The work-based predictors of job engagement and job satisfaction experienced by community health professionals

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Abstract

Background:

Job engagement represents a critical resource for community-based health care agencies to achieve high levels of effectiveness. However, studies examining the organizational sources of job engagement among health care professionals have generally overlooked those workers based in community settings.

Purpose:

This study drew on the demand–control model, in addition to stressors that are more specific to community health services (e.g., unrewarding management practices), to identify conditions that are closely associated with the engagement experienced by a community health workforce. Job satisfaction was also included as a way of assessing how the predictors of job engagement differ from those associated with other job attitudes.

Methodology/Approach:

Health and allied health care professionals (n = 516) from two Australian community health services took part in the current investigation. Responses from the two organizations were pooled and analyzed using linear multiple regression.

Findings:

The analyses revealed that three working conditions were predictive of both job engagement and job satisfaction (i.e., job control, quantitative demands, and unrewarding management practices). There was some evidence of differential effects with cognitive demands being associated with job engagement, but not job satisfaction.

Practice Implications:

The results provide important insights into the working conditions that, if addressed, could play key roles in building a more engaged and satisfied community health workforce. Furthermore, working conditions like job control and management practices are amenable to change and thus represent important areas where community health services could enhance the energetic and motivational resources of their employees.

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