As a concept, employee engagement brings together a range of earlier concepts such as motivation, commitment and organisational citizenship behaviour. It is usually seen as an internal state of being relating to our physical, mental and emotional states; however, as it is becoming more mainstream in management thinking many see it as encompassing behaviour.
Some phrases used to convey employee engagement include: discretionary effort, going the extra mile feeling valued and passion for work. The Institute for Employment Studies defines employee engagement as ‘a positive attitude held by the employee towards the organisation and its values. An engaged employee is aware of business context, and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organisation. The organisation must work to develop and nurture engagement, which requires a two-way relationship between employer and employee.’