The effect of psychological capital, self-leadership and job embeddedness on work engagement among employees in the banking sector
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To survive in the competitive environment, organisations require an engaged workforce, however, most companies still struggle to engage their workforce particularly the banking sector. Thus, managers have shifted focus from conducting annual engagement surveys to proactively recognising positive psychology as a new way of improving work engagement. The current study examined the effect of psychological capital (PsyCap), self-leadership and job embeddedness on work engagement among banking sector employees. The main objective was to determine whether PsyCap, job embeddedness and self-leadership have a significant effect on work engagement. The secondary objectives was to determine whether differences exist in levels of work engagement among employees in the banking sector concerning age groups. The last objective was to identify the state of all the four constructs among employees in the banking sector. A quantitative and statistical modelling approach was applied. Data was gathered using a cross-sectional survey. The questionnaire was made up of four scales the (UWES, PCQ-24, JES and SLS). The reliability of all the four scales was measured using Cronbach’s alpha, the goodness-of-fit statistics associated with each of the scales was determined, and all the constructs were valid and reliable measures. Respondents were recruited through convenience sampling procedure and 302 usable questionnaires were obtained. The main objective was addressed using the stepwise regression analysis and results indicated five significant predictors of work engagement including hope, optimism, selfefficacy, behavioural strategies and organisational links, which explained 71% variance in work engagement. Hope had the highest contribution (R²= 0.59) since hopeful individuals are more goal-orientated, hence positive goal directed outlooks leads to frequent positive moods which enables engagement. Overall the regression model was statistically significant (F = 145.489; P =0.000). PsyCap resources explained a significant (R² = 0.680) variance in work engagement because PsyCap is a combination of psychological capacities that work as personal resources contributing significantly to engagement. The theoretical model in the study was tested using the Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS). The measurement model gave adequate proof of convergent validity and internal consistency. The results indicated that the key target construct’s (work engagement) level of R² was high or substantial at level R² = 0.703. This means that PsyCap, self-leadership and job embeddedness explain the 0.703 variance in work engagement. No paths were found to be insignificant or show signs contrary to the hypothesized direction. The strongest indirect path to work engagement reported in the model was from self-leadership through PsyCap (β = 0.0.815) to work engagement (β = 0.621), which is positive and statistically significant, this path is highly recommended. The secondary objective was addressed using T-test, and no significant differences in levels of engagement were found between the two age groups. Both old and young employees operate under very strict regulations and their job activities are strictly monitored, they are both exposed to the same conditions and possibly get access to similar job and personal resources. For the third objective results indicated that work engagement levels in the banking sector are moderate, PsyCap levels are slightly higher compared to other variables, self-leadership levels were moderate, and job embeddedness levels low to moderate. Conclusions from the study indicate that the accumulation of internal resources and job resources from PsyCap, self-leadership, job embeddedness significantly influence work engagement. Self-leadership strategies lays an initial foundation for positive organisations and can be used to expand the psychological resources and assist with increasing personal resources which eventually transform to work engagement. When work engagement is grounded in the principals of positive psychology and is more deeply explored in positive organisational scholarship, it offers genuine solutions to the disengagement problems experienced by banks. It was recommended that PsyCap can be enhanced through task-mastery experiences and positive role modelling which can be included into employee training and development initiatives. Future studies may focus on disentangling how different types of resources such as job resources and personal resources can develop over time because of engaging in proactive work behaviour.