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THE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND AREAS OF WORKLIFE OF CALL CENTER AGENTS IN ORTIGAS-PASIG DISTRICT: BASIS FOR A CALL CENTER

COMPREHENSIVE BALANCE WORKLIFE PROGRAM Agnes F. Montalbo

Call center research often focuses on the negative side of working in a call center. This study is directed at exploring a more positive outlook in a call center agents life by determining the level of Employee Engagement and match in the Areas of Worklife and the relationship that exists between the two. The descriptive method was used in this study with 294 call center agents from Ortigas-Pasig District as respondent. The Utrecht Work Engagement Survey (UWES; Schaufeli, W.B., Salanova, M., Gonzlez-Rom. V., & Bakker, A.B., 2002) that measure employee engagement with vigor, dedication and absorption as its dimension and the Areas of Worklife (AWLS, Maslach & Leiter, 1997) with workload, community, control, reward, fairness and value as its dimensions were administered. This study found out that the call center agents have average energy level and the dedicated call center agents those who worked in the company for less than a year. The majority of the agents are in the direction of a match in the Areas of Worklife. A very weak or no correlation was found between the dimensions of employee engagement and the dimensions of the Areas of Worklife. The result of the study implies that working in a call center even in the night shift can be engaging and rewarding especially for male agents who had worked in their current company for less than a year and a graduate of Commerce or Engineering course. A proposed program is designed to enhance the employee engagement that promotes a match in the areas of worklife of call center agents.

(a) What recent psychological result or finding are you replicating in your own study? Describe in two or three sentences (and include appropriate citation and year of original study). The relationship between the dimensions of the areas of worklife and employee engagement plus burnout is a common theme among the research on engagement and burnout. (Smolak, 2012, Timms, 2007) The Areas of Worklife together with the MBI-GS (Maslach Burnout InventoryGeneral Scale) are used as predictors of well-being and burnout. (Maslach & Leiter, 2008) Timms, Carolyn, 2007. A contextual account for worker engagement and burnout. Dissertation at James Cook University. Smolak, Teresa. 2012. Does work engagement burn out? The person-job fit and levels of burnout and engagement in work. Polish Psychological Bulletin. Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 7685 Maslach, C. & Leiter, M. 2008. Early Predictors of Job Burnout and Engagement. Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 93, No. 3, 498512 Maslach, C., 2011. Burnout and engagement in the workplace: new perspectives. The European Health Pychologist. Volume 13. Issue 3. (b) How do your research design, methods, and analysis compare to the previous study/studies you are replicating? Describe the important differences. The research design used in my research is simpler than the previous researches conducted because this only involves the description of the level of engagement and the areas of worklife and the relationship between the two. Previous study includes detailed analysis of the inter-relationship among the variables using regression analysis and confirmatory factor analysis of the variables.

(c) How do your results compare to the results of the previous study/studies you are replicating? Describe the important differences. One important result of my study is the low correlation of the dimensions of the areas of worklife and the dimensions of work engagement. Previous study reported a correlation with the dimension of workload with the MBI-GS dimensions which means that the more work you have the more you are likely to feel burnout. Maslach (2011) claimed that fairness, control or workplace community often turns out to be the most critical points of strain in an organization. In my study those employees with longer job tenure perceived Fairness significantly higher compared to other groups might be an indication that because they perceived the workplace as fair, they stay longer in that company. Smolak (2012) reported that in terms of employee engagement the mean result did not exceed the average results. In my study, the call center agents have high dedication and some are fully absorbed in their work that can be contrary to some report that call center agents are burned out. The majority of the call center agents are in the direction of a match in the Areas of Worklife.

(d) Why do you think it is important to replicate the result or finding in the Philippines context, with your particular sample? Conducting this study is important because majority of the researches in the Philippines with call center as respondent focuses on the negative side of their work. We perceived them as having burnout and has more physical hazard because they work in the night shift. This research suggests that the respondents in this study reported an engagement in their work and feels a sense of community contrary to what we perceive.