The Antecedents of Employee Engagement

Report
Professor Katie Truss
University of Sussex
Research team: Professor Katie Truss (Sussex University), Dr Adrian Madden (Sussex
University), Dilys Robinson (IES), Dr Kerstin Alfes (Tilburg University), Luke Fletcher
(IES), Jenny Holmes (IES), Jonathan Buzzeo (IES), Professor Graeme Currie (Warwick
University)
These are emerging findings based on independent research funded by the National
Institute for Health Research (Health Services and Delivery Research, 12/5004/01 –
Enhancing and Embedding Staff Engagement in the NHS: Putting Theory into Practice).
The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily
those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health.
COPYRIGHT TO THE CONTENTS OF THE SLIDES BELONGS TO THE UNIVERSITY
OF SUSSEX AND THE NIHR, AND COPYRIGHT TO THE SLIDES BELONGS TO
PROFESSOR KATIE TRUSS. THE SLIDES CANNOT BE COPIED OR REFERRED TO
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. THIS PRESENTATION IS BASED ON PREPUBLICATION FINDINGS AND SHOULD NOT BE CITED.
© Katie Truss
Total: 42 studies in health care, 2 in UK
Psychological states: 11 studies
Most cross sectional: motivation, self-tuning, personal
resources, low levels of negative affect.
Two more complex studies found eg job satisfaction
driver of engagement
© Katie Truss
Examined whether workaholism, burnout and engagement were
driven by the same motivation
Studied 544 nurses and 216 doctors in China
Found that workaholism was associated with motivation to avoid
negative self perception
Found that engagement was positively associated and burnout
negatively associated with meaningful work and enjoyment of work
© Katie Truss
Leadership and management: 8 studies
Cross-sectional studies: authentic
leadership, supervisory support,
empowering leadership,
2 complex studies looked at authentic
and ‘consideration-focused’ leadership
© Katie Truss
Examined link between authentic leadership, nurses’ trust in
their manager, engagement, voice behaviour and unit care
quality
Study of 280 nurses in acute care hospitals in Ontario
Authentic leadership was associated with trust in manager
and engagement, which in turn predicted voice behaviour
and perceived unit care quality
© Katie Truss
Job design: 22 studies
Job resources: 12 studies incl 2 longitudinal
Job demands: 9 studies, inconclusive
Single cross-sectional studies eg: joy of working,
autonomy, control, positive work relationships,
active coping, empowerment linked with
engagement.
© Katie Truss
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Organisational and team factors: 12 studies
Range of factors eg service climate, positive psychological
contract, developmental management approaches,
empowerment, the nurse practice environment, satisfaction
with teamworking and support, a holistic care climate; one
study found a negative link between sexual harassment and
engagement.
All studies were cross-sectional
Responses to interventions: 2 studies
Participation in an offsite programme focused on the true
meaning of caring raised engagement levels amongst 17 nurses.
But, engagement levels did not significantly change amongst a
large group of hospital nurses and midwives following a
workload intervention exercise.
© Katie Truss
Study of the impact of a caring based programme aimed at improving work engagement of
nurses in USA
3 day off-site programme for nurses over the age of 45
17 participants completed pre-and post-programme survey
Showed that leadership strategies aimed at improving engagement using caring theories
have a positive impact on engagement
Showed that work environments with a sense of belonging and teamwork and where staff are
allowed time to ‘decompress’ and build positive work relationships improve engagement.
© Katie Truss

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