Employee Engagement: Sant Dnyaneshwar Perspective

Dnyaneshwar MaharajIn modern days Employee engagement has become important aspect for organizations. Many companies deploy variety of activities to increase the engagement. Most of the big corporations are now keeping engagement as strategically important aspect to understand and project organization’s health.
Along with the company’s vision HR has also started putting their vision statement and invariably employee engagement is becoming necessary parts of their vision statement.
Today leaders are not content to have their people be “satisfied” Instead, leaders want their people to be “engaged” because – the thinking goes – if they are engaged, involved, invested, etc., they will work enthusiastically to further the interests of the enterprise, and they will be more likely to stay committed and connected to the organization over time.
Engagement can affect employees’ attitudes, absence and turnover levels and various studies have demonstrated links with productivity, increasingly pointing to a high correlation with individual, group and organizational performance, a success measured through the qall-signs-indicate-that-current-and-emerging-leaders-need-to-have-a-0dO2n6-clipartuality of customer experience and customer loyalty
According to (Kahn W. A., 1990) employee engagements is the harnessing of organization member’s selves to their work roles: In engagement people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performance.
During my doctoral research on the same subject, I observed there is no common or universal definition for employee engagement…
Sant Dnyaneshwar is one of the great literary scholars about 700 years back in central part of India. He translated Shri Mad Bhagvad Geeta (Geeta as popularly known), in common colloquial or spoken language Marathi. His literature pieces are excellence by par.
You might wonder why did, I switched over the topic of Employee Engagement to a saint poet or literary scholar. However this is not a diversion from the main topic. In absence of the universal definition and collection of information about employee engagement during my doctoral research I came across many attributes of “Employee Engagement” however it was opinion of many scholars. While compiling whole of these concept I traced parallel with a literature piece composed by Sant Dnyaneshwar I felt these lines of him covers most of the concepts given by vivid scholars under one umbrella.
This blog is to cover those concepts/ attributes of employee engagement vis-à-vis Sant Dnyaneshwar’s composition.
Vigor, Dedication and Absorption are major aspects of Employee Engagement tossed Maslach et al.
Kahn talks about engagement levels as Cognitive, Emotional and Physical. Csiksentmihalyi talks about 2 important aspects Job Involvement and Flow.

Let’s explore all above attributes and Saint Dnyaneshwar’s Composition.
मी माझें मोहित राहिलें निवांत । एकरूप तत्व देखिलें गे माये ॥१॥
In this line of his composition he says “I realised the one inherent motivating reality of the universe (in our context organization) and being part of it, I am enthralled and at peace”
In this stanza he narrates that, he has identified that factor which makes you feel, you are engaged with the organization. He says after realizing this I am at peace, which also underlines the deeper feeling of an employee when he is engaged with organization.
Employee engagement is a psychological condition; it’s a feeling and emotion.
द्वैताच्या गोष्टी हरपल्या शेवटीं । विश्वरुपें मिठी देत हरी ॥२॥
All experiences of duality have disappeared, and my universal form itself has dissolved in Hari
Let’s consider Hari in this line as “Vision of the organization”. This goes in line with the concept given by Csiksentmihalyi’s concept of Flow, according to him Flow means “Holistic, sensation, people feel when they act with total involvement”
The total involvement in job, work comes only when there is no difference seen in the organization and self. Its a feeling of being in-charge of your work area or entrepreneurial feeling for the work.
Sant Dyaneshwar talks about two aspects “Duality is disappeared” and “self’s organizational form is dissolved in Vision”
One can explore and get more detailed and can say it is due to the feeling of Vigor, Dedication and Absorption.
छाया-माया-काया हरिरूपीं ठायी । चिंतिता विलया एक तेजीं ॥३॥
Reflection (Cognitive), the illusion (emotional) and physical being if towards Hari, and when self remember it I get merged into its sole radiance
As per Khan engagement takes at 3 levels

1. Cognitive

2. Emotional

3. Physical/ Behavioral

An engaged employee is congruent with his/her thought, felt and outcome level. Sant Dnyaneshwar emphasizes importance of all these 3 levels to be congruent in order to see that radiance (engagement in our language).
ज्ञानदेवा पहा ओहंसोहंभावा । हरिरुपीं दुहा सर्वकाळ ॥४॥
Dnyanadev says observe the principle of “I am” “I am that”, that offers the ultimate everlasting satisfaction.
Sant Dnyaneshwar doesn’t stop here, he also gives remedy to bring engaged environment at organization. He says Observe the principle “I am” and “I am that” from both employee as well as employer/ organization side. He also stresses upon the time, when should this be done? He says सर्वकाळ (sarvakaal) means always.
As an elaboration to this, here congruent employee needs to know what all is expected from my job, manager, organization and people around, on the other hand organization also needs to know what are the cognitive, emotional , economical and social needs of employee in order to have that everlasting satisfaction.
One important aspect that we can take from सर्वकाळ (sarvakaal), is that such engagement is outcome of continual actions and not one or two activities in order to get the engagement.

Hope these verses will guide all of us working in and for organization in whatever level will lead to engaging environment


Image Courtesy : http://jcos.mauligroup.org/web/AboutUs.aspx?id=2



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