An investigation into the antecedents of employee engagement in real estate agents operating in Harare
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Real estate agents operating in Harare are struggling to survive and grow. They need to perform at a level which will enable them to effectively serve their customers and deal with competition. In this situation, employee engagement is an important issue.Employee engagement is a concept that has received considerable attention in the developed countries but little attention in developing countries such as Zimbabwe. Various studies conducted in the developed world indicate that employee engagement leads to many positive outcomes such as employee productivity, customer satisfaction and loyalty and profitability among others. Given the significance of employee engagement to business success, it is important for owners of real estate firms to understand and know the factors that bring about employee engagement in the real estate sector. The main objective of this study was to investigate the antecedents of employee engagement in real estate agents operating in Harare. Literature indicates that there are many antecedents of employee engagement. This study focused on three antecedents, namely leadership, training and development and social support from supervisor and colleagues and investigated their impact on employee engagement in real estate agents operating in Harare. This study utilized the simple random sampling technique to select the estate agents from whom 130 respondents were selected. A total of 130 questionnaires were distributed and 105 completed questionnaires were returned.The study had three hypotheses. Correlation and regression analyses were carried out to determine the relationships between leadership, training and development and social support and employee engagement. The findings were that all these factors were antecedents of employee engagement with social support from supervisor and colleagues having the strongest impact on employee engagement. The study suggested that all three factors should be supported to increase employee engagement. It recommended interventions to improve relations with employees, to implement training and career development programs focused on engagement, reward systems for managers based on engagement and to provide meaningful and challenging work to employees.