Flourishing of teachers in secondary schools
Redelinghuys, Johannes Jacobus (Kleinjan)
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Quality education plays a pivotal role in developing the South African economy. This requires a motivated, healthy, committed, competent, and well-functioning teacher corps. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the work and career features essential for flourishing, as previous studies mainly focused on isolated accounts of well-being. Ill consideration of the multidimensionality of work-related well-being could be harmful to the long-term well-being of employees. Research is needed with regard to the antecedents and outcomes of workplace flourishing from a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective, especially as commonly cited problems in the South African educational sector include high attrition rates, teacher shortages, and low teacher performance. The aim of this study was to investigate antecedents, outcomes, and organisational factors associated with workplace flourishing. In cross-sectional studies 1 and 2, a stratified random sample (N = 258) was taken of teachers from secondary schools in the Sedibeng East and West District in Gauteng. In study 3, a longitudinal design was used with participants who responded to a second wave of the research (and N = 201). Instruments measuring workplace flourishing (i.e. emotional well-being, psychological well-being, and social well-being), person-environment fit (i.e. person-organisation fit, needs-supplies fit, demands-abilities fit), in-role performance, intention to leave, organisational citizenship behaviour (i.e. assistance to co-workers and the organisation), and positive practices (i.e. caring, compassionate support, forgiveness, inspiration, meaning, as well as respect, integrity, and gratitude) were used. The results of study 1 confirmed the construct validity and the internal consistencies of the Flourishing-at-Work Scale (FAWS). Flourishing at work consisted of emotional well-being (job satisfaction, positive affect and low negative affect), psychological well-being (autonomy satisfaction, competence satisfaction, relatedness satisfaction, meaning, engagement and learning), and social well-being (social contribution, social integration, social actualisation, social acceptance and social coherence). The results showed that all three dimensions of person-environment fit positively predicted workplace flourishing. Workplace flourishing negatively predicted intention to leave, and positively predicted in-role performance and organisational citizenship behaviour. Person-environment fit did not have an indirect effect on intention to leave via workplace flourishing. However, person-environment fit did have an indirect effect on in-role performance and organisational citizenship behaviour via workplace flourishing. Study 2 showed acceptable psychometric properties for the 17-item Flourishing-at-Work –Short Form (FAWS-SF). Workplace flourishing is a three-factor construct consisting of emotional well-being (job satisfaction and positive affect), psychological well-being (autonomy satisfaction, competence satisfaction, relatedness satisfaction, meaningful work, engagement and learning), and social well-being (social contribution, social integration, social actualisation, social acceptance and social coherence). Furthermore, the FAWS-SF demonstrated good internal consistencies (full scale = 0.92; EWB = 0.81; PWB = 0.85; SWB = 0.86). Workplace flourishing was negatively related to intention to leave, and positively related to in-role performance and organisational citizenship behaviour. A total of 44.19% of the population flourished, while 49.22% were moderately mentally healthy, and 6.59% languished. Positive organisational practices were associated with flourishing at work. Study 3 showed that the measuring instruments used in the study were reliable and invariant. All of the measuring instruments demonstrated strong configural (same factor structure across times), metric (same factor loadings across times), and scalar (same item intercepts across times) invariance. Furthermore, each scale had good test-retest reliability: needs-supplies fit, emotional well-being, psychological well-being, social well-being, and intention to leave. Results from the cross-lagged structural model showed a statistically significant and positive causal relationship between needs-supplies fit and workplace flourishing. It was concluded that needs-supplies fit (as a dimension of person-environment fit) eventually leads to workplace flourishing, which strengthens needs-supplies fit in the longer term. No significant causal relationships were found between needs-supplies fit and intention to leave, as well as between workplace flourishing and intention to leave.