Original Research

Human resource policies and work–life balance in higher education: Employee engagement as mediator

Felix K. Opoku, Isaac T. Kwao, Agyemang-Prempeh Johnson
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 21 | a1939 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v21i0.1939 | © 2023 Felix K. Opoku, Isaac T. Kwao, Agyemang-Prempeh Johnson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2022 | Published: 15 March 2023

About the author(s)

Felix K. Opoku, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Business, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Isaac T. Kwao, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Business, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Agyemang-Prempeh Johnson, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Business, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

Abstract

Orientation: This article focuses on workplace policies, employee engagement and work–life balance in higher education.

Research purpose: This study examined the mediation of employee engagement on the relationship between human resource (HR) policies and work–life balance among employees in the College of Distance Education (CODE) in Ghana.

Motivation for the study: Although there is a plethora of research linking HR policies and employees’ work–life balance, the same cannot be said of the variables that mediate this relationship, as there are only few studies in that perspective.

Research approach/design and method: The study adopted a purely quantitative approach, using the descriptive survey design. Data were collected from 232 staff of the CODE in Ghana. The Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the data.

Main findings: The results indicated that employee engagement is a complementary partial mediator of the nexus between HR policies and work–life balance. It was also found that HR policies had a statistically significant effect on work–life balance.

Practical/managerial implications: In order to effectively improve their staff’s work–life balance, management of the college must formulate policies that support employee engagement. Specifically, they can use flexible work arrangements, leave policy, and caretaking policies to positively influence their employees’ work engagement.

Contribution/value-add: The results from this study offer a remarkable new knowledge that can be applied in promoting the work–life balance of employees in higher education.


Keywords

higher education; employee engagement; work–life balance; human resource policies; College of Distance Education

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