Researchers Question Employee Engagement at International Business School Seminar

International experts, academics, policymakers, HR professionals and students came together at the University of Kent’s Medway campus on Tuesday 17 April to discuss how organisations can improve employee well-being and get workers positively engaged with their jobs.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the event was organised by Prof. Katie Truss of Kent Business School.  This was the last of four seminars in the series, ‘Employee Engagement, Organisational Performance and Individual Wellbeing: Exploring the Evidence, Developing the Theory’   held in business schools across the country over the last few months.

There is now an entire industry offering guidance, advice and training on raising levels of employee engagement. However, few of these interventions are based on evidence, and questions remain about how best to get employees engaged in their work and whether engagement leads to better performance.

Topics for discussion included:
•    What should employers do about workers who don’t care?
•    Is the idea of ‘employee engagement’ a management myth?
•    Are ‘engaged’ employees more productive?
•    Does giving employees a say in decision-making help get them involved?

The 100 seminar participants addressed these questions via a series of presentations by top researchers from the UK, US and Canada as well as David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, Chairs of the Engaging for Success Taskforce.

Seminar series organiser Professor Katie Truss said, ‘We’re delighted we’ve been able to bring together leading researchers and practitioners to debate and discuss the meaning and practice of engagement through the seminar series. We’ve had lots of very positive feedback from all the delegates and will be exploring how best to develop the network we’ve created over the past year.’

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