A comparative study of engagement within an academical institution
Meintjes, Carel Frederick
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One of the most valuable assets in any organisation is the employees, although a small percent of employees in organisations are truly motivated and energised. It is essential for organisations to look into the engagement of its employees. This mini-dissertation focuses on a comparative study of the occupational wellness between lecturers and the technical IT support staff of an academic institution of the North West province in South Africa. The objectives were to determine and compare the engagement of employees in the categories mentioned above. Thereafter a comparison was made with specific aspects of the work and work environment. Literary research was done in order to discuss and conceptualise terms such as wellness and health, occupational stress and occupational wellness. Thereafter the burnout and engagement concepts were discussed. Empirical research was done by using questionnaires that were disseminated among the two different employee groups identified for the study. Firstly, the Work and Well-being questionnaire was used to determine the work engagement levels of the different groups. This questionnaire focussed on the vigour, absorption and dedication dimensions of the study sample. In this survey the reliability indicated that all the dimensions of engagement were accepted and that employees of the IT support staff group have an overall higher level of work engagement than the lecturer group. Secondly, the Job Resources questionnaire was used to evaluate how specific aspects of the work and work environment are experienced by both IT personnel and lecturing personnel. Results gained from the Cronbach's alpha coefficient method indicated that the questionnaire regarding factors like emotional overload, achievement, collegiality, supervision, information regarding performance and satisfaction with pay were indicated as reliable and accurate. The results from the Job Resources questionnaire indicated that emotional overload and feelings of achievement in the work environment is higher in the IT group than for lecturers. The rest of the factors tested were significantly equal for both groups. The final chapter takes the information from the previous chapters to reach a conclusion. The key finding was that the IT sample has a higher level of absorption and dedication of engagement than the lecturer sample. Secondly, the findings were that the emotional overload and achievement for the sample population is higher for the IT staff than the lecturing staff. The collegiality, supervision, information regarding performance and satisfaction with pay were at the same level for both the IT group and lecturer group. Limitations were identified along with recommendations to the organisation and future research possibilities.