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Chapter 3 Workforce, Jobs, and Retention Chapter Overview This chapter begins with a discussion about the workforce composition and the business contributions of diverse workers. Generational differences are included. The rest of the chapter explains how the total work of the organization is divided up into jobs and gives primary attention to two major HR activities related to jobs: job design and job analysis. The nature of jobs and work is explored with an introduction to work flow analysis. Next, the concepts related to the person/job fit and the job/person match are introduced and the three popular approaches to job design are described: job enlargement and job enrichment, job rotation, and job sharing. The Job Characteristics Model is also covered and each of the five job dimensions associated with this model are presented: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Job design issues related to the use of worker teams are discussed including a description of the types of teams and the advantages and disadvantages of team jobs. Next, jobs and work scheduling are discussed. Topics include telework, work schedule alternatives, shift work, compressed workweeks, flexible work schedules, and work-life balancing. The next section is on the nature of job analysis including the purposes and responsibilities. Task based and competency based job analysis are described. The following section goes over the stages in the job analysis process: Planning the job analysis Preparing and introducing the job analysis Conducting the job analysis Developing job descriptions and job specifications Maintaining and updating job descriptions and job specifications Then, methods for getting job analysis information are described: observation, interviewing, questionnaires, computerized job analysis, combined methods, and O*Net. Other issues related to job analysis are also explored such as the behavioral aspects of job analysis including current incumbent emphasis, “inflation” of jobs and job titles, and employee and managerial anxieties. The legal aspects of job analysis also receive special attention in relationship to the Americans with Disabilities Act and wage/hour regulations. The chapter concludes with a discussion of job descriptions and job specifications. Chapter Outline I. The Workforce Profile Human Resources deals with that portion of the population that works at a job or is looking for work. An overview of that part of the population workforce is a good place to begin an examination of workforce and jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics compared to the labor force of the past, today’s workplace force is “older, more racially and ethnically diverse, and composed of more women.” It is expected to grow at a slower rate than in previous decades because the U.S. population growth has slowed and there has been a decrease in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population working or seeking work. Youths aged 16-24 are predicted to reduce their participation rates. The younger people in this group are more likely to be students. Prime-work-age workers, of ages 25-54, also are projected to reduce their participation rates to 63.7 % in 2020. Workers 55 and older are likely to increase their participation rates in the workforce, at least in part because many do not have enough money to retire. Older workers coming back to the workforce have a more difficult time finding jobs than their younger counterparts. So, many simply choose not to leave the workforce. Human resources can plan for an aging workforce by using demographic models to determine the company’s age mix and likely exit rates and then deal with problem areas using such tools as mandatory retirement, early retirement incentives, etc. Being able to match talent to what the business is and what it is trying to accomplish is fundamental. Lower energy costs, rising wages in China and India, and high international shipping costs may combine to make the United States more attractive to manufacturing again. This means more jobs requiring science, technology, engineering, and math skills (STEM). Yet there is currently a large shortage of those skills in the U.S. workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies people working less than 35 hours per week as part time, but employers set their own definition of part time as they see fit. Two-thirds of the part-time workforce is female, as mothers may need to lower their hours to provide for child care. Others choose part-time work as well—for example, the number of pediatricians, obstetricians, gynecologists, and pharmacists. Some companies allow some employees to move back and forth between part time and full time has increased markedly. Some workers move to part time before they retire. Older workers who have retired may agree to come back for part time work only. Freelancers or independent workers afford flexibility for employers for specific jobs. The use of contingent workers of whatever label continues to increase because of the resulting flexibility available for both parties. II. The Nature of Work and Jobs Work is effort directed toward accomplishing results. The work may be done by humans, machines, or both. But the total amount of work to be done in an organization must be divided into jobs so that it can be coordinated in some logical way. A job is a grouping of tasks, duties, and responsibilities that constitutes the total work assignment for an employee. These tasks, duties, and responsibilities may change over time, and therefore the job may change. Ideally, when the work to be done in all the jobs in an organization are combined, they should equal the amount of work that the organization needs to have done—no more, no less. The degree to which this ideal is or is not met drives differences in organizational productivity. In modern organizations, jobs increase in number, evolve, duties change and are combined or eliminated as the needs of the organization change. If this does not happen, the organization is failing to adapt to the changes in its environment and may be becoming outmoded or noncompetitive. Several approaches are used to deal with the common issues surrounding jobs in any organization. For HR, the way work flows through the organization and how to make that work more efficient is important. Workflow analysis is the study of the way work moves through an organization. A. Job Design/Job Redesign Job design refers to organizing tasks, duties, responsibilities, and other elements into a productive unit of work. Job redesign refers to taking an existing job and changing it to improve it. Identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of job design. Job design receives attention for three major reasons: Job design can influence performance in certain jobs, especially those where employee motivation can make a substantial difference. Job design can affect job satisfaction. Since people are more satisfied with certain job elements than others, identifying what makes a “good” job becomes critical. Reduced turnover and absenteeism also can be linked to effective job design. Job design can impact both physical and mental health. Problems that may require assistance such as hearing loss, backache, etc. sometimes can be traced directly to job design. B. Using Contingent Workers as Job Design Organizations employ a variety of workers, and not just full-time workers. Depending on economic and competitive factors, the types of workers in one firm may include the following: Full-time employees Part-time employees Independent contractors Temporary workers Contingent workers Although some organizations still use the traditional approach of employing full- and part-time workers, many firms are making significant use of independent, temporary, and contingent individuals. These persons are not employees but generally work at-will or on limited contracts, and they may be working for other employers as well. A contingent worker is someone who is not a full time employee, but a temporary or part-time worker for a specific period of time and type of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, contingent workers are part of a group of “alternative workers” who may be on-call, working through an employment agency, or operating as independent contractors. A number of contingent workers have contracts with employers that establish their pay, hours, job requirements, limitations, and time periods. C. Person-Job Fit The person–job fit is a simple but important concept of matching characteristics of people with characteristics of jobs. If a person does not fit a job, either the person can be changed or replaced or the job can be redesigned. Different people will consider some jobs “good” and others “bad.” As a result, different people will best fit different kinds of work. D. Using Teams in Job Design Typically, a job is thought of as something done by one person. However, where appropriate, jobs may be designed for teams to take advantage of the increased productivity and commitment that may follow such a change. Organizations can assign jobs to teams of employees instead of just individuals. Some firms have gone as far as dropping such terms as “workers” and “employees,” replacing them with “teammates,” “crew members,” “associates,” and other titles that emphasize teamwork. As organizations have changed, the types of teams have changed as well. Having global operations with diverse individuals and using technology have affected the nature of teams contributing to organizational projects. The virtual team is composed of individuals who are separated geographically but linked by communications technology. The success of virtual work teams depends on a number of factors, including training of team members, planning and managing virtual tasks and projects, and using technology for expansion of teamwork. However, sometimes virtual teams can lead to unresolved problems, less productivity, and miscommunications. III. Designing Flexible Jobs Flexibility can be designed into a job by changing where and when the work can be done. These can be taken into consideration in designing jobs as jobs that are more flexible are generally seen as more attractive to employees. Communication technology has allowed a connectedness between two people on a personal level, but also between an individual employee and others at work. The result can be a much greater ability to vary where and when work can be done. But for all the benefits and the ability to be constantly in communication that technology provides there is a dark side as well—information overload and attention fragmentation. The need for uninterrupted time to synthesize information, reflect, apply judgment, and make good decisions is an important requirement for certain jobs. Yet it is hard to find such time with the 24/7 on-call world that has developed. Where appropriate, a “focus, filter, and forget” strategy helps some adapt to multiple connectivity. Focus may require disconnecting from the input. Filtering can mean only looking at things that matter, and forgetting means downtime with exercise or relaxation to get away from the source of connectivity overwhelm. The technology that has caused these problems has allowed the ability to work at places other than the usual place of work. Such arrangements are collectively referred to as telework or telecommuting. A. Place Flexibility—Telework Individuals who may be working at home or at other places illustrate telework, which means that employees work via electronic, telecommunications, and Internet means. There has been a rapid growth in home-based wage and salary employment recently. The first identified benefits of telework were environmental, dealing with problems caused by traffic and wasted time commuting for employees. Employees may indeed find that they spend less for gasoline, maintenance, lunches, and dry cleaning Not traveling to work saves employees an average of one extra hour per day Employers cite improved productivity and the need for less work space as advantageous. Concerns about telework include the following: Teleworkers may work more hours than their office counterparts. Lack of “face-time” can hurt careers. Employers worry about loss of control. Managers must learn to use quality and timeliness of output rather than physical monitoring. Some states (such as New York) charge employee income taxes if the employer is in that state, regardless of where the employee is located. B. Time Flexibility—Work Scheduling Flexible work schedules can be part of designing jobs and have been developed for employees in different occupations and areas. The work schedules associated with jobs vary. Some jobs must be performed during “normal” daily work hours and on weekdays, while others require employees to work nights, weekends, and extended hours. There are significant differences in the hours worked in different countries. Given the global nature of many organizations, HR must adjust to different locations. Organizations are using many different work scheduling arrangements, based on industry demands, workforce needs, and other factors. These include shift work, the compressed workweek, part-time schedules, job sharing, and flextime. A common work schedule design is shift work. Many organizations need 24-hour coverage and therefore may schedule three 8-hour shifts per day. Most employers provide some form of additional pay, called a shift differential, for working the evening or night shifts. Compressed workweek is one type of work schedule design in which a full week’s work is accomplished in fewer than five 8-hour days. Compression usually results in more work hours each day and fewer workdays each week, such as four 10-hour days, or a 3-day week with 12-hour shifts. Part-time jobs are used when less than 40 hours per week are required to do a job. Part-time jobs are attractive to those who may not want 40 hours per week—older employees, parents of small children, or students. Another alternative used is job sharing, in which two employees perform the work of one full-time job. In flextime, employees work a set number of hours a day but vary starting and ending times. In another variation, employees may work 30 minutes longer Monday through Thursday, take short lunch breaks and leave work at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. on Friday. Flexible scheduling allows management to relax some of the traditional “time clock” control of employees, while still covering workloads. In some cases electronic monitoring may be used. IV. Understanding Job Analysis A basic building block of HR management, job analysis, is a systematic way of gathering and analyzing information about the content, context, and human requirements of jobs. An overview of job analysis is shown in Figure 3-2. The resulting information from job analysis is compiled into job descriptions and job specifications for use in virtually all HR activities. A. Purposes of Job Analysis Job analysis or work analysis has grown in importance as the workforce and jobs have changed. To be effective, HR planning, recruiting, and selection all should be based on job requirements and the capabilities of individuals that are identified by job analysis. In equal employment opportunity (EEO) matters, accurate details on job requirements are needed because the credentials in job descriptions can affect court decisions. Additionally, compensation, training, and employee performance appraisals all should be based on the specific identified needs of the jobs. Job analysis is also useful in identifying job factors and duties that may contribute to workplace health/safety and employee/labor relations issues. B. Job Analysis Responsibilities Job analysis requires a high degree of coordination and cooperation between the HR unit and operating managers. The assignment of responsibility for job analysis depends on who can best perform various parts of the process. In large companies, the HR unit supervises the process to maintain its integrity and writes the job descriptions and specifications for uniformity. The managers review the efforts of the HR unit to ensure accuracy and completeness. Different types of job analysis can be used. The most traditionally used method is task-based job analysis. Yet some organizations have emphasized the need for competency-based job analysis. C. Task-Based Job Analysis Task-based job analysis is the most common form and focuses on the tasks, duties, and responsibilities performed in a job. A task is a distinct, identifiable work activity composed of motions, whereas a duty is a larger work segment composed of several tasks that are performed by an individual. Responsibilities are obligations to perform certain tasks and duties. Task-based job analysis seeks to identify all the tasks, duties, and responsibilities that are part of a job. D. Competency-Based Job Analysis Unlike the traditional task-based approach to analyzing jobs, the competency approach considers how knowledge and skills are used. Competencies are individual capabilities that can be linked to performance by individuals or teams. The concept of competencies varies widely from organization to organization. The term technical competencies is often used to refer to specific knowledge and skills of employees. A different set of competencies are behavioral competencies. The following have been identified as behavioral competencies: Customer focus Team orientation Technical expertise Results orientation Communication effectiveness Leadership Conflict resolution Innovation Adaptability Decisiveness The competency approach attempts to identify the competencies that have been shown to drive employee performance. V. Implementing Job Analysis The process of job analysis must be conducted in a logical manner, following appropriate management and professional psychometric practices. Analysts usually follow a multistage process, regardless of the specific job analysis methods used. The stages for a typical job analysis, as outlined in Figure 3-3, may vary somewhat with the number of jobs included. VI. Job Analysis Methods Job analysis information about what people are doing in their jobs can be gathered in a variety of ways. Traditionally the most common methods have been: Observation Interviewing Questionnaires However, the expansion of technology has led to computerization and Web-based job analysis information resources. Sometimes a combination of these approaches is used depending on the situation and the organization. A. Job Analysis and O*Net A variety of resources to help with job analysis are available from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These resources have been developed and used over many years by a variety of entities. O*Net is currently the main DOL resource available and provides employers with a wide range of useful items. B. Legal Aspects of Job Analysis The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures make it clear that HR requirements must be tied to specific job-related factors if employers are to defend their actions as a business necessity. Job descriptions are frequently the link to these job-related factors. One result of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is increased emphasis by employers on conducting job analyses, as well as developing and maintaining current and accurate job descriptions and job specifications. The ADA requires that organizations identify the essential job functions, which are the fundamental duties of a job. These do not include the marginal functions of the positions. Marginal job functions are duties that are part of a job but are incidental or ancillary to the purpose and nature of the job. C. Job descriptions and Job Specifications The output from analysis of a job is used to develop a job description and its job specifications. Together, these two documents summarize job analysis information in a readable format and provide the basis for defensible job-related actions. A job description identifies the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a job. It describes what is done, why it is done, where it is done, and, briefly, how it is done. While the job description describes activities to be done, the job specifications list the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) an individual needs to perform a job satisfactorily. KSAs might include the education, experience, work skill requirements, personal abilities, and mental and physical requirements a person needs to do the job, not necessarily the current employee’s qualifications. VII. Individuals at Work The relationship between the individual and his or her employing organization helps explains why people might choose to leave a job. But for an employer to want to keep an employee that employee must be performing well. A. Individual Performance Factors The three major factors that affect how a given individual performs are: Individual ability to work Effort expended Organizational support The relationship of those factors is widely acknowledged in management literature as follows: Individual performance is enhanced to the degree that all three components are present with an individual employee. However, performance is diminished if any of these factors is reduced or absent. B. Individual Motivation Motivation is the desire within a person causing that person to act. Motivation is a goal-directed drive, and it seldom occurs in a void. Understanding motivation is important because performance, reaction to compensation, turnover, and other HR concerns are affected by and influence motivation. C. Management Implications for Motivating Individual Performance A common theme in the motivation literature is the motivating effect of making successful progress in meaningful work. Some would argue that is the single most important event for motivation. Managers can undermine the meaningfulness of work and therefore motivation for subordinates by dismissing its importance, moving people off work before they finish it, shifting goals constantly, or neglecting to keep people up-to-date on changing customer priorities. All these can diminish the progress in meaningful work. Motivation provides the effort necessary for an individual to work on his or her own as a self-starter. It also provides the necessary effort for teamwork and collaboration with others. If it values teamwork and collaboration, the organization’s culture is a good motivation lever for managers to use for this purpose. Financial rewards are often mentioned as motivators, and indeed for some people in some circumstances they can be. A good financial reward system must differentiate between good, average, and poor performers and the financial rewards to performance to be effective as a motivator. Performance management can contribute to motivation but only if the process is viewed as accurate, transparent, and fair. Other key motivators are praise, recognition, being trusted, and autonomy to do one’s job. Many organizations spend considerable money to motivate their employees using a wide range of tactics. For example, some firms have motivational speakers to inspire employees. Other employers give T-shirts, mugs, books, and videos to employees as motivators. However, the effectiveness of these expenditures has been questioned, particularly given the short-term nature of many of these programs and rewards. VIII. Individual Workers and Organizational Relationships The relationship between an individual and his or her employer can be affected by HR practices and can vary widely from favorable to unfavorable. The economic health of most organizations depends on the efforts of employees with the ability and motivation to do their jobs well. The relationship between an employee and an employer affects both of them. A. Psychological Contract A concept that has been useful in understanding individuals’ relationships with their employers is that of a psychological contract, which refers to the unwritten expectations employees and employers have about the nature of their work relationships. The psychological contract can create either a positive or negative relationship between an employer and an individual. Unwritten psychological contracts between employers and employees encompass expectations about both tangible items (e.g., wages, benefits, etc.) and intangible items (e.g., loyalty, fair treatment, etc.). Employers may attempt to detail their expectations through employee handbooks and policy manuals, but those materials are only part of the total “contractual” relationship.
Employers Will Provide Employees Will Contribute
• Competitive compensation and benefits • Continuous skill improvement and increased productivity
• Flexibility to balance work and home life • Reasonable time with the organization
• Career development opportunities • Extra efforts and results when needed
Psychological contracts can be violated, not only by personal mistreatment, but from a perception that the organization has abandoned an important principle or cause. B. Job Satisfaction and Commitment In its most basic sense, job satisfaction is a positive emotional state resulting from evaluating one’s job experiences. Job dissatisfaction occurs when one’s expectations are not met. Satisfied workers are less likely to leave the organization than their less satisfied counterparts. One way employers address job satisfaction, and ultimately retention, is by regularly surveying employees. One specific type of survey used by many organizations is an attitude survey, which focuses on employees’ feelings and beliefs about their jobs and the organization. If the employer takes responsive actions, employees may view the employer more positively; however, if management ignores the survey results, their inaction can lead to less employee job satisfaction. The degree to which employees believe in and accept organizational goals and want to remain with the organization is called organizational commitment. Job satisfaction influences organizational commitment, which in turn affects employee retention and turnover. Higher unemployment rates usually mean more dissatisfied workers in the workforce since it is more difficult to change jobs. People stay longer with jobs they do not like. Individual managers have an impact on job satisfaction and younger employees tend to have lower job satisfaction than older employees. C. Employee Engagement and Loyalty Employee engagement is a term that has received much attention in the HR practitioner literature but less academic attention. Employee engagement includes satisfaction, support from management, using effort beyond a minimum, intention to stay, and other concepts. As such it is a combination of several concepts often measured separately. Descriptions of “engaged employees” and “disengaged employees” can be retrieved from the HR practitioner literature. They include those shown in Figure 3-4. Although the concept of engagement is still evolving, a working definition might be the extent to which an employee’s thoughts and behaviors are focused on the employer’s success. IX. Employee Absenteeism A major issue in the relationship between employee and employer relates to employees who are absent from their work and job responsibilities. Absenteeism is any failure by an employee to report for work as scheduled or to stay at work when scheduled. Concern over uncontrolled absenteeism must be weighed against the problem of “presenteeism,” which occurs when people are sick and should be at home to avoid contagion but come to work anyway. This may occur for many reasons including the belief no one else can do the job, role models who come to work sick, or overly stringent absenteeism controls. Effective absence management is a balance between supporting employees who are not at work and keeping operational needs covered. A. Types of Absenteeism Employees can be absent from work or tardy for several reasons. Some absenteeism is inevitable because of illness, death in the family, and other personal reasons. Though absences such as those that are health related are unavoidable and understandable, they are still very costly. Many employers have sick leave policies that allow employees a certain number of paid days each year for those types of involuntary absences. However, much absenteeism is avoidable, or voluntary. Absence can also be planned (the least disruptive), unplanned, incidental (less than a week), or extended (lasting beyond a week). Many employees see no real concern about being absent or late to work because they feel that they are “entitled” to some absenteeism. In many firms, a relatively small number of individuals are responsible for a large share of the total absenteeism in the organization. Regardless of the reason, employers need to know if someone is going to be absent so they can make adjustments. Organizations have developed different means for employees to report their absences. Some organizations have established an automated system in which their employees who will be absent call a special phone number. Others use special electronic notification e-mail accounts. B. Controlling Absenteeism Voluntary absenteeism is better controlled if managers understand its causes, costs, and believe absenteeism can be controlled. Once they do, they can use a variety of approaches to reduce it. Figure 3-5 shows sources of direct and indirect costs. Organizational policies on absenteeism should be stated clearly in an employee handbook and emphasized by supervisors and managers. Methods employers use to address absenteeism can be placed into several categories. Five of the more prominent are as follows: Disciplinary approach: People who are absent the first time receive an oral warning, and subsequent absences bring written warnings, suspension, and finally dismissal. Positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement includes such actions as giving employees cash, recognition, time off, and other rewards for meeting attendance standards. Combination approach: A combination approach ideally rewards desired behaviors and punishes undesired behaviors. No-fault policy: With a no-fault policy, the reasons for absences do not matter, and the employees must manage their own attendance unless they abuse that freedom. Paid-time off (PTO) programs: Some employers have PTO programs, in which vacation time, holidays, and sick leave for each employee are combined into a PTO account. Labor Department estimates on what percentage of employees are absent at any given time run from 3 to 5 percent with some firms/industries as high as 8 percent. A major step in reducing absenteeism is to decide how the organization is going to record absences and what calculations are necessary to maintain and then benchmark their rates. Various methods of measuring or computing absenteeism exist. One formula suggested by the U.S. Department of Labor is as follows: The absenteeism rate can also be based on number of hours instead of number of days. X. Employee Turnover Turnover occurs when employees leave an organization and have to be replaced. Many organizations have found that turnover is a costly problem. The extent to which employers face high turnover rates and costs varies by organization and industry. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) calculates that the average for all industries is 15% annual turnover. High turnover rates have negative impacts on several dimensions of organizational performance especially safety, productivity, and financial performance. A. Types of Employee Turnover Turnover can be classified in many ways. One classification uses the following categories, although the two types are not mutually exclusive.
Involuntary Turnover Voluntary Turnover
Employees are terminated for poor performance or work rule violations or through layoffs Employee leaves by choice
Involuntary turnover is triggered at all levels by employers terminating workers due to organizational policies and work rule violations, excessive absenteeism, performance standards that are not met by employees, and other issues. Voluntary turnover too can be caused by many factors, some of which are not employer controlled. Common voluntary turnover causes include job dissatisfaction, pay and benefits levels, supervision, geography, and personal/family reasons.
Functional Turnover Dysfunctional Turnover
Lower-performing or disruptive employees leave Key individuals and high performers leave at critical times
Not all turnover is negative for organizations; on the contrary, functional turnover represents a positive change. Some workforce losses are desirable, especially if those who leave are lower-performing, less reliable, and/or disruptive individuals. Dysfunctional turnover also occurs. B. Measuring Employee Turnover The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the cost of replacing an employee ranges from one-half to five times the person’s annual salary. The turnover rate for an organization can be computed as a monthly or yearly cost. The following formula, in which separations means departures from the organization, is widely used: Common turnover rates range from almost 0% to more than 100% a year and vary among industries. XI. HR Metrics: Determining Turnover Costs Determining turnover costs can be relatively simple or very complex, depending on the nature of the efforts made and the data used. Other areas in addition to lost productivity to be included in calculating detailed turnover costs include the following: Separation costs: HR staff and supervisory time; pay rates to prevent separations; exit interview time; unemployment expenses; legal fees for separations challenged; accrued vacation expenditures, continued health benefits, and others. Vacancy costs: Temporary help; contract and consulting firm usage; existing employee overtime; and other costs until the person is replaced. Replacement costs: Recruiting and advertising expenses; search fees; HR interviewer and staff time and salaries; employee referral fees; relocation and moving costs; etc. Training costs for the new person: Paid orientation time; training staff time and pay; costs of training materials; supervisor and manager time and salaries; coworker “coaching” time and pay; etc. Hidden/indirect costs: Costs that are not obvious, such as reduced productivity; decreased customer service; additional unexpected employee turnover; missed project deadlines; etc. XII. Retention of Human Resources In one sense retention is the opposite of turnover. However, the reasons key people choose to stay with an employer may not be the opposite of those that compel others to quit. Retaining top talent is a concern for many employers and understanding retention is the beginning of keeping more of those top performers. A. Drivers of Retention Because both people and jobs are so varied, managers and HR professionals need to realize that individuals may remain or leave their employment for both job-related and personal reasons. For instance, if employees choose to leave an organization for family reasons, there may be a limited number of actions the employer can take to keep them on the job. However, there are significant actions that an employer can take to retain employees in many other circumstances. Organizational and Management Factors Many organizational/management factors influence individuals’ job satisfaction and their decisions to stay with or leave their employers. Organizations that have clearly established goals and hold managers and employees accountable for accomplishing results are viewed as better places to work, especially by individuals wishing to progress both financially and career-wise. Further, effective management provides the resources necessary for employees to perform their jobs well. A factor affecting how employees view their organizations is the quality of organizational leadership. If a firm is not effectively managed, then employees may be disappointed by the ineffective responses and inefficiencies they deal with in their jobs. Work Relationships Work relationships that affect employee retention and include supervisory/management support and coworker relations. A supervisor or manager builds positive relationships and aids retention by being fair and nondiscriminatory, allowing work flexibility and work-family balancing, giving feedback that recognizes employee efforts and performance, and supporting career planning and development. Additionally, many individuals build close relationships with coworkers. Such work-related friendships do not appear on employee records, but these relationships can be an important signal that a workplace is positive. Rewards The tangible rewards that people receive for working come in the form of pay, incentives, and benefits. Employees often cite better pay or benefits as the reason for leaving one employer for another. Employers do best with retention if they offer competitive pay and benefits, which means they must be close to what other employers are providing and what individuals believe to be consistent with their capabilities, experience, and performance. Another reward is employee recognition, which can be both tangible and intangible. Tangible recognition comes in many forms, such as “employee of the month” plaques and perfect-attendance certificates. Intangible and psychological recognition includes feedback from managers and supervisors that acknowledges extra effort and performance, even if monetary rewards are not given. Training Many employees in all types of jobs consistently indicate that organizational efforts to aid their career training and development can significantly affect employee retention. Opportunities for personal growth lead the list of reasons why individuals took their current jobs and why they stay there. XIII. Managing Retention Retention is important because turnover can cause poor performance in otherwise productive units. A. Retention Assessment Calculating both turnover and retention provides a more complete view of worker movement. By definition, the retention rate is the percentage of employees at the beginning of a period who remain at the end. To ensure that appropriate actions are taken to enhance retention, management decisions require data and analyses rather than subjective impressions, anecdotes of selected individual situations, or panic reactions to the loss of key people. Analysis of turnover data is an attempt to get at the cause of retention problems. Analysis should recognize that turnover is a symptom of other factors that may be causing problems. When the causes are treated, the symptoms can go away. Some of the first areas to consider when analyzing data for retention include the work, pay/benefits, supervision, occupations, departments, demographics of those leaving and staying. Common methods of obtaining useful perspectives are employee surveys, exit interviews, and first-year turnover evaluations. Instructor Manual for Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives Robert L. Mathis, John Jackson, Sean Valentine 9781305115248

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