Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction

Length: 650 words

It was discovered a number of factors correlate with job satisfaction. It was important to distinguish between positive and negative aspects of the job that play on an employee’s self-esteem as stated by Herzberg (Robbins 2001, p. 157). Herzberg, et al. (1959) states that (positive) satisfaction is due to good experiences and that these are due to `motivators’ – achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement. Dissatisfaction is due to bad experiences caused by `hygiene’ factors – supervisors, fellow workers, company policy, working conditions, and personal life (Herzberg, et al.1959).

This is supported by critical incident studies in which workers are asked to describe occasions when they had felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. However, the theory is supported only when this method was used. It is concluded that the Herzbergian pattern of results was due to `ego-defensive processes’; the results would now be described perhaps as `defensive attribution’ or as `self- presentation’. Good events are said to be due to one’s own achievements, bad events to the failings of others.

As a result it is generally considered that this theory had failed. This may be a mistake, since research on happiness had found partial results. Research on joy confirms Herzberg’s finding that achievement is important, but it also finds that relationships with other people are even more important and not just a source of distress as he found (Argyle 1989). These findings correlated with research done in recognition and incentive programs with leadership focus on work life balance.

Research done by Luthans (2000) emphasises the importance of “non-financials as an effective leadership tool” (p. 32). In fact his research finds employees whom received a “pat on the back” felt more committed to his or her task. They also see it beneficial when their award came from his or her direct manager. Luthans (2000) study survey found a need for recognition and that employees saw value in such programs like work life balance, see Table 1, in the Appendices section. Luthans (2000) research also found employees believed recognition should be based on different criteria.

These findings are of value as these are indicators for leaders to look for when examining motivation factors and how these factors influence performance. See Table 2, in the Appendices section. This in turn promotes the need for leadership re-examination of different types of benefit policies like focus on work life balance in order to focus on quality and performance (Tatum 1999, p. 157). How this carries into actual work life experiences remains to be seen in generalised studies.

Management has a number of other issues on the corporate plate to attend to when thinking of the big picture of how to find balance. The issue of measuring performance weighs heavily on both the leader and employee. There are many implications to this new movement within the organisation but yet without it, the task of understanding and maximising productivity is futile. Performance Implications and Conclusion Research suggests giving feedback on performance was not an easy task for leadership members.

Many feel uncomfortable delivering feedback especially when there was perceived deficiency. Additionally many leaders are not comfortable providing feedback when employees were doing well. This could account for lack of 30, 60 and 90 day reviews. Not only are leaders busy maintaining his or her own levels of output but they were not confident in the role of bearing the news. These realities faced by organisations make sense as it has been researched that most problems with team building and retaining employees begins with a lack of communication and building of inter-personal relationships.

This brings to mind the importance Emotional Intelligence plays in leadership skills. Understanding self, others and interactions could be the single most important aspect of personal team and organisational effectiveness. In fact, it is believed that this impacted reducing unwanted attrition. It also brings to mind the importance of motivation within the team structure and proves the point that motivation provides a means of making people work harder.

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