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Title: Employees' engagement and job commitment in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Maldives
Author: Ummu Kulsoom, Aminath
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 6847
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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When employees are properly engaged, they are more committed, and their performance increases, thereby improving organisational performance. In the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS), Maldives, we have been experiencing an increasing rate of staff turnover, especially in the lower levels, absenteeism and frequent sick leaves. Many employees take about two or three sickleaves in a month while some staff who get late for work almost every day. I have traced the negative influences of the above to inadequate employees' engagement and weak job commitment to our organisation. Consequently, the primary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between skills training programmes developed by our organisation and employees' engagement, in an attempt to encourage employees to be more engaged in their work. It also assessed the link between employees' engagement and job commitment, as well as the mediating influence of employees' job satisfaction on employees' engagement and job commitment in the MYS. The study adopted a mixed-method of research, through the quantitative and the qualitative analysis. I began the study with the uncovering of eight engagement themes from the literature. After that, I conducted a survey involving the total population of the organisation, which was only 101 in the organisation, as the participants. The data collected were analysed using SPSS software, via factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. Then I tested the various hypotheses to uncover the crucial employees' engagement variables from the literature. The effectiveness of skills training programme was analysed using the quantitative and the qualitative analysis via semistructured interviews. The nine participants for the interview were selected based on purposive sampling from a list of employees who received skills training over the past two years. The interview script was coded and analysed via the thematic analysis. Additionally, I discussed the study with the EXCO members (senior employees responsible for taking strategic decisions in our organisation). The exploratory factor analysis results contrived only six (6) "factors" out of the eight (8) engagement variables. Consequently, findings from a three-step regression procedure, thematic analysis and the discussions unanimously identified four (4) significant variables, namely; job characteristics, relationship with supervisor and subordinates, training and development opportunities, and reward and recognition as capable of contributing to improved employees' engagement of the MYS. Surprisingly, employees' job satisfaction had no relationship and mediating influence between employees' engagement and job commitment. This surprising finding is seen as Potential Avenue for another research in my journey as a scholar-practitioner. Therefore, I concluded that the skills training programme helped in enhancing employees' engagement level and that there is a relationship between skills training and employees' engagement, and that employees' engagement and job commitment are linked. Consequently, to enhance employees' engagement in MYS it needs to focus on improving the skills training programme that is ongoing and conduct skills training continuously, as well as, improving monitoring and supervision, reward and recognition and performance management. Additionally, based on suggestions from EXCO members, the study recommended; to develop a training policy stating various conditions for paid leave for studies and release for studies during office hours. And to development of a new policy on reward and recognition as well as practice existing rules and regulations on matters related to office mandate and improve supervision and monitoring of employees. Although somewhat premature, the implemented recommendations have started yielding positive results. This study, therefore, contributes to practice and literature, via the validation of our conceptual model of employees' engagement, job commitment and satisfaction. Additionally, other practitioners or researchers could use the study as a guide for conducting a research study in the public sector organisations of the small island nations, similar to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS), Maldives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral