n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Sense of coherence, affective wellbeing and burnout in a South African higher education institution call centre




The high levels of absenteeism and turnover due to the incidence of high stress levels in the higher education call centre environment have led to renewed interest in measuring call centre agents' work-related wellbeing. The objectives of the study were to: (1) assess the overall wellness climate profile of a sample of higher education call centre employees for national benchmarking purposes; (2) explore the relationship between the participants' sense of coherence, affective wellbeing and burnout (measured by the South African Employee Health and Wellness Survey); and (3) determine how the participants differ regarding these variables in terms of gender, race, age and marital status. A quantitative survey was conducted on a convenience sample (n = 102) of call centre employees working in a full-time capacity in a South African higher education institution. The results indicated a risky wellness climate as compared to the national norm. Correlational statistics revealed significant associations between the participants' sense of coherence, affective wellbeing and burnout levels. Multiple regression analyses indicated sense of coherence and burnout as significant predictors of the participants' affective wellbeing. Significant differences regarding these variables were also detected between males and females and the various marital status groups. The findings contribute valuable new knowledge to the field of employee wellness that can be used to improve the work-related wellbeing of employees in the South African higher education call centre environment.


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