A collection of peer-reviewed articles were used to examine the link between job satisfaction and employee turnover, as well as how to effectively use work motivation to decrease employee turnover rates. Though the literature surveys various types of studies in multiple settings, overall it indicates that how satisfied employees are with their work is directly linked with a business’ employee turnover rate. Major themes that emerged as the driving force behind job satisfaction are staffing concerns, the implementation of a rewards system, employee benefits and pay, employer to employer communication, the prevalence of moral stressors, role distinction, and the organizational environment of the business. The research indicates that some or all of these factors should be used as work motivators, increasing job satisfaction, and ultimately decreasing employee turnover rates. Keywords: job satisfaction, employee turnover, employee satisfaction, employee retention, work motivation, employee motivation, employee engagement, retention factors
Minimizing Employee Turnover in a Clinical Environment by Creating Job Satisfaction People want to feel fulfilled in their work; this is not recent discovery (Katzell & Thomson, 1990). When a person feels that he or she is beginning to lose a sense of purpose at their place of employment, he or she moves on. Extensive research has been done in attempts to understand the causes behind employee turnover. The research examine in this literature review indicates that there is a direct link between employee turnover and job satisfaction. This paper will be exploring employee turnover in a variety of work situations; however, I will be observing with the purpose of implementing the findings within a healthcare setting.
Since healthcare is something that is so vital in the lives of all people, it is absolutely necessary that a healthcare system is run efficiently; for any business to be run efficiently, a skilled and competent staff is a requirement (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002). Healthcare professions are highly demanding; without proper work motivation, employee retention may suffer. Though high employee turnover rates can be seen in many professions, they are becoming especially prevalent in healthcare scenarios (Belbin, Erwee, & Wiesner, 2012). One reason for this may be that healthcare is becoming such a strong force, both in our daily lives and in the business world (Barrett, 2010).
A large healthcare system calls for an ample staff; with more employees, it generally follows that employee turnover rates will increase. Whatever the case, in order to maintain a successful clinic, one should have a clear understanding of what affects employee turnover. The goal of this paper is to understand the link between employee turnover rates and job satisfaction. Once these factors, or work motivators, are identified, this paper will examine how they can be implemented within a clinic to decrease employee turnover and increase the performance levels of employees. Definitions
Employee turnover rate refers the frequency in which employers gain and lose employees (Cline, Reilly, & Moore, 2003). When examining turnover rates, some researchers like to make the distinction between voluntary and involuntary turnover. In this literature review, when I refer to employee turnover, I will be specifically focusing on voluntary turnover.
Job satisfaction indicates the contentedness an individual feels toward their vocation. Job satisfaction, as this research will further confirm, is a complex and multifaceted concept; many factors are integral in the accomplishment of job satisfaction. As Sell & Cleal (2011) confirm, there are many theories on what motivates job satisfaction, whether it be dispositional, situational, or psychological. This literature review is mainly concerned with situational job satisfaction.
Work motivation is defined by Lindner (1998) as “the inner force that drives individuals to achieve personal and organizational goals” (p. 1). Motivation is what gives us our purpose and tenacity; it is the desire achieve specific goals and to meet needs unmet.
Rewards systems are implemented by employers to both make aware their expectations for their employees and for employees to receive the benefit of recognition when their job or task is performed with excellence (Shiraz, Rashid, & Riaz, 2011). Some examples of vocational rewards are promotions, monetary compensation, vacation, and recognition. Method
Applicable research articles were found using resources and databases available through Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The most advantageous databases were ProQuest, GaleGroup, AcademicOne, and PsychInfo. The following key words were used to help narrow search results: job satisfaction, employee turnover, employee satisfaction, employee retention, work motivation, employee motivation retention factors, and employee engagement. In order to keep this literature review applicable to current circumstances, articles dating before 2000 were not used, with the exception of those dealing with theoretical framework. The research was done in not only medical environments, but in a variety of work environments. The reason for this is that job satisfaction and employee turnover rates are very prevalent in a considerable number of professions. The findings found within each article may be effectively applied to a clinical setting. Each article used for this literature review is peer-reviewed. Review of Related Literature
Since the concept of job satisfaction and its relation to job performance and employee turnover is such a large topic, this literature review will be focusing on several key factors: (a) the role of recognition and rewards in the work place (Shiraz et al., 2011); (b) meaningful communication between employer and employee (Sultan, 2012); (c) the importance of leadership and role definition in the work place (Moynihan & Pandey, 2007). While all the researchers agreed that there are always a number of factors that influence employee turnover and job satisfaction, for succinctness, this particular literature review will specifically examine the aforementioned topics and their relationship to employee turnover and job satisfaction. While it may not immediately seem that these topics are intrinsically connected, by exploring these themes piece-by-piece, in conclusion we are able to see how together they are able to offer insight into how job satisfaction can be improved. The role of recognition and rewards in the work place
Within the workplace, both employers and employees maintain certain expectations of each other. Employers expect their employees to “take initiative, supervise themselves, continue to learn new skills, and be responsive to business needs” (Ali & Ahmed, 2009, p. 1). Employees expect, at the very least, to be treated with fairness, to be paid a reasonable salary, and to experience a safe working atmosphere (Ali & Ahmed, 2007). These are, as Linz (2010) puts it, “intrinsic rewards.” In Linz’s study, all employees valued these rewards as an integral part of job satisfaction and motivation; only some employees placed great value on “extrinsic rewards” such as promotions and recognition. In a theoretical study constructed by Lindner (1998), the research indicated that simply receiving “full appreciation for work done” was ranked significantly important in a list of factors linked with job satisfaction, coming in at third.
However, in a study performed by Ali & Ahmed (2009), a questionnaire given to 80 Unilever employees showed that there was a significant correlation with the extrinsic reward recognition and how satisfied and motivated they were in their work. Ali & Ahmed (2007) used the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient to quantify their data. In a study very similar to the one performed by Ali & Ahmed (2007), Danish (2010) hypothesized that there would be a strong relationship between recognition and work motivation; he also predicted that there would be a strong link between rewards and work motivation. Both of his hypotheses were supported; however, the link between recognition and work motivation, though positive, was not as strong as anticipated.
Though the link between rewards and work motivation was slightly stronger than the correlation between recognition and work motivation, it still was not as significant as the link between work motivation and the content of the work itself. Like Ahmed & Ali (2007), Danish (2010) used the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient. Meaningful communication between employer and employee
In a qualitative study of nurses who voluntarily left their jobs, researchers discovered that the reason the nurses communicated to their employer for leaving was not consistent with the reason they gave to a neutral third party when posited with the same question (Cline, Reilly, & Moore, 2003). Interestingly enough, the reasons that they gave for leaving were directly connected with problems concerning communication with their managing staff. In a theoretical study designed by Lindner (1998) with the purpose of ranking factors associated with work motivation, the feeling of “being in on things” was among the more important factors, placing sixth in the line-up.
Some other factors that were mentioned in Lindner’s study could also be linked with the concept of employer and employee communication: full appreciation of work done, personal loyalty to employees, tactful discipline, and sympathetic help with personal problems. Goris (2007) performed a moderated regression analysis on 302 employees. In his findings, he did not discover that employees’ communication-related interactions served as an indication of what types of jobs employees would choose. However, Goris (2007) did find that communication satisfaction was a primary predictor of employees’ performance and overall job satisfaction.
The importance of leadership and role definition in the work place The research consistently indicates that the establishment of roles within a work environment is important when examining employee turnover and job satisfaction (Patnaik, 2011). In a study performed by Cline et. al (2003) in which they interviewed registered nurses who had voluntarily left their place of employed, leadership and group cohesion were factors that directly affected turnover and retention. In another study, Moynihan et al. (2007) used a questionnaire to uncover a direct, positive relationship between role clarity and how satisfied employees were with their jobs. However, in the same study, researchers found that role clarity did not seem to have much influence on the employees’ work involvement. Key Findings and Implications for Professional Practice
The main focus of this literature is identifying the factors that influence job satisfaction and work motivation and how they influence employee turnover. The research indicates that there is a strong link between job satisfaction and employee retention and that there are several work motivators that can be implemented to increase job satisfaction and decrease employee turnover. In addition, the research implies that increased work motivators and job satisfaction leads to higher performance levels in employees, greatly benefiting the organization or businesses they serve. While a high employee turnover rate is not hard for employees to see, it is oftentimes difficult to understand the reasons behind it. In this literature review, some real insight could be found in the study of registered nurse turnover rates performed by Cline et al. (2003).
The nurses were very clear on their reasons for leaving their jobs when talking with a neutral third-party; however, because they did not feel comfortable communicating with staff members within their former place of employment, they were unable to voice these concerns to their former employer. This demonstrates a very keen example of a problem seen in many work environments: a lack of communication. Throughout much of literature considered in this review, communication, even if it was not directly named, emerged as a very important ingredient within an effective work environment. Through proper communication, employers and employees are able to not only discuss what needs to be accomplished, but they can begin to gain a better understanding of one another.
Since there are such a number of work motivation factors, it is important for an employer, or, in larger companies, a manager to have open communication with their employees and get to know them so they can meet their needs, leading to great job satisfaction for that individual. It seems that communication is a joining theme throughout many of the work motivating factors explored. Within a clinical setting, communication can be cultivated through the establishment of meetings, memos, and clear definition of the clinic’s practices (Sultan, 2012). Role clarity, another factor in job satisfaction, can also be implemented through proper communication between staff members. Rewards within a clinic may be exhibited through compensation or promotion; however, recognition, a form of reward, can be achieved through verbal or written communication.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It is important to achieve an environment where one’s employees feel fulfilled since, as the research confirms, this is directly connected with how successful and effective a business can be (Moynihan & Pandey, 2007). Many might assume that how much an employee is paid is the driving force behind whether or not they are satisfied with their job (Lindner, 1998). However, while that is a factor, many of studies included here, as well as well-respected theories on the subject of work motivation, imply that there are many other factors that influence how happy an employee is with their job. The work motivators explored specifically in this review all exhibit a strong correlation with job satisfaction, though they still do not encompass all the factors that influence a worker’s job satisfaction and motivation.
Organized management, public service motivation, advancement opportunities, work content, and job routineness are some of the other factors that have a strong effect on job satisfaction. With such an array of factors to consider, it is clear that one cannot completely prevent employee turnover. However, as an employer or manager it is important to strive to create an environment where one’s employees are empowered and motivated to perform their job to their best of their ability. By implementing practices in which an employee feels understood and valued, an employer is able to create a work environment where employees not only feel satisfied in their job, but they also feel motivated to set and accomplish goals for themselves and for the business in which they serve.
Especially in a healthcare setting, the motivation, which is to help make better, or even save the lives of others, is a substantial one. By gaining a better understanding of the work motivators that bring job satisfaction and minimize employee turnover, an employer can bring about outcomes that benefits clients, employees, and the future of their business.
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