|Suprasith Jarupathirun||Department of Management, Faculty of Business Administration, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bangkok, Thailand, 10240|
|Michela De Gennaro||Department of Management, Faculty of Business Administration, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bangkok, Thailand, 10240|
A high rate of employee turnover is an issue that organizations face on a regular basis. This issue has affected organizations by impacting on job performance and lowering productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. As Thailand is an industrialized country, and with many neighboring countries entering the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the rate of employee turnover is likely to increase due to the rise in competition and employees; work environments where stress is endemic at every level can also lead to high employee turnover. Thus, work satisfaction has become a key element of employee motivation and a means of managing workplace stress. The aims of this study are to research the relationship between work satisfaction and employee turnover, study the factors relating to workplace satisfaction, and explore what causes employees to leave their employment. This research uses Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory to examine the intrinsic and extrinsic factors in relation to the measurement of satisfaction at work. The participants in this study comprised 100 office workers in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. This study has shown that while employee satisfaction does not directly lead to high rates of turnover, it is a contributor to said turnover.
Employee turnover; Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory; Work satisfaction
A challenging issue facing organizations nowadays is employee turnover. It is an unavoidable problem for many organizations. The reasons for employees leaving an organization are many and include reasons such as poor working conditions, too long working hours and bad relationships with peers. Employee turnover can cause many problems: It has been shown to be one of the costliest and most intractable challenges confronting organizations globally (Heyman, 2008). High rates of employee turnover have been associated with lower productivity, reduced long-term growth, reduced profitability, and low customer satisfaction.
Poor working conditions, too long working hours or bad relationships with peers would not result in employees quitting a job right away but result in piling up their stress in a workplace that await to be rupture. Several studies (e.g. Detert et al. 2007; Pugliesi, 1999) showed that employees’ work stress, affect the satisfaction levels and motivation, which in turn affects their productivity and operations cost of organizations. Thus, the effect of workplace stress on the motivation and productivity of employees should be a topic of major concern for businesses and organizations in Thailand.
Satisfaction at work is a key element of employee motivation. In contrast, workplace stress is a global problem affecting almost all professions. Roughly one-third of employees have reported high levels of stress, and workplace stress is also believed to be the major cause of staff turnover (NIOSH, 1999). As previously mentioned, workplace stress is not a widely recognized problem in Thailand. However, the negative effects of workplace stress can be seen when employees develop health problems and decreased job satisfaction, eventually leaving their jobs. In a study on the occupational stress of employees in small and medium-sized enterprises, it was highlighted that perceived organizational support mediates the relationship between stress and intentions to leave, while job satisfaction and effective commitment have limited influence (Villanueva & Djurkovic, 2009). The results of various stress-performance studies show that stress is related to job performance, both directly and indirectly (Fried et al., 2013). Low overall levels of job satisfaction lead to higher intentions of resignation (Steensma et al., 2004). Tsai and Wu (2010) found that job satisfaction significantly predicted employees’ intentions to resign, as it was found that there is a negative relationship between this factor and job satisfaction.
In addition, the discovery of variations in the relationship between performance and stress also suggests the influence of certain job “factors” such as job security, pay and benefit, and job load (Jacobs et al., 2007; Mark & Smith, 2012). This discovery shows that stress is not the only factor affecting performance: Other job factors are also influential. In a study investigating the predictors of productivity with a shortened stress evaluation tool, psychological well-being, organizational commitment to the employee, and various resources were found to be predictive, while physical health, work stress, and employees’ commitment to the organization were not identified as important (Donald et al., 2005).
As Thailand is becoming an industrialized country and entering the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the competition among businesses from countries in ASEAN is likely to increase. With the lesser productivity, Thai businesses might lose a competitive edge. These pressures of Thai companies to perform well in a higher competitive business environment would not only require better technology but also higher productivity employee- to work harder, work better and work smarter. Businesses could implement different management practice techniques such as tie pay rate with performance to motivate employee to work harder and create a learning environment to have employee to work smarter. Key management practices used in the West, such as the development of employee skills, knowledge management, and technical and professional capabilities are also commonly applied in modern Thai organizations, both public and private. However, less is known about the relationship between the practice of Western organizational culture, traditional Thai culture, and the patterns of behavior among Thai workers (Pimpa, 2012). However, these practices to Thai workers might cause more harms – dissatisfaction and intention to leave the work places than benefits – higher productivity. Prior studies (Khamisa et al., 2015; Skaalvik and Skaalvik, 2017) showed a linkage between the work stress and work satisfaction. In this study we used the level of work satisfaction as a sign of work stress. Employees with low work satisfaction mean that employees are having chronic work stress.
Thus, the research objectives for this paper are:
· To study the relationship between work satisfaction and employee turnover.
· To examine the factors related to workplace satisfaction.
· To examine the factors related to workplace satisfaction that cause employees to leave their job.
The first objective for this study was to determine the relationship between each independent factor and employee satisfaction levels. The second objective of the study was to test each independent factor, based on satisfaction levels, and its influence on employee turnover. The third and final objective was to determine the extent to which the 2 dependent factors, based on satisfaction levels, contributed to employees’ intention to resign. From this study, it was observed that some of the aspects of the work satisfaction including Recognition, Relationship with peers, Work security and Remuneration contribute to intentions to leave and some of the aspects of the work satisfaction including Achievement, Work Itself, Growth, Company policy, Relationship with supervisor, and Work conditions do not. Thus, further studies should be conducted whether these findings can be generalized in every context and situations.
To conclude, the findings of this study prove the importance of various workplace and demographic factors that affect job satisfaction and turnover. To prevent low levels of productivity, supervisors and managers should monitor employees’ perceptions of their work and the workplace environment, as these perceptions have a causal relationship with employee productivity and thus, affect the success of the organization.
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