tulgan, 2009). Generation Y wants something new; gone are the days of baby boomers who were accustomed to work-life imbalance. Generation Y is more interested in work-life balance. They can go to the extent of leaving their jobs if they have to juggle between work and personal life (Sujansky and Ferri-Reed, 2009). Organizations that offer creative work schedules and flexibility and help employees to meet their lifestyle priorities definitely will gain advantage over others (Dorsey, 2010). Llyod's risk index report 2011 reveals that the risk which is dominating is loss of customers, followed by the risk of talent crunch. Therefore, organizations need to focus on internal customers which itself will lead to generation of satisfied external customers (Luthans and Peterson, 2002), and to achieve this, organizations need to have engaged workforce and motivated talent.

There are various definitions available on employee engagement given by a number of researchers (Soldati, 2007). Kahn (1990) defines employee engagement as "the harnessing of organization members' selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performances". Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals, resulting in the use of discretionary effort (Kruse, 2010). An employee might feel pride and loyal (attitude), be a great advocate of their company to clients, or go the extra mile to finish piece of work behavior (David and Nita, 2009). Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO, is of the opinion that organizations want more commitment and loyalty from their employees; an employee who wants to give his best is said to be engaged and therefore, such organizations are more productive and tend to gain competitive advantage. Engagement is something when organizations want their employees to give 100% in all the domains such as productivity, creativity and innovation (Harter et al., 2002). Engaged employee is one who is psychologically and physically present when occupying and performing an organizational role (Kahn, 1990).

The purpose of this paper is to have an insight into employee's engagement and also to explore how engagement affects work-life balance. Through this paper, various factors are analyzed that somehow impinge on their personal lives. The paper starts with an overview of employee engagement through literature review and steadily proceeds towards discussion about work-life balance.

This paper provides a framework for IT industry to develop their engagement strategies keeping in view their work-life balance. Engagement is a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2003). Therefore, this paper is based on the results that have been drawn after examining the engagement factors: vigor, dedication and absorption. …

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