Exploring employee engagement in two public organizations in the UAE
Al Mehrzi, Nada
MetadataShow full item record
Employee engagement is a journey of continuous practices that lead to organization success. The concept of employee engagement has gained prominence in organizations as it is associated with commitment and performance. It influences the workers’ motivation towards fulfilling their roles and pursuing organizational goals. Continuous changes in the organization can be considered as a dominant characteristic of the public sector environment in the UAE. Such as environment can lead to negative attitudes among employees, difficulties in measuring achievements, and divergent motivators that make it more challenging to attain high levels of employee engagement. That challenge can leverage the level of disengagement as organizational changes occur in terms of the benefits employees obtain. This study establishes how public sector workers in the United Arabs Emirates define employee engagement and the factors that influence their engagement in the sector. The study seeks to close the gap in literature as there is little in research with regard to employee engagement in the country’s public sector. Qualitative study adopted to provide the insights needed to understand a phenomenon. A sample of 24 managers and employees from the public sector was selected for the study. Data was collected through interviews and coded manually as well as using Nvivo 11 program. Member checking and triangulation aided in enhancing the validity of the collected data and the study findings. The collected data was analyzed thematically to ascertain the ubiquitous patterns and themes based on Kahn (1990) theory. The findings indicated that there are differences in the manner in which managers and their employee define employee engagement. Employees associate the concept with aspects of the working environment such as workplace happiness, motivation, and job satisfaction while managers link it with employees’ positive attitudes towards their roles and organization’s performance. The factors that predominantly influence employee engagement in the public sector are leadership, organizational culture, perceived organization support, motivation, as well as teamwork. The study findings showed that all managers are emotionally engaged compared to their employees who exhibit gender differences in relation to their type of engagement. Female employees in the public sector demonstrate higher levels of emotional and cognitive engagement compared to their male colleagues. Organizations in the country can use the study findings to identify the areas that require an improvement in engagement levels among their employees. They can use the insights from the study to identify the means of harmonizing the differences in the managerial and subordinate perspectives in relation to engagement to create a work environment that meets the needs of each particular group.