JHRSS  Vol.9 No.2 , June 2021
Impact of Career Planning, Employee Autonomy, and Manager Recognition on Employee Engagement
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Abstract: This study investigated the impact of career planning, employee autonomy, and manager recognition on employee engagement through the lens of the social exchange theory. A survey of 120 employees in US small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) was conducted and a multiple regression model was created to answer the research questions seeking to know if career planning, employee autonomy, and manager recognition contributed to employee engagement and if so, to what extent. The results supported the theoretical model of social exchange as well as the hypothesized relationships. In other words, data confirmed the existence of a statistically significant relationship between the independent variables: career planning, employee autonomy, and manager recognition, and the dependent variable, employee engagement. Career planning was identified as a better contributor to engagement as compared to the other two predictors. Manager recognition, while contributing less than career planning, was deemed a better contributor compared to employee autonomy. These findings offer implications for research on social exchange theory as an asset for the organization and suggest that in SMEs, managers need to have career planning discussions with their direct reports. These discussions set employees’ hopes of a promotion and increase their levels of engagement and involvement. Recognizing employees on a regular basis for a job well-done increases their sense of achievement toward their hoped promotion, thus helping to keep them continuously engaged.
Cite this paper: Lartey, F. (2021) Impact of Career Planning, Employee Autonomy, and Manager Recognition on Employee Engagement. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 9, 135-158. doi: 10.4236/jhrss.2021.92010.

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