The role of supervisor support and basic psychological needs in predicting work engagement, burnout and turnover intentions in a medical contract research service setting.Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022 06; 18(6):2981-2988.RS
The pharmaceutical industry is forced to contain costs by outsourcing drug testing to commercial contract research organizations (CROs). This ensures the performance of clinical trials by experienced employees who must competently and skillfully exercise due care and diligence. Skilled talent for demanding CRO's is scarce, expensive and hard to retain. Evidence from empirical examinations in the CRO industry will be valuable for decision-makers. The lack of employee engagement and the neglect of employee well-being has financially harmful implications for industries with high job demands.
This study investigated the relationship between supervisor support, the satisfaction of self-determination needs and engagement at work, emotional exhaustion and intention to leave in a CRO.
A quantitative, cross-sectional approach was employed. Participants comprised a convenience sample of 260 CRO-employed males and females 18 years and older with different education and tenure levels. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the validity of a specified model. Raykov's reliability was utilized to evaluate internal consistency, and data were summarized descriptively. Coefficients of correlation and Cohen's d effect size were computed to assess relationships. The SEM model tested direct and indirect effects.
The validated and reliable model found an improvement in supervisor support and satisfaction of self-determination needs would predict work engagement, reduced emotional exhaustion and intentions to leave amongst the CRO sample. Results also show that work engagement would affect emotional exhaustion and turnover intentions via satisfaction of self-determined needs.
The study highlights the importance of the relationship between supervisor support, satisfaction of self-determination needs, employee engagement and well-being in a demanding organization. Although supervisor support is associated with improved work engagement and employee well-being, the improvement of satisfaction of self-determination needs should not be neglected in organizations with high job demands where talent retention is critical.