The positive state of work engagement – drivers, outcomes and the challenge of Covid for well-being.
Work engagement has been defined as a positive and fulfilling, relatively stable state of well-being at work consisting of feeling vigorous, dedicated, and absorbed. After two decades of research on work engagement around the globe, I dare to consider it as the best possible state of employee well-being. In my talk I will briefly discuss how common is work engagement and who is engaged at work. I will provide a research-based overview of the individual and organizational outcomes of work engagement and its major antecedents. More specifically, I will discuss about various job resources and examples of both top-down (servant leadership) and bottom-up (job crafting) approaches to boost work engagement in organizations.
Servant leadership is a leadership theory, set of practices and mindset specifically aimed at serving followers for their own good, encouraging their growth and development so that over time they may reach their fullest potential, thus promoting the overall good of the organization. Job crafting, in turn, can be defined as self-initiated future oriented behaviors and cognitions that employees can use as proactive strategies to find better fit with their jobs and thereby feel more engaged at work and perform better.
Finally, around half of the one million Finnish employees telecommuted in Spring of 2020 after the outburst of COVID-19. The pandemic has widely impacted both teleworkers and non-teleworkers. I will present some research findings based on our on-going follow-up study “Miten Suomi voi?” [How is Finland doing?] related to changes in work engagement in Finland before and during COVID-19.