Wellness of train drivers in a railway transportation industry
Lesoro, Shadrack McCarthy
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In order to survive and to prosper in a continuously changing environment, organisations need energetic and motivated employees, i.e. employees who are psychologically well. Burnout and work engagement are important focus areas for research regarding the wellness of employees. In order to ensure work wellness (i.e. low burnout and high work engagement), it is necessary to assess the current level thereof. This assessment should be done on an individual level, and scores should also be aggregated to study patterns in specific occupations, sections, units, and organisations. However, before the levels of wellness can be assessed, a valid and reliable measuring instrument is needed. The objectives of the study were to to investigate the construct validity and reliability of the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey, and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale for train drivers, and to test assess the relationship between burnout and work engagement. A cross-sectional survey design was used, whereby a sample (JV= 332) was drawn from train drivers in Spoornet. The measuring instruments utilised in this study were The Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and the Cognitive Weariness Scale (CWS). Principal components extraction was used prior to principal factor extraction to estimate the number of factors, presence of outliers and factorability of correlation matrices. Structural equation modelling was used to test the relationship between the constructs. The results showed that burnout consisted of four factors, namely Exhaustion, Cognitive Weariness, Professional Efficacy and Cynicism. Work Engagement showed a one-factor structure. Structural equation modelling showed that work wellness consists of two factors, namely energy (including Exhaustion, Cognitive Weariness, and Cynicism), and motivation (Work Engagement and Professional Efficacy). The results also showed that Exhaustion is practically significantly and positively related to Cynicism (large effect) and Cognitive Weariness (medium effect). Exhaustion is also practically significantly and negatively related to Work Engagement (large effect) and Professional Efficacy (medium effect). Cynicism is practically significantly and positively related to Cognitive Weariness (medium effect) and negatively related to Work Engagement (larger effect) and Professional Efficacy (medium effect). Work Engagement is practically significantly and positively related to Professional Efficacy (large effect). The sten scores of the train drivers were low average on Exhaustion (4,02) and on Cynicism (4,38%). The sten scores were above average on Vigour (7,48%) and on Dedication (7,96%). About 52,l%o of the train drivers reported low on Exhaustion and 42,5% reported low on Cynicism. As as far as Vigour and Dedication are concerned, 57% showed high scores on Vigour and 63,9% of train drivers showed high scores on dedication. The structure of well-being was equivalent for Afrikaans and African language groups. Recommendations for future research were made.
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