JOB INSECURITY AS A BARRIER TO WORK ENGAGEMENT DURING PANDEMIC COVID-19: WORK-FAMILY INTERFACE AS A MODERATOR
The upheaval induced by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in job insecurity, which may lead employees to have less engagement with their work. Drawing upon the role stress theory and role enhancement theory, we postulated that the detrimental impact of job security on employee engagement can be further attenuated or strengthened by the employee’s work-family interfaces. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between job insecurity and job engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study further aimed to examine the moderating role of the work-family interface in the relationship between job insecurity and job engagement. Data was obtained from 284 employees in Malaysia via a self-administered questionnaire. Out of the total, 43% were male, whereas 57% were female. The average age of the participants was 38 years old. Three instruments were used in this study, namely the job insecurity scale, job engagement scale, and work-family interface scale (WFIS). The empirical data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 28 software. Two main results were found. First, job insecurity negatively affected job engagement (B= -.735, SE= .189, t= -3.895, p<.001). Second, the negative impact of job insecurity on job engagement can be attenuated by the negative work-to-family interface (B= .131, SE= .064, t= 2.041, p=.042), positive work-to-family interface (B= .179, SE= .063, t= 2.829, p=.005), and the positive family-to-work interface ((B= .130, SE= .065, t= 2.003, p=.046). Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been moved to an endemic, employees' job insecurity remains high due to Malaysia's unstable economic and political conditions. Based on the study's findings, we found that effective work-family inferences can minimise the negative impact of job insecurity on job engagement. This paper will provide greater detail on how work-family inferences can attenuate the negative association between job security and employee engagement.