Refining Employees' Engagement by incorporating Self-Directedness in Training and Work Environments


  • Ms University of Thessaly
  • Dr. University of Thessaly
  • Dr. University of Thessaly
  • Dr.



Employee Engagement, Self-Directedness, Empowerment, Self-actualization, Generation Mix, Psychological Contract, Motivation


Employee engagement constitutes a critical driver of business success in today's competitive marketplace, since it effectuates internal stimuli for action and reaction. Fostering engagement into one’s workforce is not a simple, one-dimensional task, but rather entails a multiplicity of factors and a conglomeration of approaches. The term ‘Employee Engagement’ relates to the level and breadth of an employee's commitment and connection to an organization and is influenced by a variety of factors such as organisational culture and communication schemata, managerial styles and leadership types, general policies and practices within the workplace. To this end, the aim of this paper is to  introduce a strong connection between engagement and self-directedness by melding it with psychologically, educationally  and strategically elaborated notions of facilitation (Knowles, 1975),  self-actualization (Maslow, 1943) and autonomy (Lopes, Calapez and Lopes, 2015)  along with operational tactics of learning and training that can address different mentalities and generations (Berkup, 2014).  Employees need to be assisted in developing and evolving critical skills such as their self-directedness by means of empowerment. This study considers that empowerment and commitment can be achieved if management integrates self-directedness notions and principles into one’s training and work environment. A self-directed employee is a dynamic, self-reflective, mature and autonomous person that chooses to engage and remain engaged.   Self-initiation can be displayed, communicated and instructed, since people are the making of social, cultural and discursive constructions (Lopez et al. 2015). Considering that self-directedness leads to improved personal agency and initiative, adaptability and employability in the labour market, and efficiency in terms of organisational performance, instilling it in employees translates to endorsing engagement  into one’s personnel. That is why a detail literature review approach has been adopted for the research purpose highlighting significant works on self-directedness, empowerment and engagement. The data is collected from various databases, research articles, whitepapers, magazines, project works and the internet. This study contributes to extending literature on the relationship between self-directedness and engagement by addressing key practices and factors that attribute to fortifying their interrelation.