The impact of management on the engagement and well-being of high emotional labour employees

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Brunetto, Y, Shacklock, K, Teo, S & Farr-Wharton, R in 2014, 'The impact of management on the engagement and well-being of high emotional labour employees', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 25, no. 17, pp. 2345-2363.

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Australia, like many other countries, suffers high turnover of nurses and police officers. Contributions to effectively manage the turnover challenge have been called for, and there are few Australian studies of nursing/policing turnover intentions. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of supervisor–subordinate relationships and perceived organisational support (POS) upon engagement, well-being, organisational commitment and turnover intentions. Second, we examined the similarities and differences between nursing and policing work contexts. The retention of nurses/police has been investigated from traditional management perspectives; however, we used a different theoretical approach – social exchange theory – and evaluated its utility as a framework. Findings are from Australian data collected during 2010–2011 from 510 nurses and 193 police officers, using a survey-based, self-report strategy. Partial least squares path modelling was used to analyse these data. Results indicated that for both samples, engagement predicts well-being and then, well-being predicts affective commitment and intentions to leave. MANOVA results suggested that nurses had significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their supervisor–subordinate relationships, POS, engagement, well-being and affective commitment than police officers. Only the intention to leave was similar for both groups. Given that turnover can be influenced by supervisors/management, this study provides new knowledge about targeted retention strategies.

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