Supervisor behaviour, psychological need satisfaction, employee engagement and intention to leave
MetadataShow full item record
For organisations in South Africa to preserve talented and skilled employees it is important that these organisations consider the psychological needs of their employees. This is particularly true for supervisors and their relationships with their subordinates. South Africans are daily engaged in working and influencing people within their workplaces. Although supervisors are not capable of addressing or changing all the problems and concerns of employees, they can intervene in order to improve the quality of their employees’ working lives. A suggested point to start with is within the supervisor’s behaviour and their relationships with employees, due to its effect on employee engagement and intentions to leave. Consequently, when employees experience a deprived relationship with their supervisors, it will contribute to lower employee engagement levels and higher intentions to leave. To possibly decrease the negative impact of supervisor behaviour, it is important that supervisors pay attention and create an environment in which satisfaction of the psychological needs of their subordinates can be maintained. The objectives of this study were to investigate the relations between supervisor behaviour (that supports psychological need satisfaction), psychological need satisfaction, employee engagement and intentions to leave. A convenience sample (N = 139) of employees working under the guidance of a leader/supervisor was taken from manufacturing companies across South Africa. Participation in the study was voluntary. A measuring battery measuring supervisor behaviour (i.e. perceptions of supervisor support, trust and competence-focused behaviour), work-related basic need satisfaction (i.e. the satisfaction of psychological needs such as autonomy, competence and relatedness) work engagement (i.e. cognitive, emotional and physical engagement) and intention to leave was used. Descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analyses, alpha coefficients, Pearson product-moment correlations, and multiple regression analyses were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that the measuring instruments used in this study were valid and reliable for further analyses. The results showed that supervisor support comprised one factor and not three factors as expected. Furthermore, the results showed that supervisor support for autonomy, competence and relatedness had a large effect on autonomy satisfaction and a medium effect on relatedness satisfaction. Supervisor relations did not impact competence satisfaction. The effect of supervisor support on autonomy satisfaction was larger than on relatedness satisfaction. Results from this study showed that supervisor support, autonomy satisfaction and competence satisfaction affected work engagement. Employees will tend to be engaged when supervisors demonstrate supportive behaviour and when they are able to regulate themselves because they feel a sense of competence and autonomy. The results also showed that supervisor support for psychological need satisfaction, autonomy satisfaction and relatedness satisfaction predicted employees’ intentions to leave organisations. Lastly, the results showed that supervisor support for psychological need satisfaction impacted employee engagement indirectly and positively via autonomy satisfaction, and indirectly and negatively impacted intention to leave via autonomy dissatisfaction. Recommendations were made for manufacturing organisations as well as for future research. Manufacturing organisations and employees should comprehend the impact of supervisor behaviour and psychological need satisfaction on outcomes such as employee engagement and intentions to leave, as both parties are similarly affected by its consequences. Interventions should be implemented to address the satisfaction of employees’ basic psychological needs. Additionally, manufacturing organisations should understand the importance of supervisor behaviour and the impact it can have on their business unit and the organisation as a whole. Recommendations for future research were made.
- Humanities