What is employee involvement? And what are the 5 main factors?

Besides employee satisfaction , employee engagement plays an important role in every organisation. Not only are highly involved employees up to 43% more productive than the average employee, they are also more loyal, less likely to leave the organization and more willing to go that extra mile. A high level of involvement can therefore increase the competitive edge of the organisation. But what is the definition of employee involvement? What factors determine whether employees are involved in the organisation?

Employee involvement

Definition employee involvement

Highly involved employees exhibit positive behaviour regarding the organisation and its values. Involvement is strongly associated with the level of motivation, enthusiasm, pride and emotional bonding to the organisation. As a result, highly involved employees are willing to go that extra mile when necessary. This shows that they are aware of the context of the organisation. They are generally more inclined to collaborate with colleagues in order to improve individual performance, in favour of the organisation. This leads to higher productivity and less unwanted staff turnover.

Key factors of employee involvement

As shown above, a higher level of involvement leads to improved performance. But how can involvement be encouraged or even created? You can find the main factors of employee involvement below:

1. Perception of significance

When employees experience the positive impact the organisation and their work have on their environment, this will lead to a higher level of involvement. That is why it is important for employees not to lose sight of the final product that is being created, even when they are not directly responsible for it.

2. Fulfilled expectations

Without a clear objective and the right resources, employees are more focused on "surviving" than they are on adding value to the organisation. It is important to manage expectations and to communicate transparantly at all times.

3. Opportunities for development

Both at the individual level and department level, opportunity for development is very important. Employees want to be able to make their mark and to be part of improvements. When they are left out of important decisions, involvement will decrease.

4. Feedback and dialogue

It's only human for employees to need confirmation every once in a while. Not every end product is physical, which means that employees need feedback in order to know how they did. The yearly performance review is not sufficient here. A simple "well done!" when someone did a good job is at least as important.

5. Inspiring leadership

Without a clear vision or values, it is very difficult for employees to be involved in the organisational interest.

In order to create involvement within an organisation, behavioral change is unavoidable. There is often room for improvement when it comes to management communcation. Managers are generally not unwilling to communicate, but can be unaware of their behaviour and its consequences. They might simply forget to compliment hard work or might underestimate the importance of transparancy. This make awareness even more important than the involvement itself.


Bockerman, Petri; Ilmakunnas, Pekka (2012). "The Job Satisfaction Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data". Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 65 (2): 244–262.

Crim, Dan; Gerard H. Seijts (2006). "What Engages Employees the Most or, The Ten Cs of Employee Engagement.". Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-01-24.

Lockwood, Nancy R. "Leveraging Employee Engagement for Competitive Advantage: HR's Strategic Role." HRM magazine Mar. 2007: 1-11.

7 September 2016

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