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Engaging Staff in the Workplace

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{Excerpt} Social exchange theory sheds light on the reciprocal relationship between perceptions of an organization’s enabling environment, capacity, and organizational motivation and staff willingness to maximize individual and collective performance. Yet, until recently, human resource specialists introduced cleaner, whiter, or more “colory” practices by administrative circular or order, typically after a modicum of consultation. Top-, middle-, and first-level managers would enforce adherence to the line. Organizations are communities, the members of which want worthwhile jobs that inspire them. Naturally, a committed and willing workforce brings substantial benefits. Some time ago, we recognized that formal relationships cannot by themselves be expected to conduce these entirely: implicit employer–employee exchanges matter. Belatedly, we concede that perceptions of an organization’s rules, ethos, and capabilities, not just the experience staff have of human resource practices, drive levels of effort and associated degrees of job satisfaction. More and more, organizations say they are looking for win–win solutions that match their needs with those of personnel: they examine the question of motivation with a fresh sense of purpose and conviction. Better still, high-performance organizations marshal and direct substantial resources to build effective behaviors and relationships, often in concert with human resource divisions. Engaging staff has come of age: in the 21st century, the concept affirms the importance of flexibility, change, and unremitting improvement in the workplace.

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2010-10-01

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Asian Development Bank; ADB; poverty; economic growth; sustainability; development

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Government Document

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Required Publisher Statement: This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org).

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