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Employee Turnover Satisfaction
An analysis of the relationship between employee turnover and job satisfaction.
With an increased importance on retention, it is widely believed that reducing employee attrition can serve a useful survival strategy for organizations. When an employee exits, the organization loses much more than just the employee and the associated cost (training costs etc).
It loses the knowledge and expertise which the employee has acquired over the years and the rapport which they have established with the team members. What is more concerning, is, when the employee joins a competitor, because then they can recommend the best practices to the competitors which can work to their advantage.
It is very important to manage exit in a way that adds value (in the form of knowledge) to the organization. When all efforts to convince the employee to stay have failed, then the manager’s task is to begin the transfer of employee knowledge in the best possible way. Managers have to ensure that work does not suffer after an employee leaves. Finding out the reasons for employee exit is another crucial task for the HR manager.
They have to make sure that they understand the challenges of the work environment from the employee’s perspective. Employee exit can be used as a knowledge management tool to capture crucial information from departing employees about what it takes to do the job. (Foot & Hook, 2005)
Employee might leave due to a better financial offer from competitors, which might give the organization an indicator of market rates and whether they need to re-look into some aspects of employee remuneration. Managers have to make sure that there is minimal loss to knowledge (both implicit and explicit) when people leave. The onus is also on them to ensure that the learning curve of the new people joining is shortened. Key to managing exit is to extract as much information from the employee before and during the exit interview and use the knowledge to the company’s advantage.
Attendance management has been an area of concern for organizations because of the costs associated with employee absenteeism (payment of wages, cost of staffing, scheduling, lost productivity etc). Statistics suggest that on an average, organizations have to set aside approximately 3% of budget for absenteeism. The causes of absenteeism are largely related to a lack of motivation, poor work conditions, monotonous responsibilities, poor management and lack of job satisfaction.
Maslow’s motivation model suggests that there should be meaning and significance to human work and only when employees physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization needs are fulfilled, they are satisfied and motivated. When their goals are in line with the company’s objective and they are rewarded for attaining those goals with what they perceive as important (Vroom’s model), motivation is on a high and there are less chances of absenteeism.
When employees work as a part of collaborative team, are given greater autonomy within their roles and have the power of decision making, they tend to find their job meaningful which again serves to increase motivation levels and reduce absenteeism. Eg. Fortune Survey (2007) for ‘100 best Companies to work for’ revealed companies like Google, Genetech, Whole foods market etc had the lowest absenteeism (<0.9%) and the most motivated employees which establishes a clear correlation between motivation and absenteeism. Motivation is not the only parameter that impacts absenteeism but it is one of the biggest contributors to reducing employee absenteeism. The key to attendance management, therefore, is to keep employees motivated.
Generally, two forms of employee turnover exist, involuntary turnover and voluntary turnover. Involuntary turnover is frequently delined as movements across organizational boundaries, over which the employee is only slightly affected (Price, 1977), the representation forms of withdrawal from an organization often categorized with strategy (e.g. downsizing), dismissal (e.g. firing), or policy (e.g. compulsory retirement) (Campion, 1991).
In contrast, voluntary turnover is defined as movements across organizational boundaries, over which the employee is heavily affected (Price, 1977), the representation forms of withdrawal from an organization often categorized with absenteeism and lateness (Campion, 1991). The employee turnover problem, which is a major expense item in jail operations, is analyzed in this research. Employee turnover is expensive in terms of expenditures for the recruitment and training of replacement officers and for covering overtime in vacant positions. More to the point, it robs a county of its investment in an experienced, confident and stable jail workforce.
This study concludes that it is sound management practice and not just salaries and benefits that tend to reduce employee intent to leave a job. Turnover occurs when an employee leaves a specific job or organization permanently and his/her services are no longer available. As a result of turnover, a new employee must be hired. Recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, training and separation are among the direct costs related to employee turnover.'
An extensive literature review on this jail turnover issue emphatically points out that a fundamental way of decreasing employee turnover is to raise the level of job satisfaction. While much of the support chronicles early research in this area, this study extends this topic and goes much further through the inclusion of a survey of jail employee attitudes. The traditional turnover process typically begins with employee dissatisfaction, thoughts of quitting, undertaking a job search and evaluating prospects. It culminates in a decision to quit."* Intent to leave, the antecedent to turnover is the employee's estimated probability that her/his resignation is impending.
5 It follows that an increased probability of intent to leave corresponds with resultant higher turnover. Consequently, it is important to examine variables affecting both intent to leave and turnover. Factors external to sheriff operations can affect employee turnover rates and intent to leave as well as work related elements and personal characteristics.
Researchers and practitioners both understand that external factors such as unemployment rates and the economy directly affect turnover.^ In most currently used turnover models, perceived job alternatives are moderators affecting job attitudes, including satisfaction and commitment.^ While job mobility depends on individual attributes and economic conditions, voluntary turnover emerges from the employee's perceived ease of movement to another position.i° Other external factors indirectly affecting employee intent to leave include county budgets, benefit packages, crime rates, media and politics.
Of course, the sheriff has little control over these variables. Aspects relating to the nature of work itself, such as organizational commitment, compensation, overall job satisfaction and job involvement could also affect employee turnover. In a study of civil service detention workers, job satisfaction and job security were indicative of an individual's intent to quit." Generally an employee's intent to leave the job varies inversely with their job satisfaction and commitment.
'^ The relationship of job satisfaction to employee turnover has been heavily researched in recent years and is by far one of the main predictors of turnover. ^5 xhe proportion of variance shared by levels of job satisfaction and turnover is significant, and the proportion shared by intention to leave and actual leaving is even more important. More 52 Pubiic Personnei iVIanagement Volume 36 No. 1 Spring 2007 recently research has focused on turnover induced by lower levels of job satisfaction with intention to leave viewed as turnover's immediate precursor."^
Causes of Employee Turnover in Sheriff Operated Jails. By: Price, William H.; Kiekbusch, Richard; Theis, John. Public Personnel Management, Spring2007, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p51-63, 13p, 3
So what's a company to do?
The most obvious solution is to retain each and every qualified employee who currently works for you. However, for many companies, retaining employees is easier said than done. Your competitors often will attempt to sway your employees away with offers of more money or more "perks." Or. your employees may seek employment elsewhere when they no longer feel that they are important. No matter what the reason for employee turnover, there are ways to strengthen your retention figures.
The following five tips should serve to help keep your employees happy and eager to be a part of the team:
1. Build strong relationships with every employee.
While you naturally may consider your employees to be your subordinates, they are also an integral part of your company's success and deser\'e to be treated with kindness and respect.
Unfortunately, even though iui employee may do a stellar job. you may. tor various reason.s. nol like him or her as a person. When that happens, you still need to develop a strong business relationship with that employee. This assures that there will always be a smooth flow of information.
If you fail to build relationships and share infonnation with your employees, they usually will tend to feel unimportant and unappreciated. They tnay even become disgruntled enough to leave your firm.
2. Offer praise freely.
As often as is possible, you need to give your employees compliments about their work. Praise them whenever you can and preferably in public. This not only serves to build morale, but also shows thai you care aboul their self esteem and that you are on their side.
When you think about it, don't you want to be around people who praise you and tell you good things? Of course you do. You most likely seek out people like that and want to do things for them to show your appreciation. Your employees are no different. They need to feel appreciated for a joh well done. In addition lo praise, always defend your employees. If they make a mistake, don't berate them or act harshly toward them, especially in public. Let your employees know that while tnistakes aren't desired, you iinticipate them and treat them as training expenses.
3. Truly listen to employee feedback.
Most of your employees will gladly tell you their needs and job-related issues. You simply need to listen to what they say while not dismissing their thoughts as being unimportant or "wishful thinking." Listening to your employees involves so much more than simply not talking This Way To the construction information authority. when they are speaking. This involves giving them your complete attention and making them feel important. To know If your listening skills are up to par, ask yourself these questions: "Does my mind wander when I' m hstening? If so, how do I bring it back? Am I making silent judgments? Am I thinking of what 1 will say next, or am I truly listening?" Your honest answers will help determine whereyour listening skills can be improved.
4. Keep tbe mood light.
One of the easiest ways to retain employees is to create a fun work environment. People naturally want to sense a feeling of belonging, and having fun in the workplace goes a long way toward making people feel a part of things. When you get people to laugh with you, you have formed an instiint bond. The fact that you were able to let down your guard and laugh breaks down rank barriers and builds camaraderie. Numerous studies have proved that humor helps alleviate stress. When your employees are less stressed, they will be more willing to put in extra hours and get a project done.
5. Continually strengthen your team.
Your company is only as strong as your weakest employee. Keep developing your team to make your company as strong as it can possibly be. If you tend to initially hire secondrate candidates, you can expect to experience a high turnover.
However, when you strive to hire only those people whose strengths supplement your weaknesses, the entire company will benefit.
You must always remember that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. If your employees sense that one person is not pulling his or her fair share, they will feel resentful and be more apt to goof off.
Whenever you hire additional employees, do what ever is possible to make sure that each new hire meets your criteria for service with your company as a long-term productive employee.
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