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DRIEMS Business Review - Vol. -1 No. - 1 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN INDIAN SCENERIO- A CASE STUDY OF TATA TELE SERVICES LIMITED (TTSL) ABSTRACT Employee engagement is generally the level of commitment and involvement an employee has towards his or her organization and its core values and beliefs. An engaged employee is presumed to be aware of business context, and work dynamics with colleagues and peer groups to improve performance within the job for the benefit and excellence of the organization. It is a positive attitude held by the employees towards the organization and its values. The paper focuses on how employee engagement is an antecedent of job involvement and what should a company do to make the employees engaged. The scope of the study is limited to one organisation i.e. Tata Tele Services which is one of the major players in the Indian services sector. The paper attempts to do an analysis of employee engagement strategies adopted by the organisation on the basis of the widely accepted Ten Cs Model of Employee Engagement. Keywords: Job Involvement, Employee Engagement, Career, Progression Policy INTRODUCTION Over the past decade, and particularly in the past three years, employers and employees have faced human capital challenges and an uncertain economy. The economic downturn that started in 2008 has had a significant impact on companies and the resulting decisions made by management. These decisions have impacted employee engagement levels and perceptions globally, leading to changes in leading drivers of employee engagement. In uncertain times, organizations need to focus on harnessing the discretionary effort that engaged employee. This makes a difference in how companies are affected during the economic downturn, how quickly they emerge from it, and how strong they are in the future after the downturn passes. Employee engagement initiative has a direct impact on the organization's productivity. Also employee engagement is directly influenced by growth of the organization, value addition experienced by employees and employee perception of the organization. When managers become disengaged, employees (62) Ms. Leena P. Singh Assistant Professor (ME & HR) Dept. of Business Management C VRCE, BBSR, Odisha Ms. Binita Panda Assistant Professor (OB & HR) Dept. of Business Management C V RCE, BBSR, Odisha Employee Engagement...


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    Employee engagement is generally the level of commitment and involvement anemployee has towards his or her organization and its core values and beliefs. An engagedemployee is presumed to be aware of business context, and work dynamics withcolleagues and peer groups to improve performance within the job for the benefit andexcellence of the organization. It is a positive attitude held by the employees towardsthe organization and its values. The paper focuses on how employee engagement is anantecedent of job involvement and what should a company do to make the employeesengaged. The scope of the study is limited to one organisation i.e. Tata Tele Serviceswhich is one of the major players in the Indian services sector. The paper attempts to doan analysis of employee engagement strategies adopted by the organisation on the basisof the widely accepted Ten Cs Model of Employee Engagement.

    Keywords: Job Involvement, Employee Engagement, Career, Progression Policy

    INTRODUCTIONOver the past decade, and particularly inthe past three years, employers andemployees have faced human capitalchallenges and an uncertain economy. Theeconomic downturn that started in 2008has had a significant impact on companiesand the resulting decisions made bymanagement. These decisions haveimpacted employee engagement levels andperceptions globally, leading to changes inleading drivers of employee engagement.In uncertain times, organizations need tofocus on harnessing the discretionary effort

    that engaged employee. This makes adifference in how companies are affectedduring the economic downturn, howquickly they emerge from it, and howstrong they are in the future after thedownturn passes. Employee engagementinitiative has a direct impact on theorganization's productivity. Also employeeengagement is directly influenced bygrowth of the organization, value additionexperienced by employees and employeeperception of the organization. Whenmanagers become disengaged, employees


    Ms. Leena P. SinghAssistant Professor (ME & HR)

    Dept. of Business ManagementC VRCE, BBSR, Odisha

    Ms. Binita PandaAssistant Professor (OB & HR)

    Dept. of Business ManagementC V RCE, BBSR, Odisha

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  • DRIEMS Business Review - Vol. -1 No. - 1

    are 37% more likely to be frustrated withcompany systems, processes, andprocedures. (FLS Research 2008-09) Thispaper is based on a case study of TataTeleservices. The paper has been dividedinto six sections. First section is all aboutintroduction to employee engagementwhich elaborates the issues and itsimportance for organizations. Section twodeals with the conceptual overview and thethird includes the literature review. Insection four strategies and initiatives linkedto employee engagement has beendescribed along with an analysis of differentinitiatives taken by the organization and itsimplications based on ten Cs of EmployeeEngagement model used for analysis. It alsoelucidates the impact of employeeengagement initiatives on organizationsperformance and employee retention. Thefifth section includes the implications andinitiatives and the last section i.e. sixthsection concludes the paper.EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT-AN OVERVIEWThe concept of engagement has naturallyevolved from past research on highinvolvement, empowerment, jobmotivation, organizational commitment,and trust. All these research streams focuson employees' perceptions and attitudesabout the work environment. In some waysthey are variations on the same fundamentalissue. Obviously, all organizations wanttheir employees to be engaged in their work.

    But what can help them predict if theiremployees will "give their all"? Severalstandardized tools exist for assessingemployee engagement and then providingfeedback for making changes. These toolstend to have several common goals andcharacteristics:n Create a simple and focused indexof workplace engagement-Manyorganizations are using very short, simple,and easy-to-use measures that focus on thefundamentals of a great workplace.Instead of conducting broad culture orclimate surveys with 100 or morequestions, many organizations are optingfor a focused approach that measuresfundamental qualities of the workplacethat likely will be important 10 years later(e.g., feedback, trust, cooperation).n Allow for benchmarking-mostorganizations want to know how theystand in comparison to otherorganizations. Using a standard measureof engagement allows an organization tosee how it measures up to othercompanies along a simple set offundamental work qualities.n Direct action-Engagement measurestend to be very actionable. This meansthat an organization can alter practices orpolicies to affect employees' responses toevery item in the measure.n Show relationship to companyperformance-without a link to thecompany's performance or other critical


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    outcomes, measures of engagement havelittle value. The whole idea behindengagement is that it leads to enhancedperformance. The link to performanceoutcomes is a necessary underlyingassumption of all engagement measures.n Empirical research on "employeeengagement" is relatively new. "Employeeretention" has received the lion's share ofthe spotlight. This focus on retentionhowever has spawned several studies on"engagement" - since retaining employeesis dependent upon the need to "engage"them. Hence, engagement studies arebeginning to take center stage. One of themost significant threads in the currentresearch is the discovery that employeeengagement is linked to customersatisfaction which is linked to anorganization's financial success. Employeeengagement/satisfaction distinctly affectsthe bottom line. These findings are detailedin the studies referred to in this article.Engagement really happens at the teamlevel - a framework called VOICE helps thatprocess. VOICE is an acronym made up ofits component parts i.e. V is for vision,which is an emotion as well as a financialconnection as to why people should be partof this organization; O is for opportunity.Are there opportunities to grow anddevelop? ; I is for incentive. If you do a goodjob do you get financial and non-financialrewards? ; C is for community. Do I likethe people I work with? ; C also stands for

    Communication, which is about "tellingpeople about what is going on, and givesthem the confidence that people care; andE is for entrepreneurship, defined as thingssuch flexibility on how people can work"..."It's about things like flexibility in time sopeople don't feel they are being a slave tothe organization."

    LITERATURE REVIEWn Let us have a look on how employeeengagement is defined by some of theconsulting firms:n Employees' willingness and ability tocontribute to company success. (TowersPerrin)n Staff commitment and a sense ofbelonging to the organization. (Hewitt)n Employee's commitment to theorganization and motivation to contributeto the organization's success. (Mercer)n Employees' exertion of"discretionary effort". . . going beyondmeeting the minimum standards for thejob. (Hay)n Creating the sense that individuals area part of a greater entity. (Best Practices, LLC)n A research and information companyMelcrum, recently surveyed 1,000corporate communications and HRprofessionals and analyzed 40 case studiesand found that many respondents creditoffering employee engagement programswith the following benefits: More than 50%report improvements in employee


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    When individuals and teams competeto implement optimal behaviours orientedto the market and its customers, suchcompetition can benefit both theorganization and its customers. 64% apply the philosophy ofemployee engagement to their peoplepractices. Organizations with engagedemployees have customers who use theirproducts more. It is an organization's employees whoinfluence the behaviour and attitudes ofcustomers, and it is customers who drive anorganization's profitability through thepurchase and use of its products. Incentive programs, as a way toengage employees, have been found toincrease organizational performance. TheInternational Society for PerformanceImprovement released a study last year,Incentives, Motivation, & WorkplacePerformance, which showed that incentiveprograms can increase performance by asmuch as 44% among employee teams, 24%among individuals. The study consisted ofan analysis 45 existing scientific studieswhich were also compared to currentpractices through surveys of 145 U.S.organizations that use incentive programs.As per the key findings of the study it wasfound that incentive programs improveperformance, engage participants andincrease interest in work, attract qualityemployees. Long-term programs outperformshort-term programs. Executives and


    retention and customer satisfaction, 33%report higher productivity, 28% reportimprovements in employee advocacy, 27%improved status as a "great place to work",27% report increased profitability and 25%report improved absenteeism. A snapshot ofthe corporations in this study shows that 74%began focusing on employee engagementbetween 2000 and 2004 and reportperformance improvements each year,36%have a dedicated employee engagementprogram,64% apply the philosophy toemployee engagement to their peoplepractices. The Forum for PeoplePerformance Management andMeasurement at North-western Universityreleased their report in November 2004,titled The Impact of Employee Attitudes onMarket Response and FinancialPerformance, which also links employeesatisfaction to customer satisfaction and acompany's financial success. This finding istrue even if employees have no directcontact with customers. 110,000 surveyswere mailed to media companies, with a34% response rate. Below are key findingsfrom the report: The key indicator of employeesatisfaction is organizationalcommunication as employee satisfaction isa precursor to employee engagement. Organizational culture is a significantdriver of employee engagement, whereemployees must be expected to worktogether and provide a voice for thecustomer within the organization.

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    to enhance the feeling ofconnectedness

    employee and customer loyaltyattributes reflect each other, supportingthe premise behind the importance ofengagement which is based on acorrelation between customersatisfaction and engagement

    key factors in engagement arealignment of employees towardstrategy, enabling employees to havethe capability to engage themselves,and creating the sense of engagement-- creating the sense that individualsare a part of a greater entity and topperforming companies rank cross-functional teams and councils as themost effective vehicle to helpemployees understand how their -- aswell as team and/or business unit --efforts contribute to corporateperformance.

    The research above is powerful - not onlyfor organizations seeking to ensure theirfinancial success, but for those seeking toharness their people power. For employees,or those seeking employment, it offers atremendous sense of comfort. Theiremployers (or future employers), ifenlightened by the type of researchportrayed above, will be interested infinding ways to create an "engaging"workplace.Ten Cs of Employee Engagement"The Ten Cs of Employee Engagement",Gerard H. Seijts and Dan Crim (2006) tries


    employees value incentive programs andquota-based incentive measures workbest. Best Practices LLC, a research andconsultant firm, recently released a newbenchmarking report "EmployeeEngagement and the Service-Profit Chain"which shares best practices for engagingemployees in their jobs and companies.Based on primary and secondary researchof leading worldwide corporations, thereport's key findings are as follows: a reduction in turnover rates by just

    two percentage points can result ina savings of $3 million annually

    an effective performancemanagement system is thecornerstone of engagement -- fromgoal-setting to reward, recognitionand incentive programs

    75% of high performing companieshold managers accountable forengaging their employees. This is incomparison to 35% across the entirestudy group that holds managersaccountable

    high performing companies engageemployees by cutting acrossfunctional silos to create a sense ofconnectedness through communitiesof practice, cross-functional teams,and by creating common work areas

    high performing companiesrecognize employees for theirsuggestions employ groupbrainstorming and utilize group list

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    and understand the various dimensions thatcan add value to the engagement level ofan employee which can make people stayin the organisation for long. The ten Cs iselaborated as follows:Connect: Employees should feel that theirwork is being valued and should feel a senseof connectivity with their superiors. Havinga gap can lead to employee isolation anda sense of non-belongingness to theorganisation.Career: People in the organisation shouldbe provided challenging and meaningfulwork with opportunities for careeradvancement. Most people want to do newthings in their job. Good leaders have tochallenge employee; but at the same timethey must instil the confidence that thechallenges can be met. People should begiven tools and knowledge to be successfulto keep them engaged.

    Clarity: Success in life and organisations is,to a great extent, determined by how clearindividuals are about their goals and whatthey really want to achieve. Leaders mustcommunicate a clear vision Employeesneed to understand what the organisationsgoals are, why they are important, and howthe goals can be attained.Convey: Leaders clarify their expectationsabout employees and provide feedback ontheir functioning in the organisation. Goodleaders establish processes and proceduresthat help people master important tasks andfacilitate goal achievement.Congratulate: Exceptional leaders shouldgive recognition to the employees for goodperformance. Recognising their efforts bypraising them and giving them an applaudcan boost their morale and ultimately makethem enthusiastic towards their work

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    Contribute: People want to know that theirinput matters and that they are contributingto the organisations success in a meaningfulway. Efficient leaders should make sure thatthe employees feel their efforts are beingused in the fulfilment of the overall goal andobjectives of the organisation.Control: Employees value control over theflow and pace of their jobs .leaders cancreate opportunities for employees toexercise their control. Involving your peoplein decision making creates a culture whereinthey can take the ownership of their ownproblems and can find solutions to them.Collaborate: When employees work inteams and have the trust and cooperationof their team members, they outperformindividuals and teams which lack goodrelationships. Great leaders are teambuilders: they create an environment thatfosters trust and collaboration. Thus acontinuous challenge for leaders is to rallyindividuals to collaborate on organizational,departmental and group goals, whileexcluding individuals pursuing their self-interest.Credibility: Leaders should strive hard todemonstrate high ethical standards to theirsubordinates. People want to be proud oftheir jobs, their performance and theirorganisation.Confidence: Efficient leaders help createconfidence in a company by setting exampleof high ethical and performance standards.Instilling a sense of confidence is what isrequired from the leaders.

    EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVESWe create job roles which are not justexciting and challenging, but also give

    employees a sense of purpose in terms ofcreating value for the organisation andcustomers. - Varadarajan (Raja), Executive PresidentHR (TTSL).He oversees all the people practices andprocesses in the company.Case study: Tata Teleservices: HRinterventions and Employee engagementTata Teleservices' (TTSL) many HRinterventions have earned it the distinctionof being an employer of choice. CNNagakumar, CHRO, TTSL, believes that hiscompany's commitment to employeeengagement is what has earned it thisaccolade. The company's HR practicesinclude a strong HR model that talks aboutalignment, assignment, engagement,empowerment and pride of the workforce.The annual employee engagement survey -Darpan - has been designed around the HRmodel. In order to foster a customer-centricand performance-driven culture in theorganisation, the pillars of organisationalculture were defined under the acronymCRISP - customer focus, responsibility forresults, initiative with speed, self-confidencewith consciousness and passion forachievement. A robust performancemanagement scheme, a reward andrecognition policy, and a career progressionpolicy exist in the organisation, besides anumber of engagement activities. Theperformance management system ensuresthe top down cascade of business goals. Thekey performance indicators of everyemployee are aligned to any one ormultiples of the five key business levers,namely revenue, profit maximisation / costoptimisation, cash flow, customer

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    satisfaction and employee engagement,aligning the entire organisation towards thevision, mission and business plans of theorganisation.The reward and recognition (R&R) policyaims to create a framework for recognisingand rewarding the contributions ofindividuals and teams, and institutionalisesa culture of openness, transparency andmeritocracy. The recognitions includeSpotlight (for on-the-spot recognition), Starof the Month, Super Stars for achievers,Customer First Reward and ValuableReward. These awards are decided at boththe circle and corporate level by variousbusiness units and circle R&R committees.TTSL strives to provide career growth inconsonance with performance, merit andpotential of an employee, whileconsidering organisational needs. Theopportunities include Career ProgressionPolicy and CAS (Career AdvancementScheme), Job Rotation Policy and InternalJob Postings. The Career Progression Policyensures career progression for allemployees based on their performancerating, tenure in the role, SPARKAssessment Center scores and potential forgrowth. It also highlights the commitmentto building a leadership pipeline by"grooming talent" from within. To ensurea supportive and encouraging environment,TTSL has focused its efforts towardsinstitutionalising several initiatives like theemployee health and well being policy,Long Service Award on completion of fiveand 10 years of service, Medical Insurance,Liberal Personal Accident Insurancecoverage etc. For employees posted inremote geographies like the North-East,

    Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, a specialgeography benefit is provided. TheWeavers initiative includes sports andrecreation activities for employees, culturaland sports activities for employees'children, career counselling and corporatesustainability initiatives. These policies alsoseek to create and ensure "a meaningfulrelationship between the employee and theorganisation." The company knows that arelationship of mutual respect and trust isthe key to ensuring a motivated workforce.That is why TTSL engages in a number ofactivities to offer employees an opportunityto display the creative side of theirpersonalities. At the circle level, thecompany organises various fun activitiesand games, including hoopla, tambola,carrom and table tennis, besides outdoorgame championships for cricket, footballand hockey. Many of these teams haveparticipated in inter-corporate events andwon for the company's pride.

    Leadership development is one ofthe strategic pillars at TTSL. Assessmentcentres form the basic tool to identify high-potential employees who undergo acomprehensive leadership developmentalprogramme. The Business LeadershipProgramme is carried out in associationwith the Tata Management Training Centreand involves all COOs and high-performing senior leaders. An in-house e-enabled multi-rater feedback system calledReflections has been put in place to enablesenior leaders to get 360-degree feedbackand create an individual development plan.Team-building initiatives at TTSL are notlimited to the top management alone buttouch all levels of management, aligning


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    teams across the company towardsachieving the organisational objectives.Regular Town halls are conducted by theMD and COOs at corporate and circle levelsrespectively to get to know the views of thepeople. Initiatives such as Lunch with MD,MD Online and Phone your MD also seekto increase interaction between employeesand the MD. A chief ethics officer and localethics officers have been appointed to dealwith ethical issues. A women's welfarecommittee, comprising senior womenemployees, has been created to addresswomen-related issues.Training is an important component ofemployee engagement. Training employeesthrough innovative workshops, cross-functional teams and collaborative workingis also a key focus area in TTSL. TTSLencourages employees to enhance theirskills and come up with innovative ideas andbest practices through initiatives like MindBeans, Propel (Six Sigma) and PromisingPractices." Employees are also activelyencouraged to develop their personalities.The portal Gyaan Jyoti enables people toenhance their skills through e-learning.Employees list their fields of interest andexpertise on Gyan Tarang. TTSL then usesits in-house expertise to conduct varioustraining workshops for others, thereby givingemployees a chance to learn and teach. TTSLstrongly supports the Tata Group programcalled SCIP (Second Career InternshipProgram) which enables women who havetaken a break from their career, to restarttheir career. They work on a 6-month projectin any one of the Tata Group companiesand then confirmed as permanent resources.The motivated workforce is encouraged to

    give back to the community as well as TTSLhas tie-ups with NGOs like SOS Children'sVillages and the National Association for theBlind, and partners with various schoolsunder the Samvedna initiative. It also hasan active eco-club, Prakriti, which conductsactivities such as tree plantation drives,energy conservation and wealth out of wasteinitiatives." The company's CSR activitiesinclude education and the environment aswell, fully leveraging the company's corecompetencies, in addition to initiatives onaffirmative action plans focused onemployment generating schemes. DIALog isthe monthly Internal Newsletter whichcovers the latest internal and external newsabout TTSL. Apart from TTSL news, thereare specific write-ups by the seniormanagement, communicating pertinent andrelevant issues and news. DARPAN, theEmployee Engagement Model of TTSL coversvarious aspects of employee work lifenamely Alignment, Assignment,Engagement, Empowerment and Pride. E-Pulse is another innovative tool, which wascreated to enhance engagement ofemployees from the moment they join bystaying in touch and taking feedback fromthem from the time they join theorganization. It is an IT-enabled engagementtool to ensure that assimilation of newemployees happens in a smooth manner.It is these and other similar activities thathave helped TTSL gain the trust of itsemployees and ensured an atmosphere ofenthusiasm and commitment in theworkplace.


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    IMPLICATIONS AND NEW INITIATIVESThe analysis gives us very clear picture thatthe organisation is able to meet most of thecriteria of Ten Cs to a greater extent. TataTeleservices has an excellent reward andrecognition policy and a career progressionpolicy which shows the connect parameter.It has different programs to congratulate itsemployees. Further it also provides aplatform to the employees to collaborateand increase the interaction betweensuperior and subordinates. The companyis high on meeting ethical standards for

    which it has an ethical officer to deal withthe local issues. It is suggested here that thecompany can clarify the roles of theemployees from the very first step by givingthem a realistic job preview andconducting a strong induction andorientation programme as a part of theperformance management system.Employee counselling and mentoringtechniques can be used to get the feedbackfrom the employee about his role and jobperformance.


    Analysis using Ten Cs Model

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    Strategies can be suggested to form somemore communication forums includingteam meetings, conferences, monthlyupdates on corporate goals etc. to add moreto the credibility component. Team buildingexercises like small team recreationalactivities e.g. bowling, skating; trips tocinemas etc. once in a month can also beintroduced. Employee engagement is adirect reflection of how employees feelabout their relationship with boss. Thus,quality of working relationships with peers,superiors and subordinates can be improvedby providing more opportunities tocollaborate. Though organisations arehaving their own models of practisingemployee engagement but to make thestrategies more effective they can take intoconsideration the ten Cs model of employeeengagement and try to meet every 'C' as aparameter to the greatest possible extent.CONCLUSIONAcquiring skilled workforce is just notenough in today's changing economy likeours; instead a lot needs to be done to retain,involve and make them committed to theorganization and its goals. Thus,engagement is a state where an individualis not only intellectually committed but hasgreat emotional attachment with his/her jobthat goes above and beyond the call of dutyso as to further the interest of the company.Organizations like Tata Tele Services are notonly providing their employees a greatinfrastructure and other facilities but alsofreedom to make their work exciting andalso are providing them an environmentwherein they can say good-bye to amonotonous work. The company focuses onretention as an outcome of three HR focus

    areas - employee motivation, career growthand remuneration and compensation. Thusworking in a safe and cooperativeenvironment adds to the engagement levelof an employee.

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