Job insecurity, leadership empowerment behaviour, employee engagement and intention to leave in a petrochemical laboratory

23 April 2015

Orientation: Engaging individuals at work plays an important role in retaining them. Job security and leadership empowerment behaviour are antecedents of employee engagement. Research purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between job insecurity, leadership empowerment behaviour (as perceived by the employees who report to leaders), employee engagement and intention to leave their jobs in a petrochemical laboratory. Motivation for the study: Knowledge of the effects of job insecurity and leadership on employee engagement and turnover intention will contribute to improved talent management. Research design, approach and method: A correlational design was used. A total of 169 employees in a petrochemical laboratory were studied. The measuring instruments included the Job Insecurity Index, the Leadership Empowerment Behaviour Questionnaire, and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Two questions were used to measure intention to leave. Main findings: The results showed that job insecurity was not statistically significantly related to employee engagement and turnover intention. Leadership empowerment behaviour contributed statistically significantly to employee engagement and low turnover intention. Employee engagement partially mediated the relationship between leadership empowerment behaviour and turnover intention. Practical implications: Leaders should be developed to show empowerment behaviour, because it affects employee engagement, which in turn affects their turnover intention Contribution: This was the first study that demonstrated the effect of empowerment behaviour of leaders on the engagement and turnover intention of employees.