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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


DHANPAT, Nelesh et al. Self-management strategies of graduate employees to enhance work engagement. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2071-0763.

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 engagedRESEARCH 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 workMOTIVATION 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 practicesPRACTICAL/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.

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