One of the most conspicuous challenges of today’s corporate world is to maintain sound emotional ill-health of employees and reduce turnover intention. Work engagement is commonly perceived as an important factor affecting ill health and turnover intentions. Since, every organisation is now aiming to increase work engagement, research on motivational process of Job Demands Resources (JD-R) model is crucial study to be done to discover how job resources are influencing the work engagement. The primary objective of this study is to test a structural model of motivational process of JD-R model. The area of this investigation is in the cross-occupational area where the study investigate whether the job resources in different occupations possess motivational potential to increase work engagement and decrease level of turnover intentions and emotional ill-health.
RESEARCH ON JD-R MODEL
One of the most conspicuous challenges of today's corporate world is to maintain sound emotional ill health of employees and reduce turnover intention. Work engagement is commonly perceived as an important factor affecting ill health and turnover intentions. Since, every organization is now aiming to increase work engagement, research on motivational process of Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model is crucial study to be done to discover how job resources are influencing the work engagement. The primary objective of this study is to test a structural model of motivational process of JD-R model. The area of this investigation is in the cross-occupational area where the study investigates whether the job resources in different occupations possess motivational potential to increase work engagement and decrease level of turnover intentions and emotional ill-health.
Job resources related to the resources provided by the organization to its employees enabling goal achievement, meeting job responsibilities, and reduce stress (Borst et al., 2017). These resources take the form of physical, psychological, social and organizational characteristics of a job that are contributory in accomplishing the work objectives, decreasing job demands and the cost associated with them while inspiring learning (Bakker, 2007). According to Lee, Shin & Baek (2017), job resources imply workplace provisions that play the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic resources involve proper guidance from supervisors and to provide employees with growth opportunities and encouragement to make decisions. Extrinsic resources involve supervisory support that helps healthcare professionals to execute their job roles.
Work engagement refers to a state of mind that is positive, fulfilling comprising of the elements of vigor, dedication and absorption. In other words, employee engagement or work engagement is focused on high energy levels and mental resilience of employees while they are working and their focus on level of engrossment in the work and job responsibilities (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2017 and Schaufeli and Taris, 2014). Furthermore, as per the JD-R model, it is the job resources that hold special motivational qualities explaining that work environments with abundance of resources foster willingness of employees to dedicate and direct their efforts and abilities towards job responsibilities with high levels of energy (Meijman and Mulder, 1998 and Schaufeli and Taris, 2014).
Figure 1: JD-Model
(Source: Created by Author)
Turnover intention refers to the desire of employees to leave the job. Turnover intentions are also related with availability of personal, professional and spiritual resources within workplace as observed from Job Demand-Resources (JD-R) Model (Hoonakker et al., 2013). According to van, Baillien & De Witte (2014), turnover of employees implies lack of manpower or workforce resources to accomplish organizational objectives of being highly productive. In accordance to Bakker, Demerouti & Verbeke (2014), stress factor leads to burnout, which on a long-term basis leads to employees leaving organizations. Turnover intentions are seen in business organizations due to lack of appropriate organizational framework where professionals are not allowed to take time off in between shifts and are on continuous rounds. [Refer to Appendix 1]
Emotional ill health refers to the mental status of employees and results in an increase of stress and frustration levels that reflect on the work performance within an organization. Emotional ill health has a negative impact on psychology and it decreases work engagement (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004 and Melamed et al., 2006). It is the strain (burnout) that results in emotional ill-health of employees and such stress results out of high job demands and poor job resources resulting in health problems for employees and mediate the relation between job demands and health and well-being of employees (Schaufeli and Taris, 2014).
JD-R Model aims at determining relationship in between JR and EE, which is mediating variable of the model. Here, it is to be noted that EE is a variable that lies between the independent and dependent variables. This is so as job demands and resources are associated with well-being and work engagement. According to JD-R model, there are two sets of working situations (i.e. demands and resources) where each of these induces a different procedure. Considering the job resources like decision-making power and workplace support results in promotion of goal achievement that in turn results in a positive attitude towards the job ensuring high employee engagement. This is the pathway known as the motivational pathway under JD-R model (Bakker, 2007). Thus, there lies a positive relationship between JR and EE with resources leading to job satisfaction and organizational commitment due to reduces levels of stress and a motivation to focus on the energetic pathway Lewig et al., 2007 and Bakker & Demerouti, 2017).
There is a negative relationship in between TI and EE due to the fact that high employee engagement results in low turnover intentions. EE helps in developing an emotional connection with an organization and leads to low employee turnover rate (Kim and Stoner, 2008). As discussed in last section, JD-R model explains the impact of high job demands leading to strain reactions in the form of stress and burnout giving rise to TI and absenteeism via emotional exhaustion (Hoonakker et al., 2013). This is the energetic pathway in the JD-R model. On the other hand the independent variable of job resources results in positive job attitudes and EE. Therefore, EE is a mediating variable lying between JR (independent variable) and TI (dependent variable) and act as a motivational element/factor mediating between job demands/resources and turnover. This implies a negative or inverse relationship between TI and EE (Bakker, 2015).
According to the JD-R model, the relationship between the job demands, job resources and outcomes are mediated by two important factors. Here, the first factor is the strain in the form of burnout and emotional exhaustion while the other factors refers to the motivational process in the form of satisfaction with the job and employee commitment. Thus, there can be positive as well as a negative relationship between EHIH and EE. In addition to these elements, recent studies bring in the element of work-to-family conflict as a job demand that affect the employee’s resources in a negative manner (Mauno et al., 2006). Here, it is to be noted that job demands in the form of excessive workloads, stressors like role ambiguity, lack of challenging tasks, lack of development opportunities and repetitive task are positively or directly associated with TI. This explains the negative or inverse relationship between EIH and EE where an increase in EIH due to different stressors or burnout will result in low level of EE.
On the other hand, job resources (independent variable) in the form of social and organizational support leads to EE and commitment. There is a positive relationship in between EIH and mediating variable, EE as leads to job satisfaction and employees sees it as an opportunity to get recognized within an organization. In accordance to Job Demand-Resource Model (JD-R Model), increase in demand for performance and meeting objectives need to be balanced with the availability of all kinds of resources (Schaufeli, 2015). Accordance to Bauer et al. (2016), this involves providing appropriate guidance from supervisors in order to execute job roles with ease along with the availability of personal and spiritual resources.
The reason of observing relationship between job resources availability and TI and EIH with the help of other factors (second-order factors) is due to the reason that variables of JD-R Models are latent in nature (Schaufeli, 2015). The second order factors for job resources involve supervisory support and providing development opportunities for employees to reduce TI and EIH (Dane & Brummel, 2014). Work engagement second-order factors are dedication, absorption, and vigor that leads to makes the employees feel that they are integral entities of an organization. According to van den Heuvel et al. (2015), emotional ill-health factors can be better understood with the help of anxiety and depression that employees/professionals undergoes due to intense work shifts and performing responsibilities on which life of individuals depends. Second factor of turnover intention implies making planning of leaving job due to high EIH. It is important to study such variables through the discussed factors/elements or signs of issues leading the studies to second order factors of JR, EE, EIH and TI.
The reason of selecting JD-R model is that it represents the entities through which psychology and intentions of employees can be interpreted. The model is appropriate in knowing the relationship in between the demands of various organizational job roles and responsibilities with that of availability of resources within an organization. This has been helpful in demonstrating the turnover intentions and emotional ill-health dependency or interrelatedness with that of independent factor, availability of job resources. This has been demonstrated with the help of mediating variable, Employee Engagement (EE). The interest in the model generates from its ability to help understand and respond to the needs and expectations of employees that can result in high EE and low TI and a balance of JR and EIH.
The model can be applied in practical business organizations to understand the current state of motivation and help in defining strategies to achieve a desired state of motivation among employees (Figure 2). For example, if there is more of absenteeism due to high level of workplace stress, the organization can work towards increasing the positive elements associated with the job and the workplace.
Figure 2: Interest in JD-R Model
Source: Bakker and Demerouti (2006), Emerald Publishing Group
The theoretical interest of job demand resource model is mostly aligned with integrative conceptual assessment in order to monitor work engagement by preventing organizational burnout. The main point of the interest to analyze the job demand resource model is that it has been beneficial for addressing a relatively positive psychology over the work engagement with respect to health impairment process. In the opinion of Wang, Huang & You (2016), this type of job demand resources are mostly incorporated into job resources as well as personal resources. Furthermore, future researcher can effectively affiliate a difference as well as emergence of job demand which is based on mainly work engagement, job resource, turnover intention and so many. For example, majority of banking sector and other financial organization in UK, it is found that they are significantly focused on employee retention that has been facilitated to supervisory support, development opportunity, thinking ability as well. Hence, the major theoretical interest of such theoretical framework is that first-order factor such as job resource is affiliated to autonomy, employee development opportunity. Moreover, work engagement has been narrated to absorption capability, dedication and vigor. On the other hand, emotional ill health leads to deal with individual depression and anxiety. In other words, turnover intention refers to associate with planning to leave the job.
According to another research study, job demand resource model is described that involved employee and staff are responsible to bring emotional, physical as well as cognitive resources in order to perform an effective role with an organizational management system. In addition, Lee, Shin & Baek (2017) has been stated that there has a close and direct inter-relationship between job demand and employee engagement along with work performance. On contrary, in the opinion of Bauer et al. (2015), JD-R theory is facilitated to two major categories to working conditions which is also initiated in various processes. Hence, in relation with that, job demand is affiliated with fatigue health issues. Apart from that assessment, such theoretical implication is drawn an association among turnover intention, job performance, occupational health, motivational assessment, and so many prospects. In addition, as commented by van, Baillien & De Witte (2011), implementation of job demand resource model is suited to evaluate a positive assessment on the work engagement along with the negative focus on organizational burnout that is also helped to maintain industrial comprehensive approach.
Most of the previous research study has been described the effectiveness of job demand resource model with respect to sense of a coherence based on motivational approach. In addition, implementation of such theoretical framework has considered as predictor of the turnover intentions. In relation with that, current research is aimed to analyze the association in between dependent and independent variable that is bridged by a mediating variable. In this scenario, employee engagement, turnover intention, employee ill health is undertaken as dependent variables whereas job resource is employed as and independent variable. Furthermore, the association in between these variable is fundamentally mentioned by employee engagement. Hence, such prospect is said to be a vital research gap related to exploration of the motivation path in real world organizations, which is not addressed in earlier research study.
The turnover intentions in different occupations is based on different factors or reasons that may or may not be directed associated with job satsifaction and commitment. If we consider the banking sector, there is a significant relationship reported with the variables of Job security, job stress, trust relationship that influence TI but insignificat relationship with person organization fit (Husain et al., 2015). On the other hand, in IT sector, it Is the burnout and relationship between job resource and turnover inteuons that are mediated by job satisfaction (Hoonakker et al., 2013). At the same time white collar workers of IT sector are influenced by financial benefits and growth opportunities affecting their TI (Bakker, Demerouti & Verbeke, 2014). Similarly, occupational stress is considered to be the most important factor influence TI in the field of medicine and nursing. There are certain other factors like work culture, values and beleifs that affect the TI of blue-collar workers in a majority of mannufacturing occupations (Schaufeli and Taris, 2014).
These factors whether physical, psychological, social or technological are associated with JR as wel as with work engagement. These factors resulst out of the lack of some expected resoucres and influence the level fo satisfaction and commitment fo employees towards the organization and therefore can be studied and explored through JD-R model.
Emotionally ill-health has been occurred due to mainly excessive work pressure, depression, lack of professional support, development session and so on (Van Woerkom, Bakker & Nishii, 2016).
The various reasons or factors resulting in emotional ill-health of employees can vary according to occupations, like, blue-collar workers may feel the stress and anxiety due to heavy workloads while white-collar workers are more affected by reduced job security, lack of appreciation at work and lack of developmental opportunities. Furthermore, some occupations may result in obsesity, back and nexk pain increasing the pharmacy expenses for employees thereby increasing stress and anxiety among them (Bakker & Demerouti, 2017). Some other occupations like nursing is characterized with EIH factors in the form of misbehavior from patient and their family members, loss of social and organizational support, and high psychological demands of the profession. Such factors give rise to mood-swings, chronic stress, depression, loss of self-worth and depresssion among nursing and care staff.
These health issues or disorders in diferent occuptaions results in abseenteeism, psychiatric disorders, poor performance, accidents, los of productivity and staff turnover all indirectly associated with elements of JD-R model resulting in insufficient EE. Therefore, EIH factors in cross-occupational study can be explored through JD-R model by identifying the direct and indirect link between factors influencing EIH and the level fo commitment.
Job Resoucres in Different Occupations
Different occpuations focus on different kinds fo job resoucres like some of the occupations are focused on technological resoucres while some other aims to provide best workplace environment and a cooperative team to employees. There are occupations like that of lawyers, academicians, scientists and researchers where the need is to focus on opportunities of learning and exploring while some other occupations like IT, banking and retail need a focus on combined factors of work environment, technology upgradation, challenging tasks, social support, organizational support, financial benefits, recognition and several such factors.
There is a need to study these different JR elements in relation to specific occupations and therefore JD-R model is the most appropriate model to explore the relationsip between JR and EE, TI and EIH in a cross-occupational study.
JD-R model provides the opportunity to identify the direct as well as indirect link between first level and second level variables to understand the relationship between variables and commitment. However, the model may behave differently in different occupations due to a wide range of variables affecting EI, EE and EIH as per the nature of job and level fo commitment expected by the employer. This makes a cross-occupational study possible only with the help of JD-R model.
Employee Engagement in Different Occupations
According to overall discussion on job resources and factors affecting EIH and TI, it can be found that there has a positive as well as negative association in between job resource and turnover intention along with work engagement. The major role of employee engagement is maintaining an effective relation in between job resource and turnover intensive as well as emotional ill-health. As opined by Bauer et al. (2016), it helps to explore learning opportunity as well as upcoming opportunity for flourishing organizational management facility.
In the opinion of Lu & Gursoy (2016), there are so many employee and staff who are taken organizational work pressure and excessive workload in a positive manner. This type of assessment can be seen in majority of global financial organizations, however the employees may not be comfortable with excess workloads in public sector units. Then there are differences in TI and EIH factors of blue collar and white collar workers as well as different as per the difference in occupation of people
The JD-R model is the most appropriate tool to study these difefrences under a cross-ocupational study as it has a broad range of factors applicable to a majority of occupations andindustrial sectors.
The interest is cross-occupational area will help in exploring the applicability of JD-R model in different contexts with a focus on factors affecting EE, EIH and TI in different occupations and the way JD-R model can help in improving the situation while working in specifically identified issues. Also, a cross-occupational study will provide a comparative analysis of the relationship of factors affecting TI and their relationship with EE and JR resulting in widening the scope of the research work.
The implementation of theoretical aspect of job demand resource model is considered to be different in occupational assessment as there has a different assessment of organizational cultural diversity. In addition, each and every individual is incorporated to different potential level for which the association among turnover intensive and emotional ill-health with job resource is quite different in cross-cultural area. Furthermore, supervisory and autonomy support, development opportunity, as well as absorption capacity, is also different from each other.
The current research proposal will focus on exploration of the motivational pathway of JD-R model while conducting a cross-occupational study based on the selected variables namely job resources, employee engagement, turnover intention and emotional ill-health. A justification of appling this particular model is presented to clarify a direct association of TI in different occupations with the employee engagement and job resources making it the most appropriate model to explore the area.