The employer-employee relationship has always been governed by the understanding that the employee is simply a hired hand to complement the business owner in the process of achieving a firm’s set objectives. The rest of the other activities and phenomena are taken for granted – ‘I employ you, you do your work I pay you’, so the circle continues. The employer drives the employee to perform to enable the firm reach its objectives and give a good return on the investments. The rest of the other activities are merely a means to an end, understood to be merely a symbiotic relation, one hand washing the other. The concept of employee-engagement as a management tool does not seem to hold much strength and appreciation amongst managers whose sole purpose is to produce results. This paper brings into light empirical research indicating that industry captains do not focus on human capital as critical for effective productivity. The managers resort to hiring and firing as a means of boosting productivity, slave driving to increase labour performance. The industry captains are quick to point a finger to the labour as inhibiting free will hiring and firing as a solution to poor productivity. Consequently, the industry may be breeding a generation of non-devoted, convenience employees resulting in mediocre performance. The question asked always is; why does South Africa have low productivity? The paper points the problem to the failure of management to capitalize on the benefits of employee-engagement as an accessory to effective management by impression.
Key words: Commitment to the firm, conducive work-environment, employee-engagement, manager-employee-relationship, peer-relationship and productivity.
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