Test author: Mark Slaski
Year of construction: 2009
Background and theory:
Thomas Engage (originally the Work Engagement Questionnaire) was developed by Mark Slaski at the University of Hertfordshire in 2009. Slaski grounded his research and development in the psychosocial theory of workplace engagement – that engagement is a positive experience resulting from the relationships you have, the role you do and the rewards you get in the workplace.
Thomas Engage was developed through both qualitative and quantitative methods. At first, focus groups were conducted with public and private organisations regarding the positive and negative aspects of work. Qualitative analysis of these focus groups informed the development of a 28-item questionnaire.
Statistical factor analyses were conducted to identify the underlying seven areas of engagement being measured by the questionnaire; Voice, Togetherness, Challenge, Freedom, Clarity, Recognition and Growth.
The seven-factor model of engagement is of great practical value to occupational psychologists and organisations wishing to maximise positive organisational outcomes as it identifies strengths and vulnerabilities within the organisation and at different levels such as team or department or region. In turn this informs the design of specific and targeted interventions aimed at raising engagement, wellbeing and job performance.
The Thomas Engage questionnaire is formed of 28 statements. An individual must indicate their frequency of experience on a 1-7 Likert scale (1 being 'never' and 7 being 'always'). The 28 questions are followed by two pre-set questions with free-text responses. Individuals will be asked to confirm several demographic factors at the end of the questionnaire.
Reliability and Validity:
The initial 28-item questionnaire constituting Thomas Engage was piloted with over 2,500 individuals to provide data for quantitative analyses. A variety of sampling strategies were employed, including convenience and clustered random sampling. The total sample consisted of 65% males and 34% females, between 17 - 67 years of age.
Psychometric analysis of all these data revealed very high internal consistency of the WEQ28 (Cronbach's alpha = .96) and very good construct validity, confirming the unidimensionality of the scale. Structural equation modelling (SEM) suggested high construct validity of the final model, with each outcome variable able to explain a large amount of the variance in engagement. The results of content analysis of two open questions cross-validated these results.
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