Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2020 Vol: 19 Issue: 4

Are Engaged Employees More Satisfied and Personally Attached? A Process Model Approach

Rizwan Qaiser Danish, University of the Punjab

Ahmed Muneeb Mehta, University of the Punjab

Qaiser Malik, The University of Lahore

Hina Saleem, University of the Punjab

Farah Naz Naqvi, University of the Punjab

Farid Ahmad, Karadeniz Teknik University

Abstract

The attractiveness of employee engagement among works of business organizations has motivated numerous academicians and practitioners to study this area in more depth. But these studies have been focusing more concerning finance or marketing point of view rather than or-ganizational behavior in which limited theoretical studies have been conducted, particularly how employee engagement is important for employees’ careers. This article intends to analyze Paki-stan’s services sector in terms of the employee engagement outcomes. Data were collected through the questionnaire which was prepared to measure the variables. Overall, 409 useable questionnaires were used from which average age and working experience are 25-29 years and 2-5 years respectively with 68.7 percent male respondents. Analysis is carried out through con-firmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employee engagement; their association with the organization as well as the relationship with their superiors at work place all has a significant impact on their job satisfaction. The human resources department of the service sector may implement the findings of this research to enhance employee engagement in their respective organizations. Small sample size a limitation. Implications are discussed at the end.

Keywords

Job Satisfaction, Intrinsic Rewards, Employee Engagement, Personal Attachment.

Introduction

Since the last few decades, employee engagement has gained much attention in field of social science and business research. Employee engagement along with integrity, teaming, and collaboration positively associated with various outcomes at individual as well as organizational level (Stroud, 2009). Employee engagement describes by numerous consulting firms in the vari-ous business issue including financial performance, reduced accident rates in organizations, indi-vidual productivity, the cost of goods sold, sales and revenue growth, managerial effectiveness, reduced absenteeism, and reduced turnover.

Engaged workers are more enthusiastic and energetic to perform work activities in an ef-fective manner and efficiently. Sahaufeli et al. (2002) in his research work describes employee’s engagement as a reflection of work related mindset achieved after fulfillment of desired tasks. This includes physical/mental strength, ability to take things how they come and last but not the least, the will to complete a task. Harter et al. (2002) from the Gallup Organization interpret em-ployee engagement as the satisfaction and involvement of the individual with the assigned work.

The intellectual as well as the emotional commitment to an organization refers to em-ployee engagement by the workers in their job. On the other hand, employee engagement also refers to intellectual and emotional commitment towards what you say, staying with what you have committed and going an extra mile to achieve it. Furthermore, employee engagement is a thorough conceptualization of how worker associates to his/her job.

In the recent years, engagement has become one of the most noteworthy concepts in the field of management. In academic research only work definition of employee engagement is be-ing tested for validity. A few studies have been found on employee engagement.

The purpose of this research-based article is to observe the possible consequences of em-ployee engagement in the service sector of Pakistan. The objectives of this study include; exam-ine the effect of employees’ engagement on Job satisfaction. Observe the relationship among employees’ engagement and Personal attachment with an organization. Examine the association among employees’ engagement and their acknowledgment from workplace. Last but not the least, this research tends to examine the effect of employee engagement on relationships with supervisors.

Employee engagement has been conceived in three different perspectives in previous re-search. Kahn (1990) advocated employee engagement as a multifaceted impression. Shuck & Wollard (2010) said that Kahn’s work about the concept of employee engagement is the groundwork for an establishment of its theoretical framework. As stated by Kahn (1990), that “the people are expressed and emotionally involved in employee engagement”. A cognitive frac-tion of employee engagement is associated with the perceptions employees hold about their su-periors, organization, and the overall organizational environment while employees’ feelings are often linked with the emotional component of employee engagement. These feelings are on the subject of the factors as mentioned above including the attitude of employees regarding their or-ganizations and leaders.

On the flip side researchers pointed out the second method to analyze the concept of en-gagement which was a real antithesis to aspects including cynicism, inefficacy, and exhaustion (Shuck & Wollard, 2010). The third method for the engagement of employees was introduced by Schaufeli et al. (2002) they gave a particular observation regarding burnout theory of engage-ment they were of the view that there is “A positive fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption”. In our review, most of the studies used the Schaufeli et al. (2002) definition of work engagement (Danish et al., 2014; Devi, 2017; Victor & Hoole, 2017).

The basis for this research was adapted from the research of Schaufeli et al. (2002) which employs conceptualization as the expression of engagement because of the following three grounds. Firstly, the engagement of employees was not defined by Kahn (1990) even though he introduced a theoretical foundation for it (Kim et al., 2009). Secondly, Maslach & Leiter (1997) proposed or find out the corresponding negative relationship between engagement and burnout. Lastly, definition and the gauging of engagement (UWES) are refried and utilized many times in different studies, and it is also comprehension discussed in the literature of engagement (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008). So, this study is focusing on the engagement of employee’s definition by Schaufeli’s.

A Job attitude like job satisfaction and job commitment develops personal attachment for the organization. The results indicate that a significant relationship with these job attitudes and turnover, also show the strongest relationship in time closest when to leave the organization (Porter et al., 1974). Sheldon (1971) explains that professional commitment increased with job experience and social involvement especially with the medium length of service. Angle & Perry (1983) describe that in the member-based model and organizational-based model extrinsic as-pects of satisfaction were strongly associated with organizational commitment as compared to an intrinsic aspect. Meyer & Allen (1991) categorize commitments as normative, continuance and affective commitment. Blau (1964) found an association between organizational commitment and employee engagement with the help of social exchange theory and job demand resources.

The results indicate that the work characteristics like social support, task characteristics, and career expectation helps employees to accomplish successfully their goals and tasks because these resources provide foster employee growth, development, core human needs and learning (Houkes et al., 2001).

A socioeconomic resource builds a sense of responsibility in organizational employees (Cohen, 2000). Previous studies assert that organizational commitment has a strong relationship between employee engagements (Saks, 2006). Schaufeli & Bakker (2004) believe that work en-gagement has a positive association between the work experiences; it’s just because of that the organization meets employee’s human needs. Employees complete organization goals with the help of resources like mentoring from management, supportive colleagues, training, autonomy, and proper feedback. Organizational commitment is an element of employee engagement which leads to perform organizational work with best efforts and enthusiasm (Atchison & Leffers, 1972).

More often, employees are satisfied with the way their organizations support them (Weiss, 2002). Job satisfaction leads to positive workplace behaviour, intention, attitudes and both directly and indirectly performance outcomes at different levels. Extensive job satisfactions define as a sentiment and feeling toward specific tasks as well as their outcomes (Saari & Judge, 2004), organizational citizenship behaviors (Organ & Ryan, 1995), and organizational absentee-ism (Wegge et al., 2007). Job satisfaction is measured with different aspects such as: pay, co-worker, job, promotion, and supervisor.

Dissatisfied employees exhibit deviant behavior in the workplace and exit planning, which reduces work quality and job performance. Additionally, employees' job satisfaction has long been regarded as one of the main determinants of an organization's success and growth.

Intrinsic reward defines as the spiritual recognition state of mind to feel passionate, ener-getic, and enthusiastic with an organization (Macey & Schneider, 2008). Kahn (1990) argued that employees have different perceptions about engagement and also describes that a huge amount of reward and recognition develops strong role performance.

Employees are exhausted due to low rewards and recognition. Social exchange theory al-so described that high rewards and recognition show distributive justice in an organization and showing a high level of engagement (Maslach et al., 2001). The leader-member theory explained as interactional association among employees and supervisors. Social Exchange theory described that interpersonal relationships builds among leaders and employees based on behavioral, homo-geneity relationship, situational leadership, and personal traits. But leaders have less time and resources to pay equal attention to all the employees (Graen & Cashman, 1975).

How employees behave at workplace also affect the exchanger relation between superiors and their subordinates. Therefore, engaged employees are comparatively more willingness and solution oriented in completing their tasks as well lending an extra hand to achieve the desired organizational objectives (Baumruk & Gorman, 2006). A good relationship with the leader and supervisor becomes employees more valuable. So, on behalf of the above research finding, litera-ture and relevant theories researcher develops the below hypothesis as:

H1 Employee engagement has a significant relationship with personal attachment, job satisfaction, rewards, and relationship with supervisor.

H2 Rewards from job and organization significantly impact on job satisfaction and also mediate the association among employee engagement and job satisfaction.

H3 Relationship with the supervisor is a significantly impact on personal attachment to the organiza-tion and also mediates the relationship between employee engagement and personal association towards workplace.

Data and Methodology

Sample and Population: This research was conducted in four different sectors from over-all services sector of Pakistan. The area included Universities (Govt., Semi Govt. and private), Telecommunication (Ufone, Jazz, Warid, Telenor, and Zong), Banks (UBL, ABL, HBL, MCB and NBP) and Hospital (Govt. and private). However limited time and financial resources this study used 409 respondents. Data were collected from respondents from the services sector em-ployees who are working in different cities of Pakistan.

Data Collection

The author of this research study used the questionnaire technique for data collection that was a perception based self-reported questionnaire. Keeping in view the cost/benefit analysis the author distributed the questionnaire to the respondents via courier services, emails and personal visiting. The respondents were the employees belonging to services sector. There were 800 ques-tionnaires in total that were sent to the target population. It was deemed accurate to consider 418 responses and through data screening it was found that only 409 responses were accurate owing to the problem of outlier concept. SPSS 22 and AMOS 20 tools were utilized to perform data analysis.

The questionnaire divided into six (6) parts. The first part of the questionnaire includes the demographic information about the respondents, like Experience, qualification, gender nature of job and age. Following demographics, the questionnaire included questions regarding work engagement. For this, Schaufeli & Bakker’s (2003) 9 items survey was used. In the third part of the questionnaire employee’s job satisfaction scale was adopted from “Cammann et al. (1979)”. Employee’s job satisfaction comprises three items. In fourth part Affective organizational com-mitment comprises 6 items;1 item from Mowday et al’s (1979) and five items were adopted from Meyer et al’s (1993) scale for analyzing affective commitment. In fifth and sixth part total 8 questions were added from Lawler & Hall’s (1970); Davenport & Prusak (1998) regarding re-wards given by the respondent’s organization and their workplace relations with superiors.

Data Analysis and Results

The research study (Table 1 & Figure 1) has 409 responses as a sample size containing majority of 68.7% male respondents that is to say 281 responses as compared to the 31.3% of the female responses that is to say 128 responses. The study ranges from 40.83 % respondents being 25-29 years of age to 1% being 20% or fewer respondents. That owes to the fact that 167 re-spondents belong to the former group while 3 responses belong to the latter age group. Further 65 (15.89%), 111 (27.14%), 53 (12.96%) and 10 (2.45%) respondents falls in age groups of 20-24, 30-39, 40-49 and more than 50 years respectively. According to the nature of the job, re-spondents who are employed on a permanent basis are 227 having a high percentage of 55.5% while other 182 respondents are having contract-based job with the percentage of 44.5% of all respondents. For the experience, respondents who have less than one-year experience are 39 re-spondents having a percentage of 9.54%. A major group of respondents which consist of 144 (35.21%) respondents are having 2-5 years’ experience. Respondents who have 5-10 years’ ex-perience are 108 (26.41%) and respondents who have more than ten years’ experience are 37 (9.05%). According to the job position, a large number of respondents 262 (64.06%) is employed in positions of the non-managerial level while other 147 respondents are engaged in positions of the managerial level having a percentage of 35.94%. For the degree level, 59.66%, 30.81%, 6.60% and 2.93% respondents are having masters’ degree, bachelor degree, MPhil, and Interme-diate degree accordingly.

Table 1 Profile of Respondents
Variable F (%) Variable F (%)
Gender     Employed in your current organization    
Male 281 68.7 Less than 1 year 61 14.91
Female 128 31.3 1-2 years 150 36.67
Age     2-5 years 119 29.09
20 or less 3 0.7 5-10 years 54 13.2
20-24 65 15.89 More than 10 years 25 6.11
25-29 167 40.83 Total Job Experience    
30-39 111 27.14 Less than 1 year 39 9.54
40-49 53 12.96 1-2 years 81 19.8
50-59 9 2.2 2-5 years 144 35.21
60 and above 1 0.24 5-10 years 108 26.41
Nature of Job     More than 10 years 37 9.05
Contract 182 44.5 Highest Qualification    
Permanent 227 55.5 Intermediate 12 2.93
Position     Bachelor 126 30.81
Manager 147 35.94 Master 244 59.66
Non- Manager 262 64.06 M.Phil 27 6.6

Figure 1 Confirmatory Factor Analysis

The Tables 2 & 3 indicates the one – way ANOVA analysis results of a variance of em-ployee engagement with demographic variables. Results show that the work engagement does not show the significant variation with all the demographic variables. Age of the respondents’ show the significant variation with job satisfaction, total job experience shows the significant variation with personal attachment and total job experience and position shows the significant variation with rewards. Results also highlight significant variation in workplace relationship with supervisor.

Table 2 Results of Anova Test of Antecedents and Demographic Variables
Demographic Variables Work Engagement Job Satisfaction Personal Attachment Rewards Relationship
F-Statistic P-value F-Statistic P-value F-Statistic P-value F-Statistic P-value F-Statistic P-value
Gender 0.693 0.322 2.107 0.141 3.557 0.061 0.153 0.698 2.771 0.099
Age 2.01 0.062 2.507 0.019* 2.089 0.053 2.114 0.058 1.59 0.117
Nature of Job 0.043 0.781 2441 0.107 0.006 0.97 2.509 0.107 0.052 0.797
Exp. current organization 1.207 0.296 0.804 0.49 2.247 0.059 1.094 0.377 3.699 .002**
Total job Experience 1.978 0.107 2.022 0.099 3.109 0.014* 2.791 0.021* 2.121 0.07
Position 0.041 0.797 2.423 0.104 0.099 0.751 5.221 0.018* 0.009 0.903
Qualification 0.514 0.701 1.304 0.247 1.612 0.171 0.013 0.973 3.803 0.007*
Table 3 Descriptive and Correlation Analysis
Variable Mean S.D WE JS PA RO RS
Work Engagement 3.8901 0.57045 1        
Job Satisfaction 3.7504 0.78731 0.427** 1      
Personal Attachment 3.7601 0.6827 0.458** 0.511** 1    
Rewards 3.6974 0.56503 0.501** 0.473** 0.553** 1  
Relationship 3.7021 0.60471 0.469** 0.317** 0.549** 0.472** 1

For the variable work engagement, the value of Cronbach alpha was 0.801 which was clearly showing high consistency among the items and also advocated that items are correlated and measure the same thing. 0.697 Cronbach Alpha was obtained for the job satisfaction, 0.841 Cronbach Alpha was obtained for personal attachment with job and organization, 0.799 was ob-tained for the organizational rewards, and 0.803 was obtained for a relationship with the supervi- sor. Reliability of all items of questionnaire collectively was 0.782 which is the value of Cronbach alpha coefficients. This value showed that overall reliability is good. Overall value of Cronbach alpha determined whether internal consistency of items of questionnaire is relatively high or not.

In Table 4 all the values of Chi-square/df, CMIN/DF, GFI, AGFI, PGFI, CFI, RMR, RMSEA shows that the hypothesized model is good fit.

Table 4 Model Fit Indices
Index of Fit Chi-Square /(df) CMIN/DF GFI AGFI PGFI CFI RMR RMSEA
Value 474.201/ 263 1.989 0.903 0.881 0.76 0.99 0.039 0.05

In Figure 2 path coefficients shows the relationship among job satisfaction, a reward from organization and job, relationship with supervisor, employee engagement and personal attach-ment to the organization. The Path coefficients show relationship of work engagement with re- wards from an organization and my job, relationship with supervisor, respondents association towards his/her workplace.

Figure 2 Consequences of Employee Engagement

In Figure 2 path coefficients of employee engagement through structural equation model.
The 1st hypothesis is that employee engagement is significantly related to personal attachment job satisfaction, rewards, and relationship with supervisor. The results of SEM support the 1st hypothesis. The values of structural equation model (B=0.438, p<0.001), (B=0.713, p<0.001) (B=0.675, p<0.001) and (B=0.597, p<0.001) shows that employees’ engagement is positively and significantly associated with the respondents personal association towards his/her workplace rewards and relationship with superiors.

In the 2nd hypothesis it was assumed that there is a significant impact of rewards from job and organization on job satisfaction. But the path coefficient results (B=0.058, p=0.0598) indicate insignificant impact. Therefore, mediation exists between dependent and independent variables. The mediation value (see Table 5) shows no mediation among these variables and Sobel test value (see Table 5) also support that there is no mediation among variables, thus on the basis of results the 2nd hypothesis was rejected.

Table 5 Mediation
Hypothesis Direct Beta w/o Med Direct Beta w/Med Indirect Beta Mediation type observed Sobel Test Value
H6 0.761*** 0.714*** 0.027 No Mediation 0.499
H7 0.723*** 0.457*** 0.201*** Partial 3.399***

The 3rd hypothesis assumes a significant impact on the relationship with supervisor on personal attachment to the organization. The path coefficient results (B=0.409, p<.001) indicate a significant impact, and also assumes a relationship with supervisor mediates the association among employee engagement and personal attachment to the organization. The mediation value (see Table 5) indicate that partial mediation has existed among the variables, the Sobel test value (see Table 5) also support the mediation, thus on the basis of results the 3rd hypothesis was also accepted.

Implications/Limitations/Suggestions

Team interaction and interdepartmental coordination are most important for developing employee’s engagement. The HR practitioners and decision makers may utilize this research by considering employee engagement as one of their top priorities while crafting strategies for or-ganizational success. Employee engagement with immediate relationship and support with the supervisor may result in developing personal associations and more focused involvement in one’s work; a strong reflection of job satisfaction. The size of the sample is low, and data is gathering only from service sector of the Pakistan. For future researcher should increase the sample size and also collect the data from other sectors as well.

Discussion and Conclusions

This research supports the argument that when employees are satisfied at their work place it results in better commitment. Attitude and effectiveness towards their work (Saks, 2006 & 2019; Al-dalahmeh et al., 2018). Positive work experience and quality of the relationship with the supervisor develop employee engagement with the job and organization. Leader and supervi-sor support gives employees more preferred work responsibilities which may result in satisfac-tion at workplace. Engagement at work owes more importance to the proper recognition/reward system while discredits the low recognition/rewards as it will surely increase the burnout rate in any respective organizational workplace (Maslach et al., 2001). This argument is also supported by the results obtained from the said research study.

Akingbola & Van den Berg (2019); Saks (2019) found that there was a significant rela-tion between the employee engagement and the affective organizational commitment. Also, Saks (2006) made an argument that there is a bi directional association among intrinsic reward system and engagement by the employees not ignoring the fact that the effect that intrinsic reward sys-tem has on the engagement variable is far greater. Therefore he concludes that wish for Higher Job performance enhances the engagement by the employees for the sake of attaining higher recognition/rewards.

Hence it is recommended that the employees that engaged with the organization will be way more committed with the respective organization. In the context of LMX relationship the personification theory deliberates on the association that exists between the commitment to the said organization and the level of engagement shown by the employees. The supervisor will wit-ness far more positive/strong believes about themselves among the employees if there exists a higher quality of LMX relationship. The same context surrounding the above said positive belief can be extended to the organizational levels provided that the supervisors will be willing to act as the agents to the organization and will work towards the facilitation of attitudinal response that will be affective in nature.

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