Fostering engagement among emotionally exhausted frontline employees in financial services sector
Journal of Service Theory and Practice
Article publication date: 1 April 2022
Issue publication date: 19 April 2022
This study investigates the role of personal resource (i.e. psychological empowerment) in reducing the negative impact of emotional exhaustion of frontline employees on their engagement. It also examines the moderating effects of ethical climate and transformational leadership in mitigating the negative influence of emotional exhaustion on engagement among frontline service employees (FLEs).
Data were collected from 671 frontline employees from financial services sector. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and hierarchical regression analysis (HRA) were used to test the hypothesized relationships.
Results show that the impact of emotional exhaustion on employee engagement is greatly affected by psychological empowerment. Transformational leadership moderates the negative effects of emotional exhaustion on psychological empowerment, while ethical climate weakens the negative impact of emotional exhaustion on employee engagement.
Service firms need to provide enough autonomy to emotionally exhausted frontline employees so that they feel valued. The emotionally exhausted employees can be engaged if they are empowered to discharge their job most effectively and a climate is ensured which can keep them motivated toward accomplishing their targets. A fair and just treatment shall boost their morale to perform better and to strengthen their staying intentions.
The novelty of our study lies in examining and fostering engagement among emotionally exhausted FLEs. It shows that job resources at the individual level (i.e. psychological empowerment), team level (i.e. transformational leadership) and organizational level (i.e. ethical climate) can help in encouraging work engagement among emotionally exhausted FLEs.
Sahi, G.K., Roy, S.K. and Singh, T. (2022), "Fostering engagement among emotionally exhausted frontline employees in financial services sector", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 400-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-08-2021-0175
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