Factors influencing employee engagement in private universities in Kenya - a case of Strathmore University
Mwangi, Naomi May W.
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This study’s aim was to investigate factors that influence employee engagement in private universities in Kenya using Strathmore University as a case study. Five independent variables were investigated and how they relate to employee enragement. These were job demands, job organization, interpersonal relationships, values in the work place and work –life interface. This study is important because of the growing interest among practitioners, managers and researchers on the area of employee engagement and the possible outcomes to the organization. The study adopted a quantitative research design and data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire from employees of Strathmore University. The study used stratified sampling so as to capture all types of employees working in the university. The target sample size was 240 respondents, 196 employees responded. Hence the response rate was 82%. The questions measuring each variable were in a Likert scale; hence data were coded as ordinal. Non-parametric tests were used to analyze the data. The data were then evaluated using SPSS and Spearman’s rank Correlation coefficient used to establish the relationship between employee engagement and the independent variables. The findings from the analysis revealed that interpersonal relationships and job organization had a moderately strong positive correlation to employee engagement. Values in the work place and work –life interface had a weak positive correlation to employee engagement. Job demands had no significant correlation to employee engagement. Further tests were carried to compare the engagement levels between the various demographic groups in the study. There were significant differences in engagement levels between the gender, highest level of education and years of employment groups. There were no significant differences in engagement levels between the groups in the job categories. The study recommended that there is need to have in place interventions that enhance employee engagement in Strathmore University. These include regular review of job designs, cross-teams that work together, equal opportunities for employment and promotion and programmes that help employees strike work balance. There is need to carry out more in depth studies to find out why job demands do not affect employee engagement in this case yet other studies indicate otherwise. In addition, further studies should to be carried to investigate why the engagement levels are different between men and women, why PhD holders and those who have been in employment for more than 16 years have lower engagement levels. This study provides a base of information for further research in the area of employee engagement in a Kenyan set up. However the study was carried out in one private university in Kenya, it’s difficult to generalize these findings to another university, hence the need to carry out similar studies in other universities. In addition, this study was a cross-sectional in nature. It would be important to find out if the same factors hold if a longitudinal study was to be undertaken.