Employee satisfaction is essential to the success of any business. A high rate of employee contentedness is directly related to a lower turnover rate. Thus, keeping employees’ satisfied with their careers should be a major priority for every employer. While this is a well known fact in management practices, economic downturns like the current one seem to cause employers to ignore it.
There are numerous reasons why employees can become discouraged with their jobs and resign, including high stress, lack of communication within the company, lack of recognition, or limited opportunity for growth. Management should actively seek to improve these factors if they hope to lower their turnover rate. Even in an economic downturn, turnover is an expense best avoided.
The Starting Point
An employee who has no interest in his or her field, or the position in which he or she begins in a job, may initially put forth his or her best effort. However, this employee will often become bored with the work because there is no intrinsic motivation to succeed. Finding the daily job mundane reduces the individual’s desire to show up to work and to do the job well. In this case, the employee may continue to come to work, but his or her efforts will be minimal.
In contrast, an employee may be entirely too overwhelmed to handle the position; the responsibilities may prove to be too demanding.
In an instance like this, the employee will search for another position that offers the financial security he or she needs with job characteristics that challenge them appropriately; thus increasing the initial company’s turnover rate (Koslowsky & Krausz, 2002).
The Sources and Effect of Stress
Stress is one of the leading causes of employees’ discontentment with their job. Branham (2005) asserts that, “it seems clear that one quarter to one half of all workers are feeling some level of dysfunction due to stress, which is undoubtedly having a negative impact on their productivity and the probability that they will stay with their employers.”
Stress can have many causes, including when companies cannot, or will not, supply the tools necessary to produce or work efficiently while on the job. This produces higher stress levels because these workers are expected to perform at certain rates, yet they are unable to do so. This results in lower productivity and higher turnover because quotas cannot be met by the employees on staff. Knowing that management is able to provide the tools essential for the position is crucial to the employee trusting the intentions of their employer.
Another source of stress is the now common practice of employers which attempts to cut costs by eliminating positions and disbursing the workload to other employees. The issue that arises is that tasks will not be performed effectively or efficiently because the employees become more concerned with having an overbearing workload. Consequently, the efforts of these employees fail to reach their own, or their employers’, standards.
These actions, and employee responses to them, result in employees who attempt to finish incomplete work assignments during personal time, such as lunch breaks, in an effort to keep their jobs
(Branham, 2005). When a company expects their employees to perform outside normal working hours, it detracts from those employees relaxation time. Personal time is essential in maintaining relationships, personal wellbeing, and sanity. The extra strain of needing to finish an unreasonable amount of work to keep the job dramatically increases
31 employee anxiety. Employees that struggle to finish their tasks become less likely to attempt advancement and more likely to begin the search for a new job elsewhere.
Those who do not attempt to complete all of the assignments are eventually terminated. The termination of some employees also causes stress to the remaining employees. Those remaining begin to