Work Environment and Employee Engagement: Challenges and Factors
Radha Yadav*, Riya Gangwar**
*Assistant Professor, Jaipuria School of Business, India-201014
**PGDM Student, Jaipuria School of Business, India-201014
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the relation between positive work
environment and its effects on the employee engagement. This chapter covers individual
adaptability, positive organisational psychology and employee engagement. The author
focuses that employee engagement is positively related to individual and organisational
metrics such as greater satisfaction and productivity, higher levels of job engagement etc. In
this chapter, author attempts the understanding of organisational change affect the employee
engagement. Author focuses the strategies to improve the environment and increase employee
engagement under the situation of organisational change, economical change and technology
Organisation has been regulating the work style to grow and sustain in the international
competition, a diversifying workforce, increasingly complex work environments, and
shareholder pressures (Lawler, 1986: Pettigrew, Woodman & Cameron, 2001; Robinson and
Griffiths, 2005). In present era of the VUCA world, organisations face various challenges on
a regular basis. Globalisation and diversification in the work place make it hard to implement
the full potential of the organisational culture. Many agree that to be a successful
organisation, you need to change for the better. The key to successfully managing change
starts with the organisation’s member. Indeed, an engaged, positive workforce can “make or
break” an organisation (Lockwood, 2007).
A positive organisational work environment aids in the employee engagement due to the fact
that a positive work environment supports its employees. Positive environment defines
supportive peer and superior, healthy competition, celebrate failures and learn from success.
Siriseti (2012) notes that improved engagement happens when there are positive working
relationships. Companies with a positive organisational culture focus on rewarding
employees and creating an environment where employees can develop grow and operate at
their full potential.
When an employee is engaged within the organisation, everyone is benefitted. It is said that
engaged employees are the builders of the organisation. They drive innovation and move
their organisation forward (Van Allen, 2013). In simple terms, employee engagement is an
individual’s emotional and cognitive, that is, rational focus on various job-related goals. It is
in a way an emotional involvement in, commitment to and satisfaction with work. It is
thought of as, “getting carried away” with the work or “doing anything as the job demands
with full heart.”
Working environment has a positive impact on the job satisfaction of the employees. Bad
working conditions create a hindrance in employees to portray their capabilities and attain
their full potential, so eventually imperative that organisation realize the importance of a
good working environment. Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that makes some places
great to work and other places toxic. In a nutshell, the ideology of an organisation is what
constitutes to its work culture. It is widely understood that a positive ambience can make or
mar your performance, be it school, college or workplace. No matter how talented and smart
you are, you can work to the best of your capabilities and creative skills when you are
surrounded by an encouraging environment that value human resource.
This is why work culture or positive work environment is so important in bringing out the
best from your employees even in adverse conditions. Negativity not only kills creativity and
the will to perform but also it does not allow an employee to develop a sense of affection and
ownership with the organisation.
Human beings are very simple and a positive work environment impacts the way they think,
act and reflect. Andrew Carnegie once said, “You must capture and keep the heart of the
original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.” Employees who are
engaged at work will be more than willing to help out when the company they work for
pursues a noble cause. When employees are engaged at work, they feel a connection with the
company. They believe that the work they’re doing is important and therefore work harder.
If the employees of a team are engaged and feel appreciated, they are less inclined to look for
other employment opportunities. Fostering a culture of employee engagement can be the key
to reducing turnover rates and boosting employee retention. If employees feel needed and
wanted when they go into work each day, the connections they form with the company and
their other co-workers are not easily eroded. Employees who are engaged at work want to
know that the company they work for cares about the community. If the company encourages
volunteerism or provides matching gift or volunteer grant programs, engaged employees are
more likely to take advantage of these opportunities to donate their time and money toward
An organisation whose employees have an innate sense of loyalty and ownership towards
their workplace is a long life organisation. An employee who loves his/her organisation will
spread the goodwill and will be instrumental in attracting good human resource to the
A dissatisfied employee who feels haggles by the daily questioning and accusations by
seniors, and backbiting by colleagues will be the first one to look out for another job
opportunity. A positive workplace is reflected in the positive work relationships which exist at
the workplace; the concern and genuine care for each other.
A positive work place will have a higher degree of employee engagement-as employees
respond positively and actively to organisational initiatives. Thus making any organisation
the best in the market.
In a study from Harvard Business Review, less than a quarter of businesses believe their
employees are highly engaged within the organisation. That number is even more astonishing
when you realize a Gallup poll found the percentage of engaged employees was at 32% in
2015 and 31.5% in 2014.
Business is not about playing safe. Business is about taking the right risk for the right
rewards. Happy and engaged employees are more likely to take calculated risks. Positive,
fully engaged employees are more willing to support fellow workers and to provide positive
support and encouragement for group projects.
Harter et al. concluded that engagement is “….related to meaningful business outcomes at a
magnitude that is important to many organisations” (Harter et al., 2002 p. 276 in Bakker