According to Grobler and Bruyn (2018), “There is no doubt that in today’s highly competitive marketplace the management of people is one of the primary keys to organization success.”
However, in practice, this fact is either narrowly understood or given little attention in many companies in Lesotho. A great number of managers still have not appreciated the significance of high performance work practices.
In order to contribute to helping managers to understand and put into practice these systems, this essay seeks to find a working understanding of employee engagement and explore the nature of high performance work practices (HPWPs) and examine the extent of the impact of these practices on employee engagement, organizational growth and map out a route that can be used in order to adopt them.
These are critically important for the survival of these companies in the present fierce and cutthroat competition, both locally and internationally, in the business world.
To begin with, Parent, J. D., and Lovelace, K. J. (2015) in The Impact of Employee Engagement and a positive Organizational culture on an Individual’s ability to adapt to Organization change posits that, “job engagement is related to one’s job-related roles/tasks and can be conceptualized as a psychological presence with two components- attention to one’s tasks and absorption in one’s tasks. Organization engagement is having energy, involvement, and efficacy surrounding one’s company and is focused on one’s fit with their organization.”
This means, employee engagement can be defined in our case as the effort by the management to work collaboratively with the employees. In this regard, workers are seen as humans and shown appreciation.
In the pursuit of organizational goals, no compromise is made on their individual values. Power decentralization is also common and serves in boosting employee engagement, leading to higher commitment levels and enthusiasm for them, as opposed to cases when the management is totalitarian in its operations.
On the other hand, Elenica, S., and Vesna, Z. (2013) in High Performance Work Practices and Organizational Performance: An analysis of the Macedonian food and beverage industry posit that, “the high-performance work practices are considered as organizational strategy for managing the employment relationship. As a specific combination of practices, HPWPs has intended to increase employees productivity by maximizing their competency, motivation, commitment, communication, involvement and flexibility.”
This means that these systems help in mitigating a lot of anxiety, for both the management and workers, that comes with demands for more productivity. Both workers and managers work as competent individuals, each doing their parts and appreciating the interdependence of their roles.
The focus is more human-oriented, while not losing sight of the organizational goals. Managers act as leaders and employees as followers, and goals are no longer viewed as cumbersome.
In addition, Appelbaum (2000) cited in ukessays (2017) suggests that successful human resource systems have three foundational elements, namely: those concerned with improving worker’s capacities to carry out their jobs; those geared toward inspiring workers; and lastly, those aimed at encouraging innovation and/or experimentation. Going forward, it is crucially important that companies domesticate these elements within their strategic planning.
However, Bensin (2014) cited in Shrita and Mohamad (2017) discovered the empirical evidence which demonstrated that 13% on an international level constituted workers who found satisfaction and are committed in their occupations.
On the other hand, a great majority is dysfunctional and their impact is spreading. In practice, the reality of a great majority of businesses in Lesotho is consistent with these findings. Most managers know that something is wrong, but they are still grappling to find out the real problem.
Companies are not growing. Or worse, some managers are losing the lifeblood of the companies- the employees. As it is, there is a growing dissatisfaction among the workers, who feel estranged to the organizational decision-making and general operations.
These employees’ frustrations are often a result of the management practices they are subject to, since many managers are detached from workers. This is typified by the number of go-slows- situations where workers go to work but not working- that took place in the last few years.
In the words of Andalib, Duran, and Azazin (2013) in Frustration of Employees: Reasons, Dimensions and Resolving Techniques, “in today’s world, most of the organizations treat employees only as working machines rather than evaluating human beings as human beings. Frustration occurs when human values are not valued, when humans are only treated as revenue earning tools, when humans are considered only as resources. ”
This adherence to “scientific management” view of personnel, continues to undermine many of their basic needs. In this regard, the management dehumanises the workers.
A practical example is the cases where companies have their employees working overtime, yet they offer no rewards to show appreciation. Many of these cases, continue to brew workers’ strikes. The consequence of this has been an increasing number of dysfunctional workers.
This translates into a need to revise the human resource management systems, because undeniably they do influence employee engagement, hence, organizational performance. Deborah, B., Damian, W., Janine, O., Fiona, B., and Michael, O. (2015) said that, productivity monitoring practices can be reformed to allow increased organisational effectiveness.
In entering into fourth industrial revolution, that comes with advances in technology and intensive adoption of such into businesses, companies need to reconsider and make adjustments to their employee management systems. Employee recruitment, training and retention should be reevaluated, so that companies can thrive under both the current and the upcoming economic climate.
Elenica and Vesna further suggest that, boosting employee commitment takes onto account the following foundational aspects; worker development and training, increasing workers’ confidence as well as involvement in all operations, plus inspiring and supporting workers’ innovative thinking.
Equally important, in their pursuit of profits and out pacing their competitors, companies or organizations require employees with increased professional understanding and technical knowledge that comes with digital advances in the business world.
Unlike those who worked in the past, today’s employees are a different breed. These are individuals who expect a great deal of independence and delight in the job. It is clear that, up until now, employees have not felt a sense of ownership of what they do, hence their lack of motivation and non-productiveness.
It is therefore important to develop more complementary employment relationships. As Lea, S., and Stephan, M. (2018) suggest that employee engagement involves more than financial rewards.
The ability of the management to capitalize on employee engagement is an imperative. The organizational goals are to be communicated to and with the employees, coupled with continued performance management.
This has been found to enhance workers’ motivation and job satisfaction. Managers are to foster employee participation in all the decisions pertaining to all that affects them. Though it may not be practical to successfully employ all the employee engagement systems, efforts should be made to accommodate them in the businesses.
Andalib, T. W., Duran, M. R., and Azazin, N. A. (2013). Frustration of Employees: Reasons, Dimensions and Resolving Techniques. Proceedings of World Conference on Integration of Knowledge, 25-26. Retrieved from:
Deborah, B., Damian, W., Janine, O., Fiona, B., and Michael, O. (2015). Performance Management: Creating high performance, not high anxiety. In Wanna, Lee, and Yates (Eds.), Managing under austerity, delivering under pressure: performance and productivity in public service, 79-102, Australia: ANU Press
Elenica, S., and Vesna, Z. (2013). High-Performance Work Practices and Organizational Performance: An analysis of the Macedonian food and beverage industry. XI International Scientific Conference “Management and Engineering”, vol. 13, 23-26
Grobler, P., and Bruyn, A. D. (2018). High-Performance Work Practices in determining success of companies: Fact or Fiction. Journal of Contemporary Management, vol. 15, 288-313
Impact of High Performance Work Practices.(2019, November 19). In ukessays.com. Retrieved from:
Lea, C., and Stephan, M. (2018). Nonmonetary Incentives and the Implications of Work as a Source of Meaning. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 32 (3), 215-238. Retrieved from:
Parent, J. D., and Lovelace, K. J. (2015). The Impact of Employee Engagement and a Positive Organizational Culture on an Individual’s Ability to Adapt to Organization Change. 2015 Eastern Academy of Management Proceedings: Organization Behavior and Theory Track, 1-20. Retrieved from:
Schrita, O., and Mohammad, S. H. (2017). Effective Employee Engagement in the Workplace. International Journal of Applied Management and Technology, vol. 16 (1), 50-67