Job satisfaction refers to how fulfilled or gratified an employee is with his current employment position. Satisfied employees are less likely to leave the organization, however, there are other factors that influence staff turnover. These include the availability of alternatives and circumstances that incapacitate the employee such as death or sickness. Personal reasons such as self-employment and family demands can also be factors that lead employees to quit employment in a particular organization. Although there are many influences that lead to staff turnover, job satisfaction is the outstanding factor of them all. Particularly because all the other factors bring out the point that when the conditions of job do not support the well being of the employee (job satisfaction) the employee resorts to quitting (Moyes, Shao & Newsome, 2008)
Influence of job satisfaction on staff turnover
There are various factors that lead to job satisfaction, which if lacking will result in staff turnover. First management style, which refers to how the leadership relates with their subordinates which can be through work teams. In democratic teams, employees are given an opportunity to voice their opinions or even hand down orders from the top management downwards and the orders are to be carried out without question. For instance, the degree to which a leader can create a personal relationship with the people he supervises over, how he shows consideration for the workers, and the extent he goes to establish a favorable environment for them will influence an employees’ relationship with the supervisor and their commitment to the organization. As a result the higher the commitment level of employees the lower the level of staff turnover (Tsui & Lau, 2002)
Task characteristics refer to what the job entails, which can be determined by the level of job involvement and responsibility. Job involvement refers to the extent to which an employee relates psychologically to the job. It indicates the internalizing values of what important or good work is. Employees who interact with other people in a job and also have many various tasks to accomplish will feel a greater level of involvement. As a result, staff who feel more involved in their jobs will in turn have higher satisfaction, which will result in commitment to their jobs and the organization as a whole. In addition, such workers will be less likely to leave hence lowering staff turnover levels. However, if employees feel less involved they will be ready to quit or will actually leave to seek other alternatives (International Federation for Information Processing, 1996)
Responsibility or empowerment is another important factor that determines intentions to leave an organization. Empowerment here refers to the amount of control that the employees can exercise in executing their tasks or within the organization. This involves having the privilege of making decisions in their positions and the work environment as a whole. Employees who feel that they have a greater amount of control will be committed more to the organization. As a result, there will be few employees who feel alienated, resulting in a low number of dissatisfied employees. Therefore employees who feel empowered will be more committed to that institution and will end up serving for longer terms (Dennis, 1998).
Fourthly there is career objective, which refers to occupation specialty that an individual wants to be in or attain, such as marketing strategist or financial analyst. Career objective can be a factor that determines whether one is satisfied in a given job or not. An organization that has opportunities through which an employee can meet his career objective is likely to provide satisfaction to the individual. However, if an employee feels that his objective in career growth will not be met in the current employment position, he will always be seeking other alternatives. This lowers the employee’s commitment to that job as he/she feels that he is not on the right track and that his potential is not being effectively utilized. Therefore an organization with limited opportunities for progress will experience high staff turnover as the employees will not be satisfied working for that organization (Termsnguanwong, 2009).
Remuneration package and other benefits is another factor, whereby it is believed that most people work to acquire wealth so that they will be able to meet their needs. Employees would want to work in organizations that they perceive provide them with adequate remuneration such as salary and other benefits like bonuses or share ownership offers in the company. Therefore any employee who feels that the company is not offering enough at least according to his or her expectation will be more likely to quit. On the contrary, an employee who perceives that the organization is offering enough for his services will be satisfied with his/her job and as a result, the level of commitment to the organization will be high. If more employees have committed as a result adequate remuneration, low staff turnover will be experienced in the organization (Termsnguanwong, 2009).
Importance of job satisfaction on staff turnover
The environment in which businesses operate is continually becoming competitive and the level of satisfaction of employees is being given much importance. This is an attempt to achieve and sustain consistency and continuity, whereby organizations want to reduce staff turnover, which has been an increasing problem. Therefore employers need to focus more on job satisfaction and its effects on performance as well as staff retention (Brief, 1998). There are various reasons why any organization would put more importance on job satisfaction as it attempts to reduce staff turnover. These include: maximizing production, reducing costs, and management style and motivation factors.
One way of being competitive in the current business environment is for an organization to be able to manage its costs efficiently and one way of achieving this is by eliminating unnecessary costs. When organizations seek to recruit employees with specific qualities that fit a particular position, they always go through processes that are very costly to the organization. In addition, other costs are also incurred in the orientation and training of the new employee. As a result, the organization should ensure that it offers conditions in the work environment that will ensure that such employees are attracted, recruited, and retained. This highlights the importance of job satisfaction in preventing staff turnover. However if an organization does not give importance to job satisfaction, it will have to continue re-incurring costs of attracting, recruiting, training, and developing employees, whose benefits it will not realize (Dennis, 1998).
Another importance of job satisfaction in relation to staff turnover is maximizing production. If the management of an organization can provide motivation factors that meet the employees’ expectations, the employees will be motivated and will give in their best performance. Particularly because people have needs and work with a reason, therefore if they believe that their needs will be met by good performance and that they will share in the benefit, they will be committed to the organization and help in coming up with and implementing innovative ways of maximizing production. For instance, employees know that an increase in profits as a result of their hard work will also be shared with them and that their effort is recognized, will be willing to do their best to ensure that that increase is achieved (Bomze,1997).
The third reason is avoiding loss of business and minimizing business risk, whereby if employees exit the organization frequently the business stands a chance of losing business. Because other employees will be forced to work overtime to cover for those who have left which means they will be overworked and as a result their productivity will go down. In addition, employees holding key positions which are very important for business progress may exit unexpectedly therefore putting the business in a position that it cannot perform certain tasks that were done by them. Furthermore the ones remaining may be inexperienced therefore not providing customers’ expectations as was before. As a result such an organization might end up losing business to its competitors. Coupled with the above reasons more cost may be incurred due to wastage and inefficiencies of the inexperienced employees (Russo, 2000).
Job satisfaction of employees can also be important to an organization, whereby it helps it to determine an effective management style. Leaders always have a great influence on employees and also employees always view the leaders as the face of the organization. As a result the perception they have on the leaders will in turn be transferred to the organization. Therefore any organization must seek to have a leadership style and structure whereby the leader is considerate to the needs of the employees, He also encourages and helps them to tackle obstacles and attain their goals by availing the required resources and support. Provide channels where employees grieved by their direct supervisors can overstep them to report to top management. With these systems in place employee turnover will be reduced as employees will feel satisfied that their needs are effectively addressed. However if they lack in an organization then employees will be more likely ready to quit (Davidmann, n.d.).
Lastly the importance of job satisfaction in relation to employee turnover is that different people are motivated differently and therefore a company needs to develop a range of motivation mechanisms that ensures all employees are included. For instance providing a variety of tasks can be a motivation to an employee who perceives that his job is becoming ‘stale’, particularly because with additional tasks he will be refreshed. Another way is enriching the job whereby more responsibilities can be added as well as recognition when performance is great. However those employees who feel that their needs are not adequately are not addressed will not be committed and will leave as a result (Udechukwu, 2007)
It is clear that staff turnover is an ever growing problem in the current business environment that has increased in competitiveness in the recent past. It is also comes out that job satisfaction is the major cause why employees choose not to stay in a particular organization. In addition there are various factors that influence job satisfaction, hence can be addressed to ensure that employee turnover is reduced. On the other hand companies have increasingly placed more importance in job satisfaction, as they try to achieve reduction in staff turnover. Particularly because without job satisfaction and in turn reduced staff turnover the company will not be able to achieve its objectives effectively. The company may also be pushed out of business by competitors.
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