At our recent International Research Seminar chaired by Dr Martin McCracken, leading researcher Jamie Gruman from the University of Guelph, Ontario, shared insights from management and psychology research on how workplaces should be structured to optimise employee engagement and wellbeing.

Jamie begins by exploring the term employee engagement and its 3 antecedents:

  • Psychological Meaningfulness
  • Psychological Safety; and
  • Psychological availability

He then shares what the latest research conducted during the pandemic tells us about employee engagement.  He concludes that these three antecedents of engagement remain valid even during periods of intense pressure and can still promote engagement during a crisis.

Jamie then considers implications for practice, highlighting that organisations who implement caring HR practices, are responsive to employee needs, instil a sense of meaningfulness and clear work boundaries can promote employee engagement even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Jamie Gruman is a Professor and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Management at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.

Martin McCracken is a Co-Investigator on the PrOPEL Hub and Research Director at Ulster University.