Employee engagement is trending as major concern among business globally as business look for innovative ways to be sustainable and remain competitive. Identifying and investigating the various work contexts that influence employee commitment and retention is a priority that directly impacts business bottom line. In the context of employee engagement, the exploratory research study investigates the barriers to employee engagement and in what way performance management systems can be leveraged to motivate enhance employee engagement.
The study was conducted in Gauteng with senior management and Human Resource experts from the largest four banks in South Africa. Data for the study was gathered through eighteen semi-structured interviews conducted by the researcher and all interviews were recorded on audio disc. The subjects of the study were selected using a non-probability purposive sampling technique.
The results suggest that business acknowledge employee engagement as a key component of business strategy and performance management systems is a critical organisational process, which may be used tap into the discretionary efforts of employees. The results reveal that the barriers to performance management are shared with employee engagement, and when these are conquered, employee engagement improves.
The results recommend that to improve employee engagement the right leaders must be selected and trained and the environment must be one of trust, accountability and transparency. The results reveal that leaders must set out clear expectations to drive performance management and employee engagement to actively influence employees to participate and engage.