Job insecurity, work engagement, psychological empowerment and general health of educators in the Sedibeng West District
Matla, Violet Deborah
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Organisations are faced with challenges and opportunities due to the constantly changing world of work. These changes lead to organisational members to compete or survive in the dynamic world of work. Job Insecurity, Psychological Empowerment, Work Engagement as well as the employee's well-being are affected by these changes. The South African education environment has been changing since the beginning of the new political dispensation in 1994. The changes include the social, economic, technological and organisational environment. The unsuccessful implementation of the outcome based education and subsequent review has placed Educators under considerable pressure. The changes are being exacerbated by the unprecedented world economic down turn which has created further uncertainty in employment and has resulted in increased levels of Job Insecurity and employee disengagement. Employee engagement and job satisfaction become the key aspects that may contribute to high performance levels and the retention of motivated employees during this period of uncertainty. The schools that would engage their staff members are likely to retain their Educators whilst unengaged Educators will feel more insecure and are likely to look for other jobs elsewhere. The objective of this study was to establish the relationship between Job Insecurity, Psychological Empowerment, Work Engagement and General Health of Educators in the Sedibeng West District. A cross sectional survey design was used to collect data from an available sample of Educators in the specified district. A Job Insecurity Questionnaire (JIQ), Psychological Empowerment Questionnaire (PEQ), Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and General Health questionnaire (GHQ) as well as a Biographical Questionnaire were administered in this regard. Results indicated a statistically significant and negative relationship between Job Insecurity and Psychological Empowerment as measured by Influence and Attitude. Higher levels of Job Insecurity are therefore associated with lower levels of perceived Psychological Empowerment (as measured by Influence and Attitude). A statistically significant negative correlation was obtained between Job Insecurity and Work Engagement. Job Insecurity was found to be statistically significant associated with three dimensions of General Health (Somatic Symptoms, Social Dysfunction and Severe Depression). A practically significant correlation of medium effect was obtained between Influence and Work Engagement as measured by the UWES. Influence also showed statistically significant negative correlations with Somatic Symptoms, Social Dysfunction and Severe Depression. The Attitude factor obtained a practically significant correlation of large effect with Work Engagement and furthermore statistically negatively correlates with the three GHQ factors, being Somatic Symptoms, Social Dysfunction and Severe Depression. A practically significant negative correlation of medium effect was obtained between Work Engagement and Social Dysfunction. Somatic Symptoms and Severe Depression showed a statistically significant correlation with Work Engagement. Regression analysis indicated that Job Insecurity and Psychological Empowerment as measured by Attitude have a significant predictive value towards Work Engagement and General Health as measured by Somatic Symptoms, Social Dysfunction and Severe Depression. Based on the findings, limitations of the research followed by recommendations for the Department of Education and for future research were made.