Employee Engagement and Social Networks

Posted on March 19, 2012 by Katherine Razzi

Employee engagement consists of an individual in the workplace having an active role in his or her work. The employee may have increased responsibilities or roles because of their individual strengths within the organization. Research has indicated that there is a connection between employee engagement and social networks. What is meant by social networks? Social networks are the relationships that employees share with coworkers and managers.

Cowardin-Lee and Soyalp (2011) developed a case study that examined the relationship between employee engagement and social networks. A consulting firm and another organization were interviewed in order to gather an understanding of how employees interact with one another. The researchers chose the consulting firm because of their repetition for highly engaged and motivated consultants. The other organization was selected as a control group. Employees were asked a series of questions about whom they are likely to turn to for support depending on different situations they may face.

The results of the survey allowed the researchers to identify the most engaged employees in the organizations. These employees became the central focus of the study because of their highly engaged characteristics. The final results indicate that highly engaged employees have very strong relationships with not only managers and supervisors but also coworkers.

What are your thoughts? Do all engaged employees have to have strong social ties within the organization?

Reference: Cowardin-Lee, N., Soyalp, N. (2011). Improving organizational workflow with social network analysis and employee engagement constructs. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 63, 272-283.

About Katherine Razzi

Katherine Razzi hails from the Midwest and holds a B.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from National-Louis University, Evanston Campus. Coursework in cultural diversity, management, organizational dynamics, morals and ethics, group interaction, and psychology.

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