Demographic profile of the respondents
Gender and work engagement
The results of this study show that males mostly populate Nigeria’s banking industry. This result is consistent with other studies’ findings, which show that gender is among the drivers of employee engagement (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.110). Work engagement is assumed implicitly to be neutral, and this gender neutrality indicates that variations in work engagement are down to individual differences. In this context, gender differences are viewed as the social differences between men and women instead of just sex/biological differences (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.110). It derives its meaning from an institutionalized system of social practice rather than an individual property. Like other systems of differences such as race and class, gender reinforces aspects such as resource distribution in hierarchical structures, societies, work practices in organizations, task allocation in families, patterns of interaction between people, and the identities people enact as individuals (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.111).
Work engagement is gendered in that it is easier for men to be engaged than women (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.112). For example, men and their characteristics are valued than women leading to a conclusion that practices, processes, and interactions in organizations are designed to make it easier for men to experience psychological meaningfulness, leading to more work engagement (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.112). Men are rewarded for emphasizing their masculine characteristics and their differences from women, while women are penalized. Thus, men easily experience psychological safety, increasing their engagement in the workplace. Men’s and women’s workplace experiences and at home influence their capacity to be fully available and engaged in work. Women are primarily responsible for taking care of their families, and their availability for work may be limited and can be construed as a lack of work engagement (Tshilongamulenzhe & Takawira, 2015, p.114). Work engagement is gendered because women have fewer opportunities to experience psychological meaningfulness, safety, and availability than men. Engaged employees are involved, satisfied, and enthused with their job, and this explains why males mostly populate Nigeria’s banking sector.
Age and work engagement
The results of this study show that much younger and average age workers mostly populate Nigeria’s banking sector. Studies show that diversity in the workforce is changing, and this includes age diversity. EE reduces stress and sick days while increases task and conceptual performance and commitment to the organization (Guglielmi et al., 2016, p.2). Employees’ age affects work engagement in different ways; first, there are psychological and practical differences regarding work for younger and older employees. Studies show that younger employees are more future-oriented and seek knowledge acquisition opportunities to further their careers (Sousa, Ramos & Carvalho, 2019, p.2). On the contrary, older employees have already acquired knowledge and experience in their years of working. Consequently, they are more present-oriented and are selective with the resources used. Older workers also have a preconceived notion that they are not supposed to be working or are just simply waiting to retire, and as such, might be less engaged (Guglielmi et al., 2016, p.5). Second, younger employees prefer task variety, while older workers prefer skill variety. Younger employees see task variety as a way to develop their job skills and advance their careers. Meanwhile, older employees have already acquired these skills and seek to apply them. High task variety leads to burnout in the older employees and high turnover rates (Sousa, Ramos & Carvalho, 2019, p.7). Psychological and practical differences and high task variety explain why most of the employees in Nigeria’s banking sector are younger and of average aged.
This study shows that the majority of Nigeria’s banking industry employees hold at least a first degree (B.Sc and HND). There is a growing body of evidence proving that the job’s nature is among the factors influencing EE (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.3). Providing employees with jobs designed to challenge them or fit their skills, qualifications, and experiences promote engagement. In the banking industry, employees are specialized in various roles based on their qualifications, skills, and experiences; first, corporate banking deals in transacting business with big companies and government agencies (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.471). Second, retail banking deals with deposits, withdrawals, transfer of funds, exchanging foreign currency, and issuing cheques. Third, personal banking deals with loans, credits, mortgages, insurance policies, and pensions. Fourth, merchant banking is concerned with doing business with institutional investors, public issue management, and international finance (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.475). It deals with investment securities, international funds, advising corporate clients on capital structure decisions, underwriting, public issue management, and raising money through public issues or overseas markets. Fifth, investment banking entails conducting financial transactions on behalf of individuals, corporations, and governments (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.5). Lastly, rural banking deals with taking care of the banking and credit needs of individuals residing in rural areas. This result implies that Nigeria’s banking industry institutions assign tasks based on the workers’ qualifications, skills, and experiences, leading to high engagement.
This study shows that permanent employees make-up of the workers’ population. Workers have different rights based on their employment status (Taufek, Zulkifle & Sharif, 2016, p.670). These rights define the employee’s responsibilities at work and determine what is required of the employer. A permanent employee and a subcontractor may perform similar duties but differ on compensation packages. A subcontractor can set his/her wage, but the employer determines what an employee earns. However, a subcontractor is not entitled to health benefits, vacation or sick days, and other employee benefits through the contractor (Zacher et al., 2015, p.102). A subcontractor is paid after the job is finished while an employee earns a salary consistently. Moreover, the subcontractor may not be offered consistent work, adversely affecting his/her income. Like other HR practices, compensation can powerfully influence employee engagement and commitment (Taufek, Zulkifle & Sharif, 2016, p.674). Employers can use compensation packages to encourage both engagement and commitment from the employees. For example, a strong performance incentive system combined with health benefits and vacation/sick days promotes engagement (Zacher et al., 2015, p.105). Offering generous retirement benefits leads to highly committed employees. Thus, subcontracted employees are fewer in Nigeria’s banking industry because of the following reasons; first, they can accept or reject employment offers based on the compensation packages. Second, they are looking for better employment opportunities because employers do not offer them consistent work.
Years of employment
This study shows that most of the workers in Nigeria’s banking sector have a minimum of 11 years of experience. Researchers argue that experienced employees understand a job’s intricacies better than some of their supervisors or managers. This is because of the long identification with their organization, and they use this expertise to contribute in ways that newer employees cannot match (Osborne & Hammond, 2017, p.50). A larger population of employees with a minimum of 11 years of experience implies that the banking sector values experienced workers’ expertise. Thus, employers have established performance management systems that treat well and reward experienced workers (Durai & King, 2018, p.277). For example, experienced workers earn higher salaries and more benefits than newer employees. Moreover, employers cater to their emotional and psychological needs (Osborne & Hammond, 2017, p.55). Moreover, experienced employees are offered generous retirement benefits. Higher salaries, better employee benefits, and generous retirement packages promote engagement and commitment among the experienced employees (Durai & King, 2018, p.278). A combination of these factors explains why most of the employees have a minimum of 11 years of experience.
There is a significant correlation between gender and employee engagement. This correlation is positive, and it implies that work engagement is gendered. However, the association between gender and EE is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between age and worker engagement. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that younger employees are engaged with their jobs because of the nature of the tasks. On the contrary, older employees are not engaged with their work because of the practical differences and high task variety. However, the association between age and EE is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between academic achievement and worker engagement. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that highly qualified employees are engaged with their work because it meets their qualifications and skills. However, the association between academic achievement and EE is weak because it has a Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between employment status and worker engagement. This correlation is positive, and it implies that permanent employees are engaged with their work of the compensation packages that they receive. The association between status and EE is strong because it has a Cramer’s value of p=0.004.
Years of employment
There is a significant correlation between years of employment and worker engagement. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that experienced employees are engaged with their work because they understand the intricacies of a job. However, the association between age and EE is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between gender and job satisfaction. This correlation is positive, and it implies that job satisfaction is gendered. However, the association between gender and job satisfaction is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between age and job satisfaction. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that younger employees are satisfied with their jobs because they involve challenging tasks. On the contrary, older employees are not engaged with their work because of the practical differences and high task variety. However, the association between age and EE is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.02.
There is a significant correlation between academic achievement and job satisfaction. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that highly qualified employees are satisfied with their work because it entails challenging tasks. However, the association between academic achievement and job satisfaction is weak because it has a Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
There is a significant correlation between employment status and job satisfaction. This correlation is positive, and it implies that permanent employees are satisfied with their work because it compensates them fairly. The association between status and EE is strong because it has a Cramer’s value of p=0.000.
Years of employment
There is a significant correlation between years of employment and job satisfaction. This correlation is positive, and it suggests that experienced employees are satisfied with their work because they feel they are contributing to the company’s mission and vision. However, the association between age and EE is weak because it has Cramer’s value of p=0.00.
The majority of this study’s participants (59.5%) agreed that they would suggest their organization as a great workplace. Most of the studies on achieving employee engagement ignore one of the most critical factors, people (Osborne & Hammond, 2017, p.50). The people of an organization and their relationships are critical to attaining employee engagement. It is easier for employees to leave their job if they do not have a relationship with their leadership, managers, or coworkers. Meaningful relationships are at the heart of every great workplace (Taufek, Zulkifle & Sharif, 2016, p.674). The relationship between an organization’s workforce combines and collude to create a great work environment where employees feel happy, engaged, and proud. Cultivating and sustaining meaningful relationships starts at the top of an organization. An organizations’ leadership should lead by example, by having good relationships (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.5). If they do not do this, the employees will perceive their efforts’ superficiality and are less likely to follow along. Second, line managers are responsible for how employees experience their work environment. Great working places understand that leadership development plays a crucial role in sustaining meaningful relationships. Therefore, they consistently equip their line managers with the required knowledge and skills (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.7). Efforts to creating meaningful relationships fall flat if the organization does not involve the employees. The company should gather the employees’ feedback on the aspects that contribute to good relationships.
Up to 89% of the respondents agreed that they have access to learning, development, and staff procedures to perform given tasks. Scholars argue that career development opportunities are among the primary factors contributing to employee engagement at the workplace (Byrne & MacDonagh, 2017, p.190). Employees need formal learning programs and opportunities to practice their newly acquired knowledge and skills on the job. When employers continuously invest time and money in their workers’ development, the employees will realize that the organization is also interested in progressing their careers. As a result, they will have an enhanced sense of their own well-being and be encouraged to give their best when performing their duties, contributing to the organization’s success (Byrne & MacDonagh, 2017, p.190). The job demands-resources model can also be used to explain how employees become engaged. This model categorizes working conditions as either stressful or helpful; stressful aspects are considered as job demands while helpful as resources. Job demands can be sources of stress because they invest sustained effort to deal with them, such as high workload and unfavourable working conditions. Meanwhile, job resources help workers perform their job, such as procedures required to perform specific tasks (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.473). The availability of these job resources satisfies the workers’ psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Therefore, they stimulate work engagement through the satisfaction of these needs or the achievement of work goals.
Over 49.4% of the study’s participants reported that their organizations motivate them to go beyond what they would in a similar role elsewhere. Close to 59.5% agreed that the management communicates the vision, and it motivates them. Academics argue that the perceived level of care and support from one’s organization is a crucial job resource (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.474). These are adequate job resources that enable them to cope with job demands and increase their engagement. Organizational support entails various forms of action by senior and line management that signal to employees that their contributions are valued and that the organization cares for their well-being. These signals include how the management is willing to overcome the barriers hindering the workers from delivering their top performance (Byrne & MacDonagh, 2017, p.191). It also includes appreciating the management of the employees’ efforts and informing them how they contribute to attaining the organizational goal. High levels of organizational support are characterized by open communication lines that encourage employees to remain engaged regardless of the obstacles they are facing (Byrne & MacDonagh, 2017, p.191).
Dziuba, S., Ingaldi, M & Zhuravskaya, M. 2020. ‘Employees’ job satisfaction and their work performance as elements influencing work safety.’ CzOTO, 2(1), pp.18-25.
About 50.7% of the respondents agreed that they feel connected to their colleagues. Research shows that coworkers influence job satisfaction. Having close relationships or friends at work is crucial for the workers’ mental well-being (Dziuba, Ingaldi & Zhuravskaya, 2020, p.19). People who have close friends at work feel a stronger connection to the company and are more excited about coming into work every day. Such employees are also likely to attach themselves to the company’s purpose and collaborate better to create success for the organization. This study’s results suggest that the institutions in Nigeria’s banking sector are creating environments where friendships can foster. This is achieved by encouraging informal conversations and also social events (Dziuba, Ingaldiinstitutions & Zhuravskaya, 2020, p.20). On the contrary, adverse relationships with coworkers cause stress and can take a serious toll on employees’ lives and work performance. Bad colleagues lead to bad relationships that adversely affect the organization’s performance. Thus, managers should take a proactive role in establishing good relationships in the workplace instead of letting them form naturally (Guglielmi et al., 2016, p.6).
This study suggests that responsibilities are evenly spread across teams. This is because over 69.6% of the respondents agreed with the statement. Studies show that burnout syndrome is a chronic response to interpersonal stress factors caused by work-related situations, which can manifest itself through a drastic reduction in professional satisfaction and commitment (Guglielmi et al., 2016, p.7). Workload, role, and time-related demands are among the primary sources of burnout. First, workload demands such as; the level of duties performed, the number of clients handled, seeking new customers, taking office work to home, working during weekends and holidays, supervising new employees, administrative work, meeting high work targets, and additional work per week cause burnout among the bank employees (Sousa, Ramos & Carvalho, 2019, p.5). Second, role demands such as role ambiguity/conflict and mismatch between duties performed and employees’ qualifications/skills cause burnout. Third, time-related demands such as; less time for personal activities, hours spent in the job per week, and lack of time for personal growth causes burnout. Distributing work evenly addresses the workload, role, and time-related demands that cause burnout (Sousa, Ramos & Carvalho, 2019, p.5).
Correlation between job satisfaction and employee engagement
There is a longstanding debate on the relationship between employee engagement and job satisfaction. Some academics describe it as a chicken-and-egg scenario, which comes first? Are the workers engaged with the company because they are satisfied with their jobs? Or, are they satisfied with their jobs because they are engaged with the company (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.5)? There is a growing body of research indicating that EE leads to job satisfaction. Without engagement at work, the workers are not likely to be satisfied with their jobs. These studies demonstrate that job satisfaction largely depends on how a job meets specific basic emotional needs (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.7). The workers need to feel compensated competitively, but this need is not as strong as some employers might think. New studies show that the millennials are inclined to take a pay cut, provided the new job aligns with their personal values (Davidescu et al., 2020, p.7).
The level of job satisfaction in an organization depends on how well an organization and its worker engagement program address the employees’ emotional needs (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.474). These needs include, first, the need for challenging work. Challenging work does not mean more work that involves working through lunch or staying late every day. Instead, it means work that is difficult to undertake but still possible to accomplish. Workers want to be challenged to constantly learn new things, solve customers’ problems, experience their gratitude, and feel good about accomplishing the challenging tasks. Second, workers want to attain a sense of autonomy. Autonomy helps workers see that they control their careers (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.474). They want to learn from their experiences and use that wisdom to enhance their performance. Third, employees want to reach a sense of belonging. This entails playing a role in attaining the company’s mission and vision. This is an inherent need for workers at every level of the company. Fourth, workers want to operate without fear. Companies that manage through fear operate at peak efficiency, but fear is corrosive to the organization’s culture (Hajudukova, Klementova & Klementova, 2015, p.474). It destroys the will a healthy organization needs from its workers, such as trust, creativity, commitment, collaboration, and innovation. Fear fades when companies become less hierarchical. Instead, organizations should create safe environments, supply the resources and tools required to perform duties, and provide job security as much as possible.
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