Original Research

Self-management strategies of graduate employees to enhance work engagement

Nelesh Dhanpat, Dorothy L. Danguru, Oyisa Fetile, Kholeka Kekana, Kholosa N. Mathetha, Sphiwe F. Nhlabathi, Elmain Ruiters
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 47 | a1857 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v47i0.1857 | © 2021 Nelesh Dhanpat, Dorothy L. Danguru, Oyisa Fetile, Kholeka Kekana, Kholosa N. Mathetha, Sphiwe F. Nhlabathi, Elmain Ruiters | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 November 2020 | Published: 28 April 2021

About the author(s)

Nelesh Dhanpat, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dorothy L. Danguru, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Oyisa Fetile, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Kholeka Kekana, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Kholosa N. Mathetha, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sphiwe F. Nhlabathi, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Elmain Ruiters, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Orientation: The hiring of graduates is valuable to organisations. It is necessary to understand the self-management behaviours they display and the behaviours required to keep them engaged.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how self-management strategies enhance work engagement of recent graduates who find themselves in a new environment of the world of work.

Motivation for the study: Employee engagement is of both academic and practitioner interest. With organisations hiring graduates, it is valuable to understand the self-management behaviours needed to remain engaged.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research approach was employed through an interpretivist research paradigm. A purposive sample of 12 graduate employees (median age = 24) in various fields of work were interviewed (women = 11, men = 1; black = 11, coloured = 1). The graduates participated in semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis was conducted and five themes emerged.

Main findings: Through an inductive approach, the five themes that emerged concerning self-management strategies used by graduates to enhance their work engagement are goal setting, self-cueing, self-observation, self-reward and self-punishment and work engagement practices.

Practical/managerial implications: Self-management strategies help to sustain an engaged workforce. Organisations that make use of graduate recruitment will largely benefit from the findings.

Contribution/value-add: There is limited research on the topic pertaining to graduate employees. Graduates remain relevant in the organisation, and hence, the study makes a contribution to theory and practice. A model is presented with recommendations for graduates and the organisation, which, when implemented, have the potential to enhance work engagement.


Keywords

self-management; work engagement; graduates; self-goal-setting; self-observation, self-cueing; self-reward; self-punishment

Metrics

Total abstract views: 773
Total article views: 565


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.