The academic study of engagement has its roots in studies of happiness and of burnout. Happiness consists of three distinct dimensions, namely, pleasure, meaning and engagement. The dimension of engagement is highly relevant to a working environment. The positive outcomes that have been linked to engagement have driven much of the research in this field.
Living in an increasingly competitive world where performance and competitive advantage guide the thinking patterns it has become important to investigate this concept in a local setting in order to determine its roots, its predictors and the underlying processes that influence and determine engagement.
The following abstract and article was written by Coen Welsh, Managing Consultant at Capacity Trust.
This is because it is not clear what the levels of employee engagement are in Namibian organisations. It is also unclear what the psychological conditions and antecedents of engagement are in Namibian organisations and whether these are consistent with findings elsewhere. In addition to this it also is not clear what the effects of the psychological conditions, and antecedents thereof, are on employee engagement in Namibian organisations. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of engagement in Namibian organisations as well as the antecedents and underlying psychological conditions that lead to engagement. In this study a cross-sectional survey design was used with a sample of 309 currently employed individuals. A biographical questionnaire together with the Antecedents Questionnaire, Psychological Conditions Questionnaire and Engagement Questionnaire were used as measuring instruments. Statistical analysis in terms of descriptive, factor, correlation, canonical, multiple regression and mediation analyses have been conducted.
Results showed that Namibian employees showed higher levels of engagement than those of employees investigated in other areas. In addition, it was shown that rewards, co-worker relations, resources, supervisor relations, job enrichment, self-consciousness, work role fit and organisational support had statistically significant relationships with employee engagement. Psychological meaningfulness mediated the relationship between job enrichment and work role fit on the one hand and employee engagement on the other.
However, the relationship between co-worker relations and engagement was not mediated by psychological meaningfulness. The relationship between resources and engagement was not mediated by psychological availability. In this study, psychological safety did not mediate the relationship between co-worker relations and engagement. However, psychological safety mediated the relationship between supervisor relations and self-consciousness on the one hand and employee engagement on the other. The results build on previous findings regarding antecedents of employee engagement by confirming the important role of psychological meaningfulness and psychological availability as intervening variables between work context factors and employee engagement.