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Publication: Meaningful work and employee engagement

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Meaningful work and employee engagement research paper

The findings in this paper shows that meaningful work plays a crucial role in enhancing engagement.

Meaningful work and employee engagement have been the subject of increasing interest in organisational research and practice over recent years.

Both have been shown to influence important organisational outcomes, such as job satisfaction, wellbeing, and performance.

For this study, meaningful work is proposed as a critical psychological state within the job demands-resources (JD-R) model that can therefore, in part, explain the relationship between job resources and employee engagement.

Survey data was collected from 1415 employees working in a range of organisations, across a number of industries, were analysed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM).

In support of expectations, job variety, development opportunities, and autonomy, each had a significant and positive direct association with meaningful work. These job resources also had a significant and positive indirect effect on employee engagement via meaningful work.

Although job variety, development opportunities, autonomy, and feedback had significant positive direct associations with engagement, contrary to expectations, supervisor support had a negative association with engagement.

Overall, the results show that meaningful work plays an important role in enhancing employee engagement and that providing employees with skill and task variety is important to achieving that goal.

Practical implications, study limitations, and future research opportunities are also discussed.

Learn more about employee engagement.

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