Positive pathways to engaging workers : work-family enrichment as a predictor of work engagement

Carolyn TIMMS, Paula BROUGH, Michael P. O'DRISCOLL, Thomas KALLIATH, Oi Ling SIU, Cindy SIT, Danny LO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Engaged workers willingly devote their best efforts to their work in terms of their energy (vigor), sustained attention (absorption) and their sense of purpose (dedication), thereby contributing to the optimal functioning and performance of organizations. In consideration of the positive and negative influence of work–life balance for work performance, this study assessed the role played by work–family enrichment as a direct antecedent of work engagement. Two waves of data were collected from an Australian sample of workers with family commitments (N = 470). Cross-sectional analyses found that experiences of work that contributed to a positive mood (affect) and to a sense of confidence (capital) in family life were associated with all three dimensions of work engagement and with family satisfaction. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated enduring effects of positive mood, with work–family affect predicting work engagement and family–work affect predicting family satisfaction. The results support Fredrickson's broaden-and-build theory which predicts positive experiences, particularly those that enable workers to leave work in a good mood, and returns benefits in the form of work engagement. The current study provides evidence that enriched experiences at the workplace provide tangible benefits to people's family lives and long-term returns to organizations in the form of ongoing employee engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-510
Number of pages21
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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