The impact of mission–directed work teams on employee engagement within the platinum industry
Twala, Moses Bongani
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Employee engagement is defined as worker’s willingness and ability to contribute to a company’s success, the extent to which employees put in discretionary effort into their work (Kennedy and Daim 2010, Hundley et al., 2005) which explains the researchers approach in assessing the impact of mission-directed work teams towards employee engagement. Lonmin Plc. the third largest producer of platinum registered on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE) has embarked on integrating its operational activities, with the view of advocating its strategic alignment towards every employee in the organization by implementing the MDWTs initiative on every shop floor level. This programme focused on aligning every activity throughout the organization to facilitate proper defined key performance indicators (KPIs) through the business, to improve the company’s competitiveness in the mining sector. As per the basis of this empirical study, the researcher has chosen to analyse the impact of the MDWTs programme on employee engagement at Lonmin to answer the question “Does the MDWTs programme have a positive impact on employee engagement in the mining industry?” The targeted group for this study was about 300 shop floor employees of Lonmin within the process division. The research study only managed to achieve 50% of the total targeted group. During the period of the study, 149 participants (129 males and 17 females) participated in the study. Employees are generally satisfied with the impact of the MDWTs programme on their development, on the communication improvement, and mainly, the involvement of employees towards the organization’s strategic goals. The majority of the employees are of the opinion that the tool may require improvement or growth in order to remain sustainable towards its objective; otherwise, a different programme may be sought in the future should the status quo remain the same. However, there is a huge discrepancy on different sub-divisions’ perception on the maturity level of the MDWTs programme, although the researcher did not open the study for additional suggestions on how to improve the intervention. The instrument designed and used in this study produced a reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s alpha above .80) and the validity analysis of eight factor items. On the basis of the empirical study conducted, it can be concluded that the missiondirected work teams programme was shown, statistically and practically, to have an impact on employee engagement with Lonmin and that communication, involvement, strategic alignment and employee development improved due to the use of the MDWTs’ initiatives.