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MGT8049 Building an Engaged Workforce

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Building an Engaged Workforce
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 080399 - Business Mgt not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Kim Southey


Increased employee engagement at work is a significant leadership priority. Recent research for instance identified that along with change management, leadership and organisation adaptation, employee engagement was one of the most challenging priorities for senior management, In particular, creating an environment where a person applies their ‘preferred self’ to task behaviours creates a greater connection to work, increases personal presence (both physical, cognitive and emotional) and enhances a person’s full role performance. In this course, students will master a range of theoretical knowledge related to employee engagement. Students will be able to justify and interpret the different engagement approaches that will help them to develop a range of employee engagement propositions, methodologies and creative ideas designed to increase the engagement of the workforce.


In this course, students will learn about the different aspects of employee engagement theory, in particular, job design, job satisfaction, employee support, psychological safety, job burnout and trust and respect among others. Students will need to acquire a solid body of knowledge in relation to the theoretical background that helps to explain how organisations can best engage their workers and to keep them interested and motivated at work. For instance, students will learn how to align organisational strategy with HR engagement activities. Students however will need to practise a series of work engagement activities designed to help them synthesize between the different approaches, how they can be applied, why one methodology works better than another, why workers become disengaged and what the overall effect of disengaged workers has on organisation productivity. Students will therefore acquire different knowledge and creative skills to be able to evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level while at the same time be able to interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions related to managing employee engagement.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify and interpret different engagement theories that help to explain employee engagement activities at work;
  2. Distinguish between different methodologies, practices, and intervention of engagement;
  3. Critically reflect on their own employee engagement activities;
  4. Apply different engagement techniques to common organisational engagement problems;
  5. Communicate employee engagement solutions in places of work.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theories of Employee Engagement 25.00
2. Organisational Strategy & Engagement 25.00
3. Critical Reflection of Self 10.00
4. Application of Methods and Practices 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There is no requirement to purchase a textbook. All texts and learning resources will be accessible from the course StudyDesk..

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Bailey, C. Madden, A. Alfes, K. Fletcher, L. 2017, The meaning, antecedents and outcomes of employee engagement: A narrative synthesis, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 19, 31-53.
Bakker, A. B. 2011, An evidence-based model of work engagement, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20 (4), 265-269.
Kahn, W. A 1990, Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work., Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4 692-724.
Macey, W. H. Schneider, B. 2008, The meaning of employee engagement, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, 3-30.
Saks, A. M. 2006, Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol 21, Iss 7, 600,619.
Saks, A. M. Gruman, J. A. 2014, What do we really know about employee engagement?, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2. 155-182.
Truss, C, Alfes, K, Delbridge, R, Shantz, A & Soane E 2014, Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice, Routledge, London.
Whittington, JL, Meskelis, S, Asare, E & Beldona, S 2017, Enhancing Employee Engagement: An Evidence-Based Approach, Palgrave-Macmillian, New York.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 50.00
Independent Study 115.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Critical Reflection 100 35 01 Apr 2021 1,3 (see note 1)
Design Organisational Plan 100 65 01 Jun 2021 1,2,4,5 (see note 2)

  1. Critically reflect on your personal experience of employee engagement.
  2. Design and communicate an organisational plan to build employee engagement.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways.
This course:
• conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
• forms part of the Master of Adaptive Leadership and is benchmarked against the comparative activities and performance of similar leadership Masters programs in business-related areas throughout Australia.

Date printed 18 June 2021