Sales are regarded as the lifeblood of any industry, with sales positions often viewed as the occupation contributing the most to organisational success. A contributing factor to this success is employee engagement, which has been identified as a significant driver of sales performance. The topography of the sales landscape is dynamic and competitive and the stressful nature of the job often leads to emotional exhaustion and a high turnover rate. There is thus a likelihood of low levels of engagement in sales employees. As a personal resource, a high level of resilience is needed for sales people to be successful and thrive. Sales staff often work alone in different geographical areas and they are more likely to be successful if they feel supported by their organisation. The aim of this study was to explore and quantify the relationship between resilience, perceived organisational support and employee engagement in a competitive sales environment. A broader understanding of resilience and perceived organisational support may provide sales organisations with a lever that can be used to create an environment where sales employees can progress in their level of engagement.
Quantitative research methods were used to test the predetermined hypotheses regarding the relationship between variables. Data was collected from 125 sales representatives within a specific pharmaceutical organisation. Surveys were used to measure respondents' perceptions regarding employee engagement, resilience and organisational support within a cross-sectional timeframe. Factor analysis, multiple regression and analysis of variance were applied to determine whether a predictive relationship of significance exists among the variables. Factor validity and reliability were determined for all measurement scales.
The study provided empirical evidence of a predictive relationship between perceived organisational support and employee engagement. Sales organisations' interventions to improve employee engagement should thus focus on perceived organisational support. This study contributes towards sales literature by including positive psychology and organisational support in a model of employee engagement.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.