7 Employee Engagement Models Every L&D Leader Must Know

March 26, 2024

A key indicator of workers’ dedication to their jobs, employee engagement has a big influence on an organization’s ability to succeed. According to Gallup research, engaged workers see an 87% decrease in the likelihood of looking for other work. On the other hand, disengaged workers cost businesses 34% of their total payroll due to mistakes and absence.

Organizations need to take action beyond mere adjustments to promote an engaged culture. A comprehensive and measurable strategy—an employee engagement model—is essential. Before crafting one, let’s dive into 7 employee engagement models and learn the details. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Employee Engagement Models
    • The Zinger Model
    • The Gallup Model
    • The AON-Hewitt Model
    • The Kahn Model
    • The Maslow Model
    • The JD-R Model
  • Does the Maslach Burnout Model Still Apply Today?
  • Combining the JD-R Model and ISA Model for Engagement
  • Beyond Maslow’s Hierarchy to Engagement
  • Adapting Engagement Models for Different Generations
  • Final Words

7 Employee Engagement Models

Employee engagement systems stand for clear strategies of multi-level interventions involving mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of employee-environment relationships. These models introduce the variables that affect the employees by either sharpening or dulling their desire to do their best jobs, eventually leading to boredom or productivity. 

Let’s explore the seven crucial models shaping contemporary approaches to employee engagement:

The Gallup Model: 

Gallup’s concept of engagement is built mainly on the study of 12 factors that promote employee engagement, for example, communication with the management concerning clear expectations, as well as the possibility for professional development. It underlines the importance of positive leadership and good communication, as well as well-possessed assets of teamwork.

The AON-Hewitt Model: 

The AON-Hewitt model specifically illustrates the link between employee engagement and business outcomes, and it does so by recognizing the interdependence between these concepts. This assessment component outlines the main causes and factors, such as organizational culture, leadership style, and career development programs that resonate with the employees.

The ISA Model: 

ISA or Intellectual, Social, Affective Engagement model measures engagement on the ISA scale. The model is based on three conditions: work-role focus, activation, and positive affect. It focuses on three facets: intellectual, social, and affective engagement. The maximum average score for each facet and the scale overall is 7. L&D leaders typically aim for a score of 6-7 for every facet as well as for overall. A score of 1-2 suggests a lack of engagement. 

The Kahn Model: 

Psychologist William Kahn developed this model that looks into the psychological environment that encourages engagement at work. It underlines the value of objectives, safety, and access when interacting with workers. The outcomes of gamification are so powerful that L&D leaders can easily use this model to engender employee motivation and dedication.

The Maslow Model: 

Although the Maslowian theory is a motivational theory, its principles can be applied to understanding employee engagement among organizations. By meeting individuals’ fundamental needs regarding security, belonging, and positive esteem, businesses offer surroundings where employees can find the work meaningful and appealing at first glance.

The JD-R Model: 

The Job Resources (JD-R) model addresses the harmonious existence between job demands and resources, which help improve an employee’s well-being and engagement. By identifying and taking action against mental stress at work while adding job resources, the organization will get the maximum attention and performance of the workers.

How to Use the Kahn Model to Increase Employee Engagement?

Unlike traditional views of engagement as a purely behavioral phenomenon, Kahn’s model emphasizes the subjective experience of engagement, emphasizing three key dimensions: meaningfulness, safety, and availability.

L&D professionals can apply the Kahn Model to improve engagement by:

  • Discovering job roles in which employees gain more insistence from their work and what they do increases the sense of importance.
  • Waking a workplace culture that builds a sense of employees’ psychological safety to express their views and ideas on safety.
  • Mental health promotion must focus on keeping communication lines open and allowing employees to coordinate their emotional relations with work. This would enable availability in the workplace.

Does the Maslach Burnout Model Still Apply Today?

The Maslach Burnout Model, developed by psychologist Christina Maslach, identifies three dimensions of burnout: emotional fatigue, personalization, and decreased value and enthusiasm at work. Despite the originating healthcare fields, diverse industries use the framework to uncover the casualties of employee disengagement, de-motivation, and burnout.

The Maslach Burnout Model is the source of thought for organizations to deal with the challenges employees face, especially those concerned with well-being and retention. Burnout is one of many challenges employees face, and recognizing the signs and proposing strategies related to its prevention promotes employee engagement and their ability to cope with the mentioned challenges.

Combining the JD-R Model and ISA Model for Engagement

The JD-R (Job Demands-Resources) model points to balancing job tasks with resources to achieve the desired employee mental health and engagement level. It is presented as a way of looking at how tasks that are too intense, like big workloads or time pressure, can lead to burnout, as well as considering factors that can make people perform better and be motivated, such as having freedom and social support.

According to the ISA Model (Individual, Social, and Organizational), engagement is brought about by several levels, mostly from the individual factors (for instance, personality traits and skills), the social factors (such as team dynamics and leadership), and those aspects that are related to the organization (for example, culture, and structure).

Integration of these models at various levels lets one see the detailed picture of where engagement factors are considered. Organizations can easily introduce individual, team, and company interventions to improve overall engagement.

Beyond Maslow’s Hierarchy to Engagement

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a cognitive theory emphasizing the relationship between human needs and the simultaneous evocation of negative and positive feelings. Although Maslow’s theory focuses on motivation, his perspective on consumption may narrow down an effective angle by considering employees’ basic needs, such as security, connection, and confidence, which will eventually lead to the employees’ engagement, fulfillment, and motivation.

Organizations need to expand beyond the simple hierarchy of Maslow to understand the intricate aspects of employee engagement. This includes recognizing the role of autonomy, recognition, and meaningful occupations to drive employee engagement and satisfaction.

Adapting Engagement Models for Different Generations

One of the challenges in managing a multigenerational workforce is recognizing that a single engagement strategy would not be effective for all generations. Like clockwork, every generation of employees, from Baby Boomers to Gen Zs, arrives with remarkable characteristics distinct from the previous generations, including what they value, what they want, and how they behave as employees.

Adapting engagement models for different generations involves:

  • Being aware of the beliefs and focuses of generations.
  • Engagement strategies to meet the diverse needs of employees.
  • Flexibility and diversity in organizational standards and approaches.
  • Intergenerational collaboration and mentorship opportunities.

By recognizing and making necessary adjustments to the potential generation gaps, organizations will have a work environment that is more enriching and practicable for employees of all ages.

Final Words

Employee engagement models are important in creating an environment of organizational productivity and loyalty. Implementing the above models successfully fosters an increase in organizational performance rate and turnover and achieves success. 

Techademy realizes the necessity of staff involvement. We bring you our all-in-one, complete, and innovative ULXP  that helps companies amp their training and development processes. Through our adaptive courses, algorithmic learning tools, and real-time performance measurement, our platform allows organizations to explore ways to achieve complete talent lifecycle capabilities. 

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The accelerated pace at which businesses are rushing toward digitization has primarily established that digital skills are an enabler. It has also established the ever-changing nature of digital skills, and created a need for continuous digital upskilling and reskilling to protect the workforce from becoming obsolete.

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