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A perfect match: decoding employee engagement – Part II: engaging jobs and individuals

Cristina de Mello e Souza Wildermuth (Graduate Student, Bowling Green State University, Cridersville, Ohio, USA)
Patrick David Pauken (Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Leadership Studies and Graduate Coordinator of the Leadership Studies Doctoral Programme, School of Leadership and Policy Studies, Bowling Green State University, Cridersville, Ohio, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




Part I of this paper addressed the environmental and leadership factors that contribute to employee engagement. Next, the purpose of this paper is to add the job and person to the engagement equation.


Summarizes the characteristics of engaging jobs. Then, reviews individual personality traits that engaged individuals are more likely to exhibit: hardiness, internal locus of control, active coping style, high self esteem, low neuroticism, and high extraversion. Finally, discusses the importance of a “match” between the employee's preferences and the general work conditions and offers performance improvement implications.


Engagement is a complex topic and a challenging goal. An engagement‐friendly culture values the diversity of talents employees bring to the table, respects individual needs, and inspires all employees to pursue a common and exciting vision of the future. Logically, engagement will not be impacted by a single training program, regardless of its quality. Enhancing engagement is a long‐term proposition.


Individuals are unlikely to become engaged because someone told them they should. Engagement occurs naturally, when the conditions are right, when the leaders are inspiring, when individuals find the ideal place in which to apply their strengths. If this is true, performance improvement professionals might consider the following interventions: educate the leaders; focus on career development; champion work‐life balance; encourage relationships.



de Mello e Souza Wildermuth, C. and Pauken, P.D. (2008), "A perfect match: decoding employee engagement – Part II: engaging jobs and individuals", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 206-210.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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