Orientation: Employees’ perceptions of their leaders’ behaviour play a role in creating empowering environments where employees are willing to do more than what is expected, with retention of employees as a result.
Research purpose: The aim of this study was to theoretically conceptualise and empirically determine the relationships between employees’ perception of their leaders’ empowering behaviour, psychological empowerment, organisational citizenship behaviours and intention to leave within a manufacturing division of an organisation.
Motivation for the study: In the ever-changing work environment, organisations must capitalise on their human capital in order to maintain competitiveness. It is therefore important to identify the role of employees’ perception of leadership in contributing to the establishment of an environment where employees feel empowered, are willing to do more than what is expected and want to stay in the organisation.
Research design, approach and method: A non-experimental, cross-sectional survey design was used. The total population (N = 300) employed at the manufacturing division was targeted. Two hundred completed questionnaires were obtained. The Leader Empowering Behaviour Questionnaire, Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire, Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Questionnaire and Intention to Leave Scale were administered.
Main findings: Employees’ perception of their leaders’ empowering behaviour (keeping employees accountable, self-directed decision-making and people development), psychological empowerment (attitude and influence) and organisational citizenship behaviours (loyalty, deviant behaviour and participation) predict intention to leave the organisation.
Practical/managerial implications: Organisations should foster the elements of a positive organisation, in this case leader empowering behaviours, if they want to retain their employees.
Contribution/value-add: The results of this research contribute to scientific knowledge about the positive effects of employees experiencing their leaders as empowering.