Work wellness of employees in the earthmoving equipment industry
Major changes that emphasise the importance of a balanced work and family life have occurred within organisations. Inability to manage this integration between the work and home domains can affect the performance of organisations and the wellbeing of their employees. In order to measure work-home interaction and wellbeing, it is important to use valid, equivalent and reliable instruments. However, there is a lack of empirical research when investigating work-home interaction, burnout and work engagement in the earthmoving equipment industry in South Africa. Furthermore, the earthmoving equipment industry is a multicultural environment and construct equivalence across subgroups therefore becomes important when measuring work-home interaction, burnout and work engagement across different cultural or language groups. It also seems relevant to consider differences in the work-home interaction and work wellness levels between important demographic groups in the earthmoving equipment industry. It appears as if burnout and engagement can be seen as part of the total wellness continuum; and that job characteristics may be related to burnout and engagement through negative and positive work-home interaction. However, little information was found that included these factors in a structural model for the earthmoving equipment industry. The objectives of this research were to test the psychometric properties of the Survey Work- Home Interaction - Nijmegen (SWING), the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES); to determine if various demographic groups differ with regard to work-home interaction and wellbeing; and to test a structural model that includes job characteristics, work-home interaction and wellbeing for employees in the earthmoving industry. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Random samples (n = 528) were taken from employees in the earthmoving equipment industry in Gauteng, the Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape, the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the North West Province. Structural equation modelling confirmed a four-factor model of work-home interaction which measures negative work-home interference, positive work-home interference, negative homework interference and positive home-work interference. This factor structure was equivalent across language, ethnicity, gender, education, marital status and parental status. All four factors were reliable. The participants reported more negative WHI than negative HWI, and more positive HWI than positive WHI. It was found that statistically significant differences that are based on age, gender, language, ethnicity, a partner's contribution to household income and the different business units exist between the demographic groups. The results confirmed a four-factor structure of burnout (exhaustion, cognitive weariness, cynicism and professional efficacy) and a two-factor structure of work engagement (including vigour and dedication). These structures were equivalent across language and education groups, and all scales were reliable. SEM analyses supported a two-factor structure for the wellness construct, consisting of burnout (exhaustion, cognitive weariness and cynicism) and engagement (vigour, dedication and professional efficacy), which was equivalent for the language and education groups. Statistically significant differences that are based on age, gender, language and the different business units were found between the demographic groups. Structural equation modelling showed that job demands are associated with negative WHI and consequently with burnout, providing support for a full-mediation effect of negative WHI. Job resources were associated with negative WHI and consequently with burnout, providing support for partial mediation of negative WHI between job resources and burnout. Job resources were also associated with positive WHI and consequently with engagement, providing support for partial mediation of positive WHI between job resources and engagement. Recommendations for the organisation and future research were made.