In this study, we contend that paternalist leadership can be an effective way of managing people and can pave the way for employee motivation and well-being, despite several previous studies linking it to adverse outcomes. In addition, we propose two possible underlying mechanisms (i.e., workaholism, trust in leadership) linking a leader’s paternalistic style to employee work engagement. By doing so, we aim to understand whether paternalist leaders positively influence their subordinates through a social connection path (trust in leader) or task-focusing path (workaholism). We conducted a field survey and collected cross-sectional data using online surveys from 413 participants working in various industries in Istanbul to test the hypotheses. The results indicate a positive relationship to exist between paternalistic leadership and employee work engagement. Therefore, we put forth that the paternalistic leadership style can be beneficial through the task-focusing and social connection paths, contrary to the beliefs commonly shared in Western countries.