All you need to know about work: Engagement And Core-Self Evaluation

All you need to know about work: Engagement And Core-Self Evaluation

According to Kahn (1990) work engagement is defined that workers input their physical, cognitive, and emotional energy in the process of performing their job (Kahn, 1990). Based on the initial work of Kahn (1990)


Schaufeli et al. (2002) defined work engagement as a positive, enthusiastic, work-related state of mind that is composed of three sub-factors: vigor, dedication, and absorption (Schaufeli et al., 2002).

There is a need to understand the intrapersonal process to work engagement (Inceoglu and Warr, 2011). According to Kahn (1990), an individual’s perception of their work environment and personality traits affect their willingness to engage in work roles. It is important to examine the relation between personal traits and work engagement to understand the process toward an individual’s career adaptation.


Core self-evaluation (CSE) is a stable dispositional trait, including a basic assessment of oneself and provides a framework through which individuals make subjective cognitive appraisal (Judge et al., 1998). CSE is considered as a useful organizing framework that helps to understand individual differences in the coping process (Kammeyer-Mueller et al., 2009). CSE consists of the four sub-factors of self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability (Judge et al., 1998). According to Judge et al. (2003), CSE is a predictor of job and life satisfaction:

  • Locus of control - reflects the extent to which you feel that your own actions influence the results you achieve. If you tend to think that outside forces are in control of your life, you have what psychologists call an external locus of control . If you believe that you are in control, you have an internal locus of control. People with an internal locus of control are more likely to be satisfied with the role you play and the work you do.
  • Neuroticism - is how well you handle negative emotions such as anxiety and anger.
  • Generalized self-efficacy - is your confidence to perform well in a variety of situations. It includes your flexibility when things change , and your willingness to learn new skills
  • Self-esteem - refers to your overall sense of worth. High self-esteem is linked with having a positive outlook, coping well with setbacks, and expecting high standards, from yourself and others.




Developing an \"Internal\" Locus of Control

Understanding your locus of control is a key part of taking responsibility for your own success. If as a supervisor, you are helping someone else to reflect on their outlook, you can use questions such as,

  • What determines what happens in your life?
  • What's controlling the success in your career?


If their answers reveal an external locus of control, you can start shifting power back to them by asking. In addition, to give people a greater sense of control, think about ways to remove some of the unpredictability from their role. For example, check that they're working toward SMART Goals (goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).


Boosting Generalized Self-Efficacy

Signs of low self-efficacy can sometimes be seen in the low targets that people set for themselves and others. Further symptoms might be negativity toward new challenges, and poor performance in teams. If self-efficacy seems low, in yourself or a colleague, try to focus on unique strengths and capabilities.


It can also be a good confidence-booster to watch people with similar skills and experience performing more advanced tasks. And take care when you are giving feedback. Combine steps for improvement with plenty of positive reinforcement, leaving people feeling respected, supported, and valued.


Improving Self-Esteem

Signs of low self-esteem can also be visible in the way that someone dresses, or how they look after their personal workspace. If someone feels that they do not have any value or worth, they can begin to neglect themselves and their workspace.


To improve self-esteem further, recognize and celebrate accomplishments. Help your people to find new opportunities to succeed, or seek them out for yourself. And do your best to ensure that effort is recognized, as well as end results.


Finally, as a manager, do everything you can to be a great role model, demonstrating confidence, resilience and respect.


Carl Tapi is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or cell number +263 772 469 680 or email:  or visit our website at 


Carl Tapi
This article was written by Carl a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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