Employee engagement in retail organisations : the new normal post Covid-19?

J.A. Wiid

Vol 16 | Issue 2, pp. 135-144


Satisfied employees play an essential role in bringing financial and non-financial outcomes for any kind of organisation. Employees need to be engaged, both mentally and physically, with the organisation’s goals, mission, vision and roles. Research showed that companies can enjoy great customer experience and superior business results through engaging their employees. In the light of the health crisis of COVID-19 and its aftermath, the general aim of the study is to examine employee engagement practices among retail organisations in South Africa. The study adopted the approach “Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent” developed by Temkin Group. These five constructs were used to develop the conceptual framework and hypotheses, which were tested through quantitative method and structural equation modelling. The data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire that was circulated and hand-delivered to a sample of 250 employees functioning at various levels in retail organisations across South Africa. The results showed that, except for instruct, three employee engagement practices including inform, involve, and incentivise were significantly related to “inspire”. It indicates that the organisations that are higher in inform, involve and incentivise practices are also higher in inspiring practice. In addition, an overall evaluation of the Five I’s indicated low mean values, indicating employee engagement practices need more improvement. It has implications for human resource managers, decision-makers and retail managers regarding effective design and implementation of employee engagement practices, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Keywords:       retailing, South Africa; employee engagement; employee involvement; employee instruction

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