Innate and acquired work engagement

Work engagement is trending right now in organisational behaviour since most studies and researches claim that engagement is correlated to work performance. But there are so many things that we haven’t found out yet about work engagement and need further studies to clarify it.

As work engagement is recognised its importance, employers and employees are trying to acquire it but how…?  I came across a lot of tips of building or getting work engagement in workplace. Here are some of them:

Show people a future

The easiest way to make people focus on something is setting a goal or a finish line. People would feel desperate if they think they are on never-ending road. They have no idea what’s waiting at the end of the road. Setting attractive and beautiful career path is the way to make employees feel more engaged and put more effort to the work to achieve that goal.

Give people autonomy

Now that everyone has their own goal to achieve, then give them trust and power to get things done. Employees feel not engaged when their employers tell or force them to do something they are not willing to do it because it is not their ideas. Giving people autonomy not only makes employees happier but also makes them understand what they are working towards (since they work on their own) that lead to better work performance.

Make people see their importance

Some employees feel not engaged with their works and even their workplace because they think that their duties is not important. For example, a janitor feels that he is just a person who clean up the workplace but actually his duty makes better work atmosphere for everyone and keeps the business going on.

Although it seems like work engagement can be built and developed over time, there is one controversial dilemma regarding work engagement is that “Is engagement innate or acquired?” It’s still inconclusive and I think it is hard to conclude it. I personally think that engagement could be both innate and acquired. The engagement building tips and the controversial dilemma I mentioned earlier bring me to the question “Is there any difference between innate and acquired engagement?”

In my opinion, I think innate engagement is better and more effective than acquired one because I don’t think that you can force people to feel engaged for long period of time if they don’t really feel it. Acquired engagement only makes people focus or concentrate to get something done or achieve the goal and they tend to be more tense than people that born with engagement. On the other hand, people that born with engagement have passion, energy, involvement and enthusiasm. They tend to feel free and happy to work hard on something without getting tense and are willing to contribute to business success and these people are feel engaged for longer period of time.

Therefore, the big difference between innate and acquired is the reason why people feel engaged. Engaged just to achieve goal or genuinely engaged because of their subconscious. In conclusion, feeling engaged is good either innate or acquired. It shows that you are focusing on something and contributing something to your workplace.



– Arnold B. Bakker, Michael P. Leite, Work Engagement, A handbook of essential theory and research, 2010, P. 10-14

– Richard Bevan, 10 Steps to Build Employee Engagement,

– Matthew Partovi, 8 tips for improving employee (or customer) engagement,

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