Psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and work engagement of employees in a surface coatings manufacturer
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While innovation, individualisation, human rights and quality of life are acknowledged and valued by modern society, changes in the workplace such as a focus on efficiency, globalisation, restructuring, downsizing, acquisitions and merges impact, often negatively, on a workforce. A better understanding ofthese forces, as well as understanding the deeper needs of employees in organisations, should be pursued in order to optimise the workplace. South Africa is currently experiencing a skills shortage while the unemployment figures are well above 40 percent. As it is often said, the distinguishing economic resource in the twenty-first century is not commodities, but the human resource that organisations need to attract, develop and motivate in order to retain the correct type of employees. An approach is needed where both positive outcomes for the individual worker and the organisation may be achieved, including organisational performance, effective management of change, greater employee engagement and commitment, and effective talent management. Thus, the objective of this study was to identify any relationship that might exist between psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and work engagement and to determine whether psychological empowerment may predict job satisfaction and work engagement. A cross-sectional survey design was used in the study. One-hundred-and-fifty- three (N = 153) employees participated in the study in a surface coatings manufacturing organisation in Gauteng. The Psychological Empowerment Scale (MEQ), Revised Job Satisfaction Scale (JSQ), and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) were used. The results indicated that a statistically significant positive correlation between intrinsic motivation and work engagement (practically significant, medium effect) and meaning, correlated positively (practically significant, medium effect) with intrinsic motivation and work engagement. Extrinsic motivation correlated statistically significantly (practically significant, large effect) with work engagement. VI The regresslOn analysis indicated that 34 percent of the variance explained in work engagement is predicted by psychological empowerment (i.e. influence (impact and self-detennination), meaning, and competence) and job satisfaction (i.e. extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation). No statistically significant differences regarding psychological empowerment could be found between tenure and educational levels. However, statistically significant differences were found for gender and language groups. Recommendations for future research were made.