Bridging the Knowing/Doing Gap to Create High Engagement Work cultures

Main Article Content

Fredricka F. Joyner

Keywords

Employee Engagement, Work Culture, Barriers To Engagement

Abstract

The magnitude of investment made by U.S. organizations in the training and development of individuals is significant, as business leaders strive to implement strategies to create high engagement work cultures. Most initiatives are training-based and aimed at managers, and enjoy limited success. The question then arises, are the managers failing to grasp what they are taught, or are they failing to implement it? Through a qualitative analysis of both student/employee and management/employer responses regarding actions and behaviors linked to high engagement work cultures, I establish strong support for the argument that managers do in fact know what factors create high engagement environments, as do their employees; lack of training is not the culprit. Hence, I explore management perceptions in order to discover what barriers prevent them from implementing what they know is necessary. By comparing perceived barriers to known qualities of a high engagement work cultures, I suggest strategies for reducing barriers and increasing success. These strategies can then be used to identify the optimal arenas in which organizations can direct investments in order to provide appropriate resources and support to managers responsible for creating high engagement work cultures. This small yet disciplined qualitative research study sets the stage for future research studies.

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