The relationship between job satisfaction and working environment had been established by previous research in every occupational field (Meyer, 1997). Employee satisfaction of the most effective workers is desired by any organization as it ensures continuity, growth and effectiveness of the organization in meetings its goals and objectives. Employees become productive when they are challenged, compensated fairly, has supportive leaders and when their working environments promote their well-being.
However, not all jobs are created equally, and not all can handle the daily stress and pressure of hospital life. Hospital employees work in a fast-paced environment, where they constantly deal with sickness, negative emotions, accidents and even death. New York Hospital is one of the most prestigious hospitals in New York and it is also one of the busiest. One of the most basic services that a hospital provides its patients is the different procedures and tests that would help assess the illness of the patient and lead to accurate diagnosis.
One of the key players in this area is the radiology technicians or more familiarly called x-ray techs, in any hospital the radiology department is a permanent fixture and that it is important to have an x-ray tech at all times, day and night. At present, the radiology department of New York Hospital is facing a serious problem of very high turnover rates. Increasing turnover rates is disturbing and costly; it would be costly for the hospital to recruit, train and supervise x-ray techs both financially and materially.
New York Hospital is one of the best in terms of facilities and equipments, and since there is stiff competition for x-ray techs, the hospital offers competitive salaries and benefits, but despite this, x-ray techs seem to come and go in this department. A positive working environment is crucial to promote the well-being of the employee and to enable them to be productive and efficient in the conduct of their jobs.
When the conditions in the working environment are negative and stressful, employees become unhappy, anxious, and unproductive and in turn lead to burn out. In the reality of New York Hospital, department managers often lack the training and preparation to become managers. Moreover, the hospital is one of the few organizations that have not been unionized hence employees often do not have any protection against disputes and disagreements with their managers. This study investigates the problem of turnover of x-ray technicians in New York Hospital. Problem Statement
The problem of x-ray technician turnover in New York Hospital has been burdening the organization for it meant extra costs in hiring and training new employees as well as limited efficiency and it also affect the over-all performance of the hospital as new employees might not be familiar with the protocols of the hospital. On the other hand, given that the hospital has the best equipments and offers competitive salaries, then the cause of the turnover might not be due to the said aspects of the job but in other factors like relationship with supervisors and managers, stress and burn-out.
It is therefore an immediate concern for hospital management to be able to determine the cause of turnover and implement actions that would lead to better employee retention and increased productivity. This study attempts to explore and determine the former x-ray technicians’ reasons for leaving the hospital and to assess whether management styles and communication skills of their managers contributed to their decision to leave.
Specifically, this study would like to describe the experiences of previous x-ray technicians who have left the hospital and what led them to leave the hospital as well as their views towards unionization in terms of protecting workers against work-related issues and disagreements. This study seeks to answer the question “How turnover of x-ray technicians might be stopped? ” Literature Review The study on turnover rates of hospital employees have been a focal point in the assessment of health care services in the country.
A review of the literature on employee turnover, retention, burn-out and satisfaction revealed that most of the studies surveyed or investigated nurse turnover rates more than any other specialist staffs. However, since all hospital employees work in the health care delivery, it is assumed that these studies would also be applicable to radiology technicians. Turnover refers to the rate at which an organization’s employees voluntarily leaves the organization at a given time period. In cases when the employee is unproductive, then letting them go would not be as much a problem if the best performers leave the company.
Turnover is often seen as an indicator of problems that has not come into the surface, for example, turnover is high in workplaces where employees feel they are not compensated equitably, wherein the problem is the salary and benefits program of the company and not the turnover per se (Griffeth, Hom & Gaertner, 2000). A meta-analysis of turnover researches for the past 20 years have explored turnover in terms of its costs to the organization and its causes (Griffeth, Hom, & Gaertner, 2000).
The study found that the most frequently measured causes for employee turnover included availability of higher paying jobs, organizational culture, job characteristics, unrealistic expectations and personal attitudes and values. All of these factors contribute to how the employee perceives his/her job and his/her intention to stay in that job. Intention to stay is a relatively new term taken from the psychological contract between employer and employee which have staved off turnover in the past.
A study on hospital employee’s intent to stay in their organization found that personal characteristics like age, educational background and work experience influenced the employee’s decision to stay (Ingersoll, Olsan, Drew-Cates, DeVinney, & Davies, 2002). A study on employee turnover in a Beaumont hospital have found that most of the employees had problems in their relationships with their supervisors as miscommunication regarding procedures and work schedules were becoming more prevalent and this lead to the feeling of alienation that eventually led to work termination (Wiedbrauk & Holden, 1998).
As in the previous example, high turnover rates was the presenting problem while the communication problems was the actual issue that was needed to be addressed. On the other hand, when the hospital started to reorganize the supervisory positions, the turnover rate was decreased, indicating that supervisory relationships actually affect the employees’ decisions to leave the company or not. In a similar light, a study on reducing turnover in magnet hospitals found that increasing empowerment decreased turnover rates and it led to better job satisfaction (Laschinger, Almost & Tuer-Hodes, 2003).
The study found that when nurses felt they had a certain level of autonomy to perform their tasks; they were more committed to their jobs hence reduced turnover and became happier with their jobs. Turnover as a consequence of bad management had also been investigated. Management style had been found to have a direct influence over the decision of employees to stay with the company or not (Khatri, Baveja, Boren & Mammo, 2006).
The researchers identified that managers who subscribed to control-based management style does not respect the abilities of the employees, the focus is on providing the basic needs of the individual and does not give importance to personal growth, self-esteem and achievement which in turn lead to low morale and unhappiness on the part of the employee. While those who practice commitment based approach give their employees’ autonomy and this communicate trust and confidence in their workers ability to perform their jobs (Khatri, Baveja, Boren & Mammo, 2006).
Turnover rates seem to be greater for those in the health care industry than in other occupational fields, and most studies point out that turnover is a natural consequence of job dissatisfaction and negative work environments (Tett & Meyer,1993). However, some researchers have also found that turnover can be caused by management problems and the factors associated with the employee-management relationship such as communication, work assignments, autonomy and intrinsic rewards (Laschinger, Finegan, Shamian & Casier, 2000). Analysis
The problem with the turnover of x-ray technicians of New York Hospital may well be rooted in the quality of the employee-management relationship since the salary offered them is comparable to other hospitals while the equipments in the hospital are state of the art and the most advanced hence the employees actually have better facilities than in other hospitals, so why do the employees continue to voluntarily leave the organization? Turnover is a perennial problem in any organization, and it is a major concern for any organization that wants to achieve optimum productivity.
Turnover however is not entirely bad since nonproductive employees who voluntarily leave the organization are advantageous to the organization. In truth some people need to be let go, but the best performers should at all cost be retained. In this case, management should be able to offer the top performers a compensation package and a positive and conducive work experience that would increase their motivation to work and hence stay with the company (Laschinger , Spence, Almost & Tuer-Hodes, 2003). Hospitals have a different organizational structure than traditional organizations.
The structure is wider at the bottom and more specialized, thus each unit functions interdependently. Management of the different units is left to their department heads and since one unit’s function is affected by the other, they must exist as a coordinated mechanism to deliver the needs of the patients. For example, the pathology unit depends on the nursing unit to schedule the extraction of blood, while the radiology department coordinates with the trauma room for any necessary examinations and procedures that the patient requires.
This meant that there should be a communication system that is able to coordinate the tasks of the different units. Communication mishaps would slowdown the health care delivery and interventions and when there is no proper communication protocol identifying where the problem begun the whole unit is blamed for it and contributes to the feeling of incompetence and distrust (Rafferty, Ball & Aiken, 2001). In determining the causes of turnover, the most cited reason on the part of the employee is that of having no support from their supervisors and when the organization does not value their contributions (Ingersoll, Olsan, Drew-Cates, DeVinney & Davies, 2002).
There has been a number of researches that says that money is not the only factor that predicts the employee’s intention to stay with the company, sometimes employees stay even if the salary is not that large or even if the benefits are not that comprehensive as long as there is a positive relationship between supervisors and employees and their coworkers.
This would mean that employees value the non-monetary aspects of the job which is supported by the concept of intrinsic motivation and non-material rewards. Solutions The turnover rates in the radiology department of New York Hospital have grown into alarming proportions and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. At present, there is shortage of x-ray technicians as there are lesser numbers of radiology students and graduates, moreover, aside from hospitals, x-ray technicians often prefer to work in forensics lab since it is not as stressful and fast-paced as hospitals.
With this, the hospital has to offer higher salary rates and the costs of training the new techs burdens the existing staff and wherein mistakes are more likely to occur which may have severe implications for the delivery of health care. The future for the hospital if the turnover of x-ray techs will not be addressed will be immensely detrimental to the overall effectiveness of the hospital. In order to find solutions to the turnover problem, one has to look into why the turnover continues to rise.
The first step is to conduct a study that would explore the former employees experience in the hospital and what led them to leave the organization. In this way, first hand information can be gathered from the former employees. A similar study should also be conducted as to the perception of the management as to why the turnovers continue to increase. The result of which would help determine the discrepancy between the employees and the management’s views on what is in the hospital that may have led to the turnovers.
Armed with this information, an intervention program can be designed that would control or lessen turnover. The next step is to identify the factors that affect the employees and threaten their well-being and the performance of their duties. The human resource department can then works on this and be able to provide measures that would answer these needs. It is important to note that department heads and managers can benefit from management skills training.
Due to the hectic schedule of the hospital, this is often impossible to meet, but this should be a priority of the human resource department. A continuous program of promoting better working relationships should be encouraged. It is imperative that workers within a unit have a positive work atmosphere and that communication lines are open to lessen the chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings (Laschinger, Finegan, Shamian & Casier, 2000). Finally, the standard operating procedures in the hospital should also be looked into.
All the protocols regarding requests and laboratory schedules should be clearly communicated to all the hospital staff as well as those who are immediately involved in the daily operations of the hospital, this should also be periodically communicated by the management in order to inculcate the procedure in the consciousness of the employees. If in case changes will be implemented, intensive communication campaigns should be done and shared to the employees.