Job demands and resources as antecedents of work engagement: a diagnostic survey of nursing practitioners
Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Health care is a key factor in the general health and wellbeing of any society. At the centre of any well-functioning healthcare system is sufficient, engaged and competent nursing staff. Access to proper health care is reliant on sufficient nursing staff levels, but unfortunately the global scarcity of nursing staff is proving to be a big challenge to the quality and service delivery that public and private healthcare organisations are providing. One of the many contributing factors to the shortage of nursing staff is the global challenge of an aging nursing staff population. At a time of widespread concern about nursing shortages and an ageing nursing workforce globally, human resources functions should pay increasing attention to addressing the shortage of nursing staff. Although attracting individuals to the nursing profession will increase the nursing pool, the engagement (and consequently retention) of current nursing staff is crucial to ensure a sustainable nursing workforce, and as a result, a sustainable healthcare system. The purpose of this study therefore included a diagnosis of the current state of work engagement of nursing practitioners, with the Job Demands and Resources model as diagnostic model, in an attempt to identify the antecedents that significantly contribute to the engagement of nursing practitioners. The data analysis techniques that were applied in this study included item analysis, correlation analysis, hierarchical multiple regression analysis, PLS analysis and ANOVA. While the overall level of work engagement of nursing practitioners in the sample might not have been as low as had been envisioned, there are clearly deficiencies that need to be addressed. In terms of job resources, the factors that were found to be below optimum levels, and warrants intervention, included remuneration, participation, career possibilities, variety at work, independence at work, opportunities to learn, and information. The job resources communication, contact possibilities, relationships with colleagues and relationship with supervisor yielded acceptable mean scores and as a result no particular interventions were proposed for these variables. In terms of job demands, all job demands were reported to be at unacceptably high levels; however, no correlation between pace and amount of work and work engagement was confirmed. As a result, practical recommendations were built around these job demands and resources which anticipate increasing the work engagement of nursing practitioners and thereby partially addressing the greater problem of nursing shortages.
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