A model of work-related well-being in the chemical industry
Organisations in the chemical industry face many demands. They have to distinguish themselves from their competitors in the market through technological advancement, market changes and the constant drive to be the best. Other demands include political pressures, e.g. employment equity and diversity management. Furthermore they have to attempt to reduce costs as well as to increase productivity. These pressures may have either a negative or positive effect on employees which could in turn impact on their energy and motivation. Higher job demands and a lack of job resources could result in high levels of exhaustion, demotivation, dissatisfaction and disengagement. Job demands refer to those physical, psychological or organisational aspects of the job that require specific effort and are associated with physiological and psychological costs. Job resources refer to the aspects of the job that may be functional in meeting task requirements and may reduce the physiological and psychological costs; they may also stimulate growth as well as the development of an individual. The objective of this study was to test a structural model of work-related well-being showing the relationships amongst the variables of job demands, job resources, exhaustion, mental distance, vitality, work devotion, health and organisational commitment. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The participants (JV=265) included employees working for a business within the chemical industry. The South-African Employee Health and Wellness Survey (SAEHWS) was used to gather data on the work-related well-being of employees. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach's alpha coefficients, correlation coefficients and structural equation modelling were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that high job demands and insufficient job resources resulted in high levels of burnout (exhaustion and mental distance), which led to physical and psychological ill health. Adequate job resources on the other hand resulted in work-related well-being (low burnout and high work engagement), which in turn resulted in organisational commitment. Growth opportunities within the job and organisational support played an important role in the well-being of the employees. Recommendations for future research were made.