Work wellness in the chemical industry
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Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of issues of employee well-being. The ever increasing demands of the competitive and stressful workplace environment, personal relationships, time constraints and lack of a work-life balance are slowly but surely taking their toll on people's physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellness. Corporate well-being is defined in terms of healthier employees who produce more and cost less, which emphasises that the chemical industry needs to give focused attention to wellness interventions. The first step in enhancing work wellness is the successful diagnosis of burnout and work engagement, as well as investigating the components that wellness consists of to ensure that the correct issues receive attention. It is important though that reliable and valid instruments be used to measure the constructs. Furthermore, little information exists regarding the wellness, burnout, engagement and job demands and job resources of employees in the chemical industry. The general aim of this study was to assess and investigate correlations of components that will influence well-being for employees, to measure combined values using the Values Scale and Career Orientation Inventory, and to assess the effects of job demands on job resources, burnout and engagement. A cross-sectional survey design was used with random samples (N = 490) of employees in the chemical industry. A biographical questionnaire, Affectometer 2 (AFM), the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R), the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ), the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Values Scale (VS), the Career Orientation Inventory (COI), the Job Demands-Resources Scale (JDRS), the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS), and the Utrecth Work Engagement Scale (UWES) were administered. Cronbach alpha coefficients, exploratory factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multiple regression analysis were used to analyse the data. Structural equation modelling was used to test a structural model of work wellness. A principal factor analysis with a varimax rotation indicated a three-factor model of well-being. The first factor was labelled general well-being expectations, consisting of satisfaction with life, positive and negative affect, optimism, pessimism, and professional efficacy. The second factor was labelled motivation, and included intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, as well as affective commitment. The third factor was labelled energy, and included cynicism, exhaustion, and general health. A rotated factor matrix indicated eight factors that can be extracted from the Values Scale and be regarded as life values (Improvement of the Self and Others, Physical Activity and Risk, Autonomy, Social Relations, Prestige, Economic Rewards and Security, Aesthetics, and Cultural Connectedness). The career anchors were also sorted into six factors as based on the rotated factor matrix, being: Challenge, Influence, Security, Service, Autonomy, and Management, and can be described as work values. A second-order factor analysis indicated that job demands consist of overload, and job resources of organisational support, growth opportunities, job insecurity, social support, and advancement. A lack of job resoureces and high job demands lead to unwellness, while the presence of job resources lead to well-being. The contributions made to Industrial Psychology as a science were discussed and recommendations for future research were made.