The seeming lack of trust between employees and management, little avenue for employee to air their opinions and monotony of work necessitated this study to examine the nature of relationship that exists between Employee Engagement and organizational Performance in Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State. The study was anchored on three theories, Self Determination Theory (SDT), Social Exchange Theory (SET) and Job Demand Resources Model. Correlation survey research design was adopted for this study. The population of the study was 150 and the sample size is 109, Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to test the three hypotheses formulated. The findings revealed that there was a significant positive relationship existing between employee’s voice and employee retention. It also indicated that trust significantly and positively correlates with employee advocacy and that there is significant positive relationship existing between challenging job and customer loyalty. It was also concluded that organizations stands to gain so much when they actively make their employees to be engaged in their work. It was recommended that management should make the employees more engaged to their jobs and the organization because the organization will perform better under such conditions.
1.1 Background of the Study
Organizations are not the physical structures (buildings) because such buildings though very important in providing a face and shelter to the organizations and employees, are not the most important aspects of organizations. On establishment of organizations, people are hired to help stir the affairs of the organizations so as to achieve the vision and mission. These people are regarded as the most important assets of organizations. Jackson (2007) avers that the most valuable assets that companies have in hand are the employees. Nelson and Simmons (2003) posit that the quality of an organization’s human resources is perhaps the leading indicator of its growth and sustainability. This is because they are charged with the responsibility of making the day-to-day decisions and the strategic and long term decisions for the organization which has holistic and enduring implication for the organization. They take actions every day that can affect the success or otherwise of their organization. Many of these decisions and actions are influenced by their own internal motivations and drives. This is perhaps why more attention is given to the employees as their actions and inaction could make or mar the organization.
The development of employee engagement is necessary for every organization in which Shoprite Onitsha is no exception because it is a means for achieving high employee performance, effectiveness, efficiency and the overall organizational performance. Shoprite Onitsha is a shopping mall, commissioned by the present government of Anambra State, His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano on April 14th 2016. The shopping mall (Shoprite Onitsha) market and sell variety of domestic products such as, baked goods, cosmetics, fruits, livestock products, clothings, accessories…To remain competitive, Shoprite Onitsha needs to adopt the employee engagement development programs such as participation in decision making, opportunity for employees to air views on decisions made and good working condition… This in turn leads to more productivity and organizational performance (financial and material). Thus helping the firm remain competitive and survive in the industry. Employee engagement is an important aspect for any organization in that it leads to the overall performance of the organization.
Managers have been grappling with the challenge to succeed in this regard; they struggle to put their company ahead of competitors. To help managers navigate through these difficulties, different scholars, researchers and consultants have over the years come up with new and innovative ideas on how to improve performance and outsmart and outmuscle competitors. Among those suggested techniques are concepts like Total Quality Management (TQM), Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) that gained recognition from many authors in the second half of twentieth century and were found to be helpful in improving organizational performance by focusing on operational and process improvements. Nevertheless, this battle of survival requires more than the product itself or the service. This is why most recently; attention has been shifting to how to improve performance through the employees. Markos and Sridevi (2010) state that from the last quarter of twentieth century onwards, concepts like employee involvement and engagement, employee commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) started to appear on the ground that efficiency and productivity lie within the employees’ ability and commitment.
Employee engagement has been viewed differently by different people as they seem not be any generally agreed definition of term some see engagement as a state of mind among employees, others see as being about the actions of employees while another set of authors view is as combination of attitude and behaviour. Alfers, Truss, Soame, Rees and Gateriby (2010)view engagement in terms of an employers actions,an approach to working with employees or something that is done to employees. Purcell, Kinnie, Hutchinson, Rayton, and Swart (2003) opine that employee engagement is only meaningful if there is a more genuine sharing of responsibility between management and employees over issues of substance. High level of employee engagement occurs when employees are involve with, committed to, enthusiastic, and passionate about their work (Padmakumar and Gantasala, 2011). Engagement has been defined more completely as when employees feel positive emotion towards their work, their work to be personally meaningful, consider their work laod to be manageable and have hope about the future of their work (Nelson and Simmons 2003).
There exist no generally acceptable definition of the term organizational performance in the contemporary society. The construct multi-dimensional nature derives from diverse outcomes that can be categorized into financial and non-financial performance offering specified achievable results. Ideally this requires holistic approach that composes varied aspect including physical structure, strategy, processes and human beings. Evolution of organization performance measurement started with employees and their managerial skills, focused on the organizational ability to exploit its environment to acquire and utilize the scarce resources and eventually achieve the intended result and objectives.
Employees play major roles in paddling the canoes of organizations and turning it into blue chip companies, this is perhaps the reason organizations in this present world do not look out for employees who can perform just the basic requirements of the job but employee who could go the extra mile in the execution of the duties. Bakker and Leiter, (2010) stated that to survive and compete successfully in today’s turbulent economic environment, organizations require employees to be pro-active, show initiative and remain committed to performing at high standards.
Organizational agility requires employees who exhibit energy and self-confidence anddemonstrate genuine enthusiasm and passion for their work. Managers agree that modem business demands higher productivity and more efficiency than in previous times. Companies are trying to increase their performance in order to place their company ahead of competitors. In order to compete effectively and efficiently in all fronts, employers now look beyond-satisfaction; employers must do their best to inspire their employees to apply their full potential and capabilities to their work, if they do not, part of the valuable employees’ resources remains unavailable for the company (Bakker &Leiter, 2010). Therefore, modem organizations expect their employees to be full of enthusiasm and show initiative at work, they want them to take responsibility for their own development, strive for high quality and performance, be energetic and dedicated to what they do – in other words companies want their employees be more engaged (Bakker &Leiter, 2010). Employees that are not given enough opportunities to air their views and contribute their ideas to the organization may leave the organization at any given opportunity. When employees do not trust their managers and supervisors enough, they may not encourage other people to come and work for or patronize the firm’s products. When jobs done by employees are not challenging, it may reflect on the job satisfaction and commitment of the employees which may eventually manifest in the kind of services offered by the employees and may also manifest in customer loyalty. If all these are not present in an organization, it may be problematic to the organization as employees may become disillusioned, the job satisfaction and commitment level may also be affected. Shoprite Onitsha seem to depend so much on customer patronage and loyalty, the competitive nature of the organization is enormous, hence managers take so seriously idea generation that could aid in retaining loyalty of their consumer. It is against this backdrop that this study was necessitated to examine the nature of relationship that exists between employee engagement and organizational performance of Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Employees are the bedrock of every establishment and so, employers crave for employees who will put in their best to make sure that the organization continues in existence. This is also the case in the studied organization which isShoprite Onitsha. However, employees putting in their best seem to depend on a host of factors; both internal factors which have to do with the employee’s intrinsic motivational factors and external factors which are extrinsic motivational factors. Organizations such as the studied firm have recognized this and they try as much as they can to get these employees to exhibit unflinching loyalty and commitment to the organization. It was however observed in the focused that little seems to be done in encouraging the employees to lend their voice to issues in terms of seeking for theiropinion and inputs in taking decisions and in generating creative ‘ideas. They seem to rely on the idea of top managers and sometimes consultants brought from outside the firm. Employees of the focused firm also seem to have trust issues with management most especially as it regards employee evaluation which leads to promotion and other fringe benefits, Employees seem to always be surprised as to why some employees get better treatment in terms of fringe benefits and promotion even though visibly to them they perform better than such employees. Also, employee seem not to trust management to take the best decision on their behalf since they (managers) do not trust them to come up with innovative ideas. This seem to be affecting the services offered by employees, also seem to be affected because the employee may not give their best under these conditions which will affect customer’s perception about the organization and loyalty. Same thing could also be said about employees advocating for the firm in terms of telling friends and family to patronize their products or telling friends from other firms to join the organization. All these cited issues in the focused firm necessitated this study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the nature of relationship that exists between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance at Shoprite, Onitsha in AnambraState. Specifically, the objectives are to:
- Ascertain the nature of relationship that exists between employees’ voice and employee retention at Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
- Determine the extent of correlation that exists between trust and employee advocacy at Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
- Examine the nature of relationship that exists between challenging job and customer loyalty at Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
1.4 Research Question
- What is the nature of relationship existing between employee voice and employee retention in Shoprite Onitsha
- To what extent does trust correlate with employee advocacy in Shoprite Onitsha
- What nature of relationship exists between challenging job and customer loyalty in Shoprite Onitsha
- Research Hypotheses
- H1: There is a significant relationship existing between employee voice and employee retention in Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
- H1: Trust significantly correlates with employee advocacy in Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
- H1: There is a significant relationship existing between challenging job and customer loyalty in Shoprite Onitsha in Anambra State.
- Significance of the Study
The findings of this work will add to the existing body of knowledge with regards to employee engagement and organizational performance which will be welcoming to the educational and academic class because it could be used as a reference material b both lecturers and students and consultants. It will also have organizational significance in that the managers and owners of organization will draw from the revelations of the study to determine how to more fruitfully engage their employees through employee voice, trust and the kind of jobs employees are assigned to which will help in improving employees performance and ultimately organizational performance,
- Scope of the Study
This study focused on Shoprite Onitsha, Anambra State. The nature of relationship existing between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance determined as a broad objective but specifically look at the type of relationships existing Employee Voice, Trust, Challenging Job and Employee Retention, Employee Advocacy and Customer Loyalty.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Getting the endorsement of management to allow employees to collect questionnaire during work hour proved a herculean task as the managers insisted that no employee will collect any questionnaire. Management also exhibited some skepticism as to the rational for eliciting the data. It was not until they were fully convinced that it was for an entirely academic purpose through providing relevant documents from school did they allow employees to only collect and go home with the questionnaire and answer them at home which delayed the process of this study. At the end, the desire was achieved.
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