Psychological and work-related factors predicting work engagement in Malaysian employees

C. M.H. Chan, J. E. Wong, L. H. Wee, N. A. Jamil, L. L.L. Yeap, Y. Swarna Nantha, C. S. Siau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background Past research on work engagement has focused almost exclusively on either psychological or work-related factors in almost wholly separate literature.There is therefore a need to examine how these factors collectively influence work engagement. Aims To determine levels of work engagement and to identify psychological and work-related characteristics predicting work engagement in employees in Malaysia. Methods We recruited 5235 employees from 47 public and private organizations in Malaysia who responded to an online health survey.We assessed work engagement with the 9-item UtrechtWork Engagement Scale (UWES-9) and psychological distress using the 6-item Kessler scale.We performed multiple linear regression to determine predictors of work engagement. Results Employee mean age was 33.8 years (standard deviation [SD] ± 8.8). The mean work engagement score on the UWES-9 was 3.53 (SD ± 0.94). Eleven of 18 variables on multiple regression predicted work engagement, F(18, 4925) = 69.02, P < 0.001, R2 = 0.201. Factors that predicted higher work engagement were age, marital status, education level, job type, job permanency, longer sleep duration, lower psychological distress and no history of workplace bullying. Conclusions Key factors associated with poorer work engagement in Malaysian employees include inadequate sleep, psychological distress and a history of workplace bullying. These are modifiable factors that individuals and employers can target to improve work engagement, ideally tailored according to occupational type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Bullying
  • Employee health
  • Psychological distress
  • Sleep
  • Work engagement

Cite this