Employee engagement at a private higher education institution during the COVID-19 pandemic

SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Field Value
Title Employee engagement at a private higher education institution during the COVID-19 pandemic
Creator Cassim, Nadeem Botha, Christoffel J. Botha, Doret Bisschoff, Christo
Subject human resource management; organisational behaviour COVID-19 pandemic; employee engagement; private higher education; South Africa; work-from-home.
Description Orientation: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, organisations, including higher education institutions, had to shift their thinking regarding traditional work models to new ones conducive to the lockdown.Research purpose: This study investigated employees’ levels of engagement during work-from-home (WFH) within a private higher education institution in South Africa in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Motivation for the study: While some studies have looked at the effect of WFH on employee engagement, few studies could be located that look at this phenomenon within a private higher education setting.Research approach/design and method: This study adopted the positivistic research paradigm using a quantitative research approach. The target population included 133 personnel. Total population sampling was used, and the data were collected by administering an online survey using the 17-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), independent sample t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and effect sizes were used to analyse the data. A satisfactory response rate of 79% was realised.Main findings: The study found that despite the difficulties and anxieties brought about by the radical shifts to WFH, the personnel could still thrive and show high levels of engagement. This was attributed to positive drivers of engagement such as autonomy, psychosocial safety, convenience, social union, and most importantly, organisational support.Practical/managerial implications: Work-from-home is regarded as a viable work arrangement for the foreseeable future. Private higher education should take note of the suggestions put forward to improve, sustain and manage employee engagement successfully.Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the body of knowledge surrounding employee engagement in the WFH context within the private higher education sphere.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Regent Business School funded the study.
Date 2024-01-16
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Quantitative, Survey
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2300
Source SA Journal of Human Resource Management; Vol 22 (2024); 14 pages 2071-078X 1683-7584
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2300/3564 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2300/3565 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2300/3566 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2300/3567
Coverage — — Age, Gender, Marital status, Qualification
Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Nadeem Cassim, Christoffel J. Botha, Doret Botha, Christo Bisschoff https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0