Do Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Employee Turnover?

4329856959_d420346295_zHow can organization’s prevent employee turnover? The recent Public Personnel Management article “Does Satisfaction with Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Turnover? A Panel Study Conducted in U.S. Federal Agencies” from author James Gerard Caillier of University of Alabama suggests that the key to employee retention for an organization could be family-friendly programs. Programs like telework, alternative work schedules, child care subsidies, employee assistance programs, and other similar programs not only attract new talent, but help companies retain long-standing employees. The abstract for the paper:

This article sought to understand the association between employee satisfaction with several family-friendly programs and turnover in U.S. federal agencies. It also built on previous cross-sectional studies that examined the relationship between these benefits and both attitudes and outcomes. More specifically, this article used social exchange theory to develop hypotheses regarding the effect of telework, alternative work schedules, child care subsidies, elder care, employee assistance programs, and health and wellness programs on turnover. Furthermore, 4 years of panel data were Current Issue Coverobtained from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and FedScope to test the hypotheses. Consistent with social exchange theory, results from the balanced panel model indicate that satisfaction with family-friendly programs in general had a significant, negative effect on turnover. The results also indicate that telework, alternative work schedules, child care programs, and health and wellness programs reduced turnover. Telework, employee assistance programs, and health and wellness programs were significant at the .10 level. Elder care programs, on the other hand, were not found to have an impact on turnover. The implications the results have for theory and practice are discussed in the article.

You can read “Does Satisfaction with Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Turnover? A Panel Study Conducted in U.S. Federal Agencies” from Public Personnel Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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* Family image attributed to bniice (CC)

Job Satisfaction Plays A Large Part in Employee Engagement

3911231181_6754709d83_z[We’re pleased to welcome Brad Shuck of University of Louisville. Brad recently published an article in Group & Organization Management entitled “Untangling the Predictive Nomological Validity of Employee Engagement: Decomposing Variance in Employee Engagement Using Job Attitude Measures” with co-authors Kim Nimon of University of Texas at Tyler and Drea Zigarmi of The Ken Blanchard Companies and the University of San Diego.]

Our interest in this work was driven by the need for practical understanding of the employee engagement construct in connection with precise theoretical positioning – we knew from growing citations in the literature that many scholars and practitioners are using employee engagement in their work, but there remained some level of confusion about what employee engagement was, and how it should be applied.

Of great interest to us was whether employee engagement was adding anything to the research literature or, if engagement was redundant as some scholars had suggested. We believed, based on our experience and understanding, that employee engagement did offer something unique from say, job satisfaction or organizational commitment, but beyond the primary use of bivariate relationships, no work had deconstructed the inner empirical makeup of the psychological construct. More, no one had graphed the theoretical structure of the relationships physically, so we took that task on. The purpose of our work was to examine the predictive nomological validity of employee engagement using a set of three job attitudes commonly linked to employee engagement – that, is we opened up the hood to explore its inner make-up.

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Roughly speaking, our findings suggested that that across two overall measures of engagement (the UWES and the JES), job satisfaction contributed the most unique variance to employee engagement, followed by job involvement, and organizational commitment. We were not surprised that job satisfaction contributed the most variance to employee engagement, but we were surprised that job involvement lacked almost any degree of emotion – rather, it functioned at a mostly cognitive level and was identify related, versus emotionally driven. The main finding from our work was that no 1st-order, 2nd-order, or 3rd-order commonality coefficients fully explained, stand-alone or in combination, all the variance in the two engagement measures. In fact, there remained a substantial amount of unexplained variance in each measurement (47% of the variance remained unexplained in the JES and 34% of the variance remains unexplained in the UWES-9). In short, this told us that engagement operated as a standalone construct and was not fully redundant with anyone job attitude or combination of job attitudes. We were not surprised by this finding, but we suspect that others might be.

Within this work, we see many possibilities for future research. First, there is no question that researchers will need to continually examine the underlying meaning and quality of measurement used in building the still emerging nomological network of engagement. We also see an opportunity to more fully explore the role of affect in the engagement construct and the job attitudes. For example, in our results, affect demonstrated noteworthy and interesting theoretical patterns. As such, one avenue for future research might focus toward disentangling affect as a common factor between like constructs and engagement. Research might fully examine how measures of affect (both positive and negative) operate in context with JS, JI, OC, and engagement and how indicators of performance might be connected. Finally – and what we think is one of the more novel outcomes of this work  – is the naming those spaces of joint common variance we uncovered. For example, in our work Coc.js explained the greatest amount of variance across both engagement scales, but what exactly is Coc.js? At present, research has not adequately explored such combinations and when paired together – such as the case with organizational commitment and job satisfaction – combined constructs might take on a new identity. For example, theoretically, when an employee is both satisfied with their work and committed to the organization, we might call that organizational contentment as the employee is both satiated and committed to the organization, making them more likely to express a state of overall organizational contentment. A construct called organizational contentment is all but absent in the research literature yet our results would indicate that this construct – whether we call it organizational contentment or something else – explains sizeable portions of variance in employee engagement.

As a final note, we hope or work brings about conversation and dialogue. This work has brought about many new questions for our team and, we know that only through dialogue and working together with other scholars can we really begin to understand what it means to be engaged and, how the experience of employee engagement unfolds overtime.

The abstract for the paper:

The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive nomological validity of employee engagement using a set of three job attitudes commonly linked to employee engagement. Prior research concerned with the nomological network of employee engagement has predominantly considered bivariate relationships, thus missing the opportunity to fully understand the intricate and interrelated relationship between employee engagement and job attitudes. Scale- and subscale-level correlations were obtained from a previously published set of survey responses (n = 1,580) to decompose employee engagement variance into orthogonal (i.e., non-overlapping) components associated with every possible combination of the three job attitude predictor set (2k − 1 = 7). Results suggested that across both overall measures, job satisfaction contributed the most unique variance to employee engagement, followed by job involvement and organizational commitment. Findings indicated that when applying employee engagement in both research and practice, care should be taken in scale selection across models—especially those involving such as constructs. This study provides evidence of the importance for considering a construct’s nomological network within the broader management and human resource–related literature. This research not only advances the theoretical and research understanding of employee engagement but also assists practitioners in deploying precise, well-crafted measures of engagement in the field.

You can read “Untangling the Predictive Nomological Validity of Employee Engagement: Decomposing Variance in Employee Engagement Using Job Attitude Measures” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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*Office work image attributed to Carbon Tippy Toes (CC)

Do the Changing Characteristics of Jobs Impact Job Satisfaction?

15400504982_0b3fa842d1_zThe characteristics of jobs have evolved over the last handful of decades, but has the change in the nature of work impacted employee job satisfaction? A recent article published in Journal of Management, entitled “Placing Characteristics in Context: Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis of Changes in Job Characteristics Since 1975,” seeks to answer this question. Authors Lauren A. Wegman, Brian J. Hoffman, Nathan T. Carter, Jean M. Twenge, and Nigel Guenole studied changes in task identity, task significance, skill variety, autonomy, and feedback from the job to begin looking into the matter. The abstract for the paper:

Despite frequent references to “the changing nature of work,” little empirical research has investigated proposed changes in work context perceptions. To address this gap, this study uses a cross-temporal meta-analysis to examine changes in five core job characteristics (e.g., task identity, task significance, skill variety, autonomy, Current Issue Coverand feedback from the job) as well as changes in the relationship between job characteristics and job satisfaction. An additional analysis of primary data is used to examine changes in two items related to interdependence. On average, workers perceived greater levels of skill variety and autonomy since 1975 and interdependence since 1985. In contrast, the results of a supplemental meta-analysis did not support significant changes in the association between the five core job characteristics and satisfaction over time. Thus, although there is some evidence for change in job characteristics, the findings do not support a change in the value placed on enriched work. Implications for researchers and organizations navigating the modern world of work are highlighted.

You can read “Placing Characteristics in Context: Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis of Changes in Job Characteristics Since 1975” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Working image attributed to Boris Baldinger (CC)

Job Satisfaction and Work Climate: New Collections from GOM!

GOM_Feb_2016.inddGroup & Organization has added two new article collections to the Editor’s Choice Collections. The new Job Satisfaction collection offers a selection of interesting articles that explore topics like career plateauing, internal job transitions, and the effect of leader humor on job satisfaction.

The new Work Climate collection delves into workplace research, including papers on workplace boredom, personality as a predictor of climate, and the impact of bad behavior in groups. In the article “The Psychological Benefits of Creating an Affirming Climate for Workplace Diversity,” authors Donna Chrobot-Mason and Nicholas P. Aramovich try to identify how workplace diversity can lead to positive outcomes. The abstract from their paper:

Workforce diversity has been described as a double-edged sword; it has the potential for positive and negative outcomes. To better understand why and how diversity leads to positive outcomes, we examined the relationship between employee perceptions of diversity climate perceptions and intent to turnover. We explored the role of four psychological outcome variables (organizational commitment, climate for innovation, psychological empowerment, and identity freedom) as possible mediators of this relationship. Racial and gender subgroup differences were also examined. Survey data were collected from 1,731 public employees. Findings suggest that when employees perceive equal access to opportunities and fair treatment, intent to turn over decreases. Furthermore, these relationships are significantly mediated by psychological outcomes. Implications for diversity management and training are discussed.

6983317491_e8d8440af8_zIn addition, new articles have been added to Group & Organization Management‘s other collections, including the Editor’s Choice collection on Creativity & Innovation. New articles to this collection explore the impact of job complexity, team culture, and interaction on the creative process. In the article “Defining Creative Ideas: Toward a More Nuanced Approach,” authors Robert C. Litchfield, Lucy L. Gilson, and Paul W. Gilson distinguish types of creative ideas to better understand the creative process. The abstract from their paper:

Organizational creativity research has focused extensively on distinguishing creativity from routine, non-creative work. In this conceptual article, we examine the less considered issue of variation in the type of creative ideas. Starting from the premise that creativity occurs along a continuum that can range from incremental to radical, we propose that unpacking variation in the mix of novelty and two common conceptions of usefulness—feasibility and value—results in seven meaningfully different types of creativity. We group these types of creativity into four creative continua scaled according to novelty to provide an organizing framework for future research.

To celebrate Group & Organization Managements new collections and articles, we have opened all of the articles in the Job Satisfaction, Work Climate, and Creativity & Innovation collections for the next 60 days. Interested in Group & Organization‘s other Editor’s Choice collections? Click here.  Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organization? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Family image credited to dbking (CC)

Does a Different Degree of Teamwork Exist in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations?

person-decision-1200502-mBehavioral scientists have found that teamwork is an indicator of job satisfaction. Jaime (2001) demonstrated that groups who use this participatory mechanism in their work not only improve in terms of productivity, quality and innovation, but enjoy greater job satisfaction as well. Additionally, Whitfield et al., (1995) found that operating as part of a team may have positive impacts on individual worker’s attitudes and beliefs, But is there a difference in the degree of teamwork in Indian public and private sector organizations? Jai Prakash Sharma and Naval Bajpai explore in their article “Teamwork a Key Driver in Organizations and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction of Employees in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations” from Global Business Review.

The abstract:

Despite an increasing number of studies on teamwork, no unifying work is focused on the measurement of the degree of difference in teamwork in a public sector organization home_coverand a private sector organization in the Indian context. Teamwork decreases job satisfaction, motivation and performance, and increases absenteeism and turnover intensions. We hypothesized that there is a significant difference in the degree of teamwork in public sector and private sector organization. Data were collected from 250 employees consisting of managerial and non-managerial staff from both public sector and private sector organizations. The results showed that employees in public sector organizations have a greater degree of teamwork in comparison to private sector employees. In addition job satisfaction increases or decreases with the increase or decrease in teamwork. The purpose of this study is to invoke teamwork in private sector organizations. Obtained results were in the line of the hypotheses. In terms of teamwork, a significant difference is noticed between public sector and private sector organizations. As expected, public sector employees have exhibited a higher degree of teamwork as compared to private sector employees. Most importantly, salary satisfaction is being proven as the catalyst for enhancing the job satisfaction level of employees.

You can click here to read “Teamwork a Key Driver in Organizations and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction of Employees in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations” for free from Global Business Review. Want to know about all the latest research from Global Business Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Why Do Careers Plateau?

business-graphics-1428662-mWhen faced with a plateau in their career, why do some employees feel stuck and others content? What causes this plateau in the first place? Veronica M. Godshalk and C. Melissa Fender discuss in their article “External and Internal Reasons for Career Plateauing: Relationships With Work Outcomes” from Group and Organization Management.

The abstract:

Career plateauing has received little attention in the literature of late, even when employees are retaining their positions longer with little likelihood for GOM 39(6)_Covers.inddadvancement or increased job responsibilities. Relationships between reasons for structural and content plateauing and work outcomes are investigated among professional accounting association members. Contributing to the literature, our findings confirm existence of external and internal plateauing reasons and various relationships with outcomes. External reasons for structural plateauing were negatively related to job and career satisfaction, while content plateauing for external reasons was negatively related to job involvement and work motivation. Structural plateauing for internal reasons lowered job involvement, but increased job and career satisfaction, as well as intention to stay. Job involvement and work motivation mediated relationships between several reasons and job satisfaction, career satisfaction, and intention to stay. Managerial implications and future research opportunities are noted.

Click here to read “External and Internal Reasons for Career Plateauing: Relationships With Work Outcomes” from Group and Organization Management. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

The December Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is Now Online!

The December issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now available and can be read online for free for the next 30 days. This issue offers a range of thought-provoking articles on organizational studies as well as insightful book reviews.

The lead article, “What’s Love Got to Do with It? A Longitudinal Study of the Culture of Companionate Love and Employee and Client Outcomes in a Long-term Care Setting,” was authored by Sigal G. Barsade of University of Pennsylvania and Olivia A. O’Neill of George Mason University. You can read the abstract below:

In this longitudinal study, we build a theory of a culture of companionate ASQ_v59n4_Dec2014_cover.inddlove—feelings of affection, compassion, caring, and tenderness for others—at work, examining the culture’s influence on outcomes for employees and the clients they serve in a long-term care setting. Using measures derived from outside observers, employees, family members, and cultural artifacts, we find that an emotional culture of companionate love at work positively relates to employees’ satisfaction and teamwork and negatively relates to their absenteeism and emotional exhaustion. Employees’ trait positive affectivity (trait PA)—one’s tendency to have a pleasant emotional engagement with one’s environment—moderates the influence of the culture of companionate love, amplifying its positive influence for employees higher in trait PA. We also find a positive association between a culture of companionate love and clients’ outcomes, specifically, better patient mood, quality of life, satisfaction, and fewer trips to the emergency room. The study finds some association between a culture of love and families’ satisfaction with the long-term care facility. We discuss the implications of a culture of companionate love for both cognitive and emotional theories of organizational culture. We also consider the relevance of a culture of companionate love in other industries and explore its managerial implications for the healthcare industry and beyond.

You can access the Table of Contents for this issue by clicking here. You can keep up-to-date on all the latest news and research from Administrative Science Quarterly by clicking here to sign up for e-alerts!