Harvard Business Review Türkiye published in its July 2019 issue an article titled “Employee Engagement Guide for Leaders”. Authors of this article are Prof. Dr. Arnd Huchzermeier, Cem Mercikoğlu (MBA 2012) and Thilo Scholz (MSc 2016) who argue that poor engagement of employees is a strong signal of insufficient management support and ineffective strategy cascading in the organization.
The article focuses on Cilek Furniture—the laureate of the Industrial Excellence Award Türkiye 2015 competition—from Bursa, Turkey, where management leverages frontline employees to continuously improve processes and thus plant productivity. We demonstrate that in this showcase factory, workers view their managers as being fair and thus motivation, measured by job satisfaction, is high. As strategy understanding is also rated high by the majority of employees, almost all employees contribute Kaizens, i.e., applied suggestions for process improvements.
The main message to managers is that fairness and strategy understanding together drive employee engagement. Thus, both need to be carefully nurtured by managers to then be able to tap the creativity and to garner bottom-up support by all of their employees, the sustainable source for plant productivity.
A working paper (in English) on Competent Employee Engagement by the same authors can be downloaded from SSRN.