Impact Of Personality On Employee Engagement Management Essay

Researchers argue, in an occupation where service to others andinterpersonal interaction is part and parcel of thejob requirements, individuals are faced with the events thatcreate negative emotions(Pienaar and Willemse 2008). Therefore, focusing on the negative reactions generated by a stressful working environment may act to harm individuals’ well-being, and ultimatelycontribute to poor service delivery. Many employees in current society, such as nurses, teachers and social workers faces stressat work as their work consists of directly working with people(Buunk, Peíró et al. 2007). This type of work seems to exert its toll. This emotional toll of working with people is known as Burnout syndrome. Burnout consists of emotional exhaustion (the depletion or draining of emotional resources caused byinterpersonal demands), depersonalization (negative, callous, and cynical attitudes towardsthe recipients of one’s services) and lack of personal accomplishment (the tendency toevaluate one’s work with recipients negatively) (Buunk, Peíró et al. 2007).

Recently burnout research has shifted its focus to positive side i.e. employee engagement (Kim, Shin et al. 2009). These two are not opposite to each other. Engagement is a concept of positive psychology. If burned-out employees can be characterized by their personality profile, it is reasonable to assume that personality traits can equally predict the level of work engagement by employees. Research indicates that an engaged worker feels positively about the situation, and beyond mere satisfaction, is motivated to expend energy on a task (Inceoglu and Warr 2011). Although, engagement emerges from both personal and environmental sources, but investigations have so far emphasized,engagement as a response to characteristics of the job such as autonomy, demands, conflicts and good relations with other people(Inceoglu and Warr 2011).

One of the variables which is strongly related to job-related attitudes and behaviours is personality traits which are strongly related to which further leads to job satisfaction. It is assumed that employeesatisfaction leads to motivated and committed employees, to more effective and efficientwork, and in turn to higher process and product quality.A possible route to explore the personal side of engagement is the five factor model or FFM. This model of personality has gained considerable support during the last decade due to its cross cultural applicability. To fill this gap, this study focuses on relationship between engagement and personality factors.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The aim of this review is to explore the current state of knowledge about burnout, personality and employee engagement.

(Pienaar and Willemse 2008)argues that service industry employees are confronted with extremely stressful and demanding situations, like for front-line service employees, putting on a smile while dealing with a demanding and insulting customer leads to higher levels of perceived stress, distress and turnover, and lower levels of satisfaction in the service industry.

Burnout

(Langelaan, Bakker et al. 2006)defines burnout as a reaction to chronic occupational stress characterized by emotional exhaustion (i.e., the draining of emotional resources), cynicism (i.e., a negative, callous, and cynical attitude towards one’s job) and lack of professional efficacy (i.e. the tendency to evaluate one’s work negatively).

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(Kim, Shin et al. 2009)studied that the most critical personality trait affecting burnout is neuroticism and the most eminent traits predicting engagement are conscientiousness and neuroticism.Thus, burnout and engagement, which are commonly viewed as opposite constructs located on the same continuum, they may be, rather, two distinctive concepts driven by different personality traits.

Personality

(Goodstein and Lanyon 1999)summarizes that Personality can effectively predict job performance of the person and thus can be useful for personnel selection. Previously, most of the focus in personality assessment was on the identification of psychopathology, with the help of traditional instruments, such as the California Psychological Inventory which requires considerable clinical sophistication for interpretation.Given such conditions, the negative conclusions about the usefulness of personality assessment in the workplace would seem to be inescapable. This state of affairs has substantially changed with the development and recent widespread adoption of the “Five-Factor” approach to personality assessment, a development which has significantly increased the usefulness of personality testing in personnel selection. The bulk of the literature has labeled these five factors as follows:

(1) Emotional Stability (calm, secure, and non-anxious), or conversely, Neuroticism; (2) Extroversion (sociable, talkative, assertive, ambitious, and active); (3) Openness to experience (imaginative, artistically sensitive, and intellectual; (4) Agreeableness (good-natured, cooperative, and trusting); and, (5) Conscientiousness (responsible, dependable, organized, persistent, and achievement oriented).

Employee Engagement

(Inceoglu and Warr 2011)defines engagement as relatively activated and energized state of involvement in work. It further argues that the employee engagement arises from both personal and environmental sources. Thus, there is a need to develop understanding of engagement’s bases within individuals themselves.The findings of the study confirm that shorter-term job engagement is a significant function of longer-term attributes of personality, and thus point to particular personality factors and traits that are either more important or less important in that respect.Thus, in addition to possible enhancement of engagement from improved job design, typical engagement levels can be increased through personnel selection procedures that focus on the identification of specific personality traits that are required in that particular job.

Most of the researches found at JSTOR, SciVerse attempts to investigate the impact of personality on workplace attitudes were focused on burnout and not on engagement. As the academic study of engagement is relatively recent, the field still offers, therefore, significant opportunities for academic research in service sector and in Indian context.

NEED FOR STUDY

Review of Literature highlighted that employee engagement is strongly influenced by both personal and environmental sources.(Inceoglu and Warr 2011)has established a strong connection between personality of the individual and his employee engagement.(Goodstein and Lanyon 1999)has also developed a relationship between personality and job performance.

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Literature was also searched on JSTOR, EBSCO, SciVerse, which revealed that most of the studies have been done to measure the effect of environmental factors on employee engagement. But hardly any study had been done to measure the effect of individual factors on employee engagement in service sector and in Indian context. Thus, the current study proposes to study the impact of personality on employee engagement of service professionals across industries.

CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF STUDY

Conceptual model of the study defines that there is a relationship between employee engagement and the personality of the individual. Constructs or dimensions to determine personality of the individual consists of need for stability, extraversion, originality, accommodation and consolidation. The engagement of the employees will be determined by 3 constructs i.e. physical, cognitive and emotional behavior of the individual.

Need for stability

Extraversion

Originality

Accommodation

Consolidation

Personality

Employee Engagement

Physical

Cognitive

Emotional

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Objective 1: To study the strengths and directions of the relationships between personality and employee engagement.

Objective 2: To study the combination of personality trait scores that best predicts engagement across banking and education industry.

Objective 3: To study the relationship between the differences in employee engagement across the personalities of employees across banking and education industry.

VARIABLES- DV AND IDV

The independent variable is the five factors of personality measured by the WPB5.The constructs to measure this this variable are Need for stability, extraversion, originality, accommodation, and consolidation.

The dependent variable is the job engagement measured by the Job Engagement Scale. The constructs to measure this this variable are:Physical, cognitive and emotional.

HYPOTHESIS

Research Objectives

Hypothesis for direction

DV

IDV

To study the strengths and directions of the relationships between personality and employee engagement in service industry.

H1: There is a significant relationship between personality and employee engagement in service industry.

Employee engagement

Personality

To study the combination of personality trait scores that best predicts engagement across banking and education industry.

H2a: There is a significant relationship between combination ofpersonality trait scores and employee engagement in education industry.

H2b: There is a significant relationship between combination ofpersonality trait scores and employee engagement in banking industry.

Employee engagement

Personality

To study the relationship between the differences in employee engagement across the personalities of employees across banking and education industry.

H3 There is a significant difference in the mean perception ofrespondents for impact of personality traits and employee engagementacross banking and education industry.

Employee engagement

Personality

RESEARCH MATERIAL AND METHODS

Research Design

The study will be Descriptive Study.

Descriptive research does not fit neatly into the definition of either quantitative or qualitative research methodologies, but instead it can utilize elements of both, often within the same study. The term descriptive research refers to the type of research question, design, and data analysis that will be applied to a given topic. Descriptive statistics tell what is, while inferential statistics try to determine cause and effect. Descriptive statistics utilize data collection and analysis techniques that yield reports concerning the measures of central tendency, variation, and correlation. The combination of its characteristic summary and co relational statistics, along with its focus on specific types of research questions, methods, and outcomes is what distinguishes descriptive research from other research types. (AECT)

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Sampling technique

Snowball sampling will be used for data collection for this study.The initial sample shall be collected on the basis of convenience and accessibility. Afterwards, the data shall be collected from their references and the same process will be continued further.

Sample Selection

Two industries have been chosen using Lovelock classification of industries on the basis of nature of the Service Act. The Lovelock classification of industries has been shown below:

Who or what is the Direct Recipient of the Service?

People

Things

What is the Nature of the Service Act

Tangible Actions

Services directed at people’s bodies:

Health care

Passenger transportation

Beauty salons

Exercise clinics

Restaurants

Haircutting

Services directed at goods and other physical possessions:

Freight transportation

Industrial equipment repair and maintenance

Janitorial services

Laundry and dry cleaning

Landscaping/ lawn care

Veterinary care

Intangible Actions

Services directed at people’s minds:

Education

Broadcasting

Information services

Theaters

Museums

Services directed at intangible assets:

Banking

Legal services

Accounting

Securities

insurance

On the basis of above classification, education and banking industries have been chosen for the purpose of this study that deals with services directed at intangible actions and are more affected by the engagement of the employees in their corresponding professions.

Sample Size

It is proposed that atotal sample of nearly 200 will be collected, 100 responses from banking industry and 100 from education sector.

Proposed instrument for measuring these variables

Quantification dimensions

Instrument

No. of items

Personality

Need for stability

Extraversion,

Originality,

Accommodation,

Consolidation

WPB5

48

Employee Engagement

Physical,

Cognitive,

Emotional

JES

18

Method of Data Collection

In order to facilitate data collection, the instrument proposed is the questionnaire. The questionnaire will be filled from the service professionals of 2 industries i.e. banking and education industry.

Data Analysis

Hypothesis

Data Analysis

H1: There is a significant relationship between personality and employee engagement in service industry.

Correlations/ Regression

H2a: There is a significant relationship between combination ofpersonality trait scores and employee engagement in education industry.

H2b: There is a significant relationship between combination ofpersonality trait scores and employee engagement in banking industry.

Multiple regressions

H3 There is a significant difference in the mean perception ofrespondents for impact of personality traits and employee engagementacross the two industries.

Discriminant/ ANOVAS

TIMELINE

First Review

Dec 12, 2012

Prepare questionnaire

Collect samples

Test samples

Second review

Feb 27, 2013

Data collection

Data interpretation

Project submission

April 3, 2013

Final submission

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