The relationship between flexible working hours, organisational commitment and employment engagement at a South African retailer
Huckle, Robyn Jessica
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In the twenty first century, the traditional roles in a nuclear family have changed. In the majority of modern families, both partners have careers and full-time jobs. Burnett, Gatrell, Cooper and Sparrow (2010) explain that the approach to working life is changing, both men and women want to find a balance between work, family and caring responsibilities. Guest (2002) also elaborates that work-life balance has always been a concern for those interested in the quality of working life and the relation to broader quality of life. Due to the challenges which employees are currently facing, flexible work arrangements have become an increasingly popular business practice around the globe as a means to reduce work-life conflict. Many organisations offer flexible work arrangements with the goal of facilitating positive outcomes for both organisations and employees (Joiner & Bakalis, 2006). However, other organisations are still resistant to introducing flexible work arrangements as they fear it might impact negatively on productivity (Johnson, 2004; Martinez-Sanchez, Perez-Perez, Jose Vela-Jimenez & de-Luis Carnicer, 2008). While literature on flexible working hours has increased in recent times, no study has been found on the relationships between flexible working hours, employee engagement and organisational commitment in the retail sector in South Africa. Therefore this study focused on the relationship between flexible working hours, employee engagement and organisational commitment. The study followed a quantitative approach and the questionnaires were completed by 161 respondents. The two statistical approaches used to draw conclusions for this study are descriptive and inferential statistics. The study found significant relationships between flexible working hours, employee engagement and organisational commitment. The study also found a significant relationship between different age groups and flexible working hours as well as male and female and their use of flexible working hours. In conclusion, if retailers want to remain competitive in the retail industry where international competition is rife, they will have to ensure that they have the best talent. In order to acquire top talent, they will need to implement policies that will attract and retain them. Based on the findings and results, flexible working hours could substantially assist by increasing their employee engagement and organisational commitment and thereby attracting and retaining the top talent in the South African retail industry.