Original Research

Work-to-family interface and well-being: The role of workload, emotional load, support and recognition from supervisors

Audrey Babic, Nicolas Gillis, Isabelle Hansez
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1628 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1628 | © 2020 Audrey Babic, Nicolas Gillis, Isabelle Hansez | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 January 2019 | Published: 17 March 2020

About the author(s)

Audrey Babic, Human Resources Development Unit, Work Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, and Education, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Nicolas Gillis, Mental Readiness and Psychosocial Advisor, Belgian Defence, Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium
Isabelle Hansez, Human Resources Development Unit, Work Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, and Education, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium


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Abstract

Orientation: Considering the negative and positive consequences of burnout and work engagement, respectively (i.e. concepts used in reference to well-being), for both workers and organisations, it is crucial to identify their antecedents in order to prevent burnout and foster work engagement.

Research purpose: We investigated the mediating role of work-to-family conflict (WFC) and work-to-family enrichment (WFE) in the relationships between work environment (i.e. emotional load and workload as job demands; support and recognition from supervisors as job resources) and well-being (i.e. work engagement and burnout). The buffering effect of job resources in the job demands–WFC relationships was also tested.

Motivation for the study: The present research tries to respond to recent recommendations in the field of work–family interface and burnout.

Research approach/design and method: A total of 226 employees of a Belgian Federal Public Service were surveyed. Our cross-sectional research model was tested using structural equation modelling with Mplus.

Main findings: Workload and support were related to WFC, whereas only recognition was related to WFE. Both WFC and WFE were related to work engagement and burnout. The two job resources buffered the workload–WFC relationship.

Practical/managerial implications: Supervisors can increase WFE by recognising employees’ efforts and reduce WFC by promoting a supportive work environment and reducing the workload. By doing so, supervisors increase work engagement and decrease burnout, thus enhancing workers’ well-being.

Contribution/value-addition: This study highlights that the two job resources operate in different ways regarding work-to-family interface: recognition activates the resource generation and motivational processes, whereas support operates in the resource depletion and health impairment processes. The role of supervisors is thus crucial in the emergence of workers’ well-being.


Keywords

JD-R model; work-to-family interface; recognition from supervisor; support from supervisor; burnout; work engagement.

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