The current study investigates the mediating role of job resources (JRs) (i.e. person-job fit, value congruence, alignment, job control, use of skills, participation in decision-making, coworker support and performance feedback) and basic psychological need satisfaction at work (i.e. autonomy, relatedness, competence and meaningfulness) in the relationship between engaging leadership (EL) (i.e. inspiring, strengthening, empowering and connecting) and work engagement. Using a two-wave longitudinal design and an Indonesian sample of 412 employees form an agribusiness company; structural equation analysis was used to test the mediation hypothesis. The results show that EL at baseline 2017 (T1) predicts T1–T2 increase in work engagement (WE) directly, as well as indirectly through T1 JRs, and T1–T2 increase in basic psychological need satisfaction. This research extends the job demands-resources (JD-R) model by showing the important role of EL for fostering WE through increasing JRs and satisfying basic psychological needs at work (download full paper).