Flourishing of employees in the information technology industry in South Africa
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Organisations worldwide are experiencing an explosion of knowledge in the current technological information age as well as a serious skills shortage. The fast-paced aggressive and highly cyclical nature of the profession which often does not provide employees with the necessary resources and support causes employees in the information technology (IT) industry to show high turnover intent which is extremely costly and detrimental to organisational success. IT specialists are becoming a scarce commodity in a highly competitive environment where financial gain is very important and employee well-being is not necessarily a prerogative. Employers are faced with additional obligations than just paying equitable salaries, such as creating an environment that is conducive towards well-being. Efforts to promote flourishing and optimal functioning of employees will affect individual and organisational outcomes. Flourishing and languishing are opposite end points on a continuum of mental health indicating the emotional, psychological and social well-being of individuals. An individual who feels well (emotional well-being) is more likely to function well (psychological and social well-being) which means meeting the criteria for positive mental health as flourishing. Investments in the well-being of employees lay the basis for positive employment relations. The aim of this study was to investigate the flourishing of employees in the information technology industry and to determine the antecedents and outcomes thereof. A cross-sectional survey design was used to gather data regarding the flourishing of IT professionals and its outcomes. A convenience sample (N = 205) was taken of employees in information technology organisations in South Africa. The measuring instruments used were the Mental Health Continuum Short Form, Job Satisfaction Scale, Work Engagement Scale, Work-related Basic Need Satisfaction Scale, Work Role Fit Scale, Psychological Contract Inventory, Violations of PC Questionnaire, Organisational Commitment Scale, Turnover Intention Scale and Counterproductive Work Behaviour measures. The results of study 1 showed that 58.5% of the IT professionals were neither languishing nor flourishing, while 3.9% were languishing. Flourishing strongly impacted job satisfaction and had minor to moderate direct and indirect effects on organisational citizenship behaviour and organisational commitment. Job satisfaction impacted directly and positively on organisational commitment and negatively on turnover intention; and moderately negatively on counterproductive behaviour. Flourishing had both a direct and positive effect, and an indirect and negative effect (via organisational commitment) on turnover intention. Study 2 showed that psychological contract breach and violation strongly and negatively impacted flourishing at work and in life. The results provided support for a model in which psychological contract breach and violation had both direct and indirect effects via satisfaction of psychological needs on job satisfaction, work engagement, turnover intention and flourishing of IT professionals. Study 3 showed that work role fit and the availability of resources were strong predictors of flourishing at work and in life. Work role fit, the availability of resources, and supervisor relations impacted job satisfaction and social well-being indirectly through autonomy satisfaction. The availability of resources impacted work engagement and psychological well-being indirectly via competence satisfaction. Furthermore, work role fit, the availability of resources, and supervisor relations impacted psychological well-being indirectly through relatedness. Recommendations for future research were made.