Category Archives: Furloughs/Layoffs/Turnover

Pension Reforms and Public Sector Turnover

Source: Evgenia Gorina, Trang Hoang, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Published: June 24, 2019

From the abstract:
Over the past decade, many states have reformed their retirement systems by reducing benefit generosity, tightening retirement provisions, introducing non-defined-benefit (DB) plan options and even replacing DB plans with defined-contribution plans. Many of these reforms have affected post-employment benefits that public workers will receive when they retire. Have these reforms also affected the attractiveness of public sector employment? To answer this question, we use state-level data from 2002 to 2015 and examine the relationship between state pension reforms and public employee turnover following the reforms. We find that employee responsiveness to the reforms was tangible and that it differed by reform type and worker education. These results are important because the design of public retirement benefits will continue to influence the ability of the public sector to recruit and retain high-quality workforce.

A correction has been published.

To Prevent Burnout, Hire Better Bosses

Source: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Harvard Business Review, August 23, 2019

…. Yet, there’s still one, big unaddressed issue that keeps popping up: burnout. In the U.S. alone, workplace stress costs the economy around $300 billion per year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, and legal and medical fees. Unsurprisingly, study after study shows that stress and burnout are major drivers of staff turnover, accidents, injuries, and substance abuse. Even among the top companies and the most desirable places to work this is a problem — and its generally the consequence of one thing: bad leadership.

In theory, leaders should be shielding their followers and subordinates from stress, operating as a beacon of calmness and safety throughout difficult times. In reality, however, leaders are more likely to cause stress than to reduce it. This problem is far more common than it should be. Millions of employees around the world suffer the consequences of bad leadership, including burnout, alienation, and decreased mental and physical wellbeing. This is particularly true when managers practice abusive behaviors, but at times, it’s their sheer incompetence that demotivates, demoralizes, and stresses out their teams. Lacking technical expertise, having no clue how to give or receive feedback, failing to understand potential, or a general inability to evaluate their subordinates’ performance, are just some of the common signs of incompetence.

To that end, here are four critical lessons you should consider:
There is no better cure than prevention. ….
It is more profitable to remove toxic leaders than to hire superstars. ….
Resilience can hide the effects of bad leadership. ….
Boring is often better. ….

2019 State of the Workforce Report: Pay, Promotions and Retention

Source: Ahu Yildirmaz, Christopher Ryan, Jeff Nezaj, ADP Research Institute, June 2019

All employers face the fundamental challenge of structuring, rewarding and motivating their organization’s workforce for optimal productivity and overall business performance. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for success that works in all situations. Each employer faces its own unique circumstances — mission, market demand, competitive differentiation, labor availability and cost structure, among other things — that drive continuous change. Existing literature suggests that an organization’s ability to adapt to these changes is fundamental to the organization’s survival.

…. As a comprehensive, up-to-date source of organizational data, the findings in the report provide a solid basis for firms to understand their own organizational dynamics and improve performance.

Key observations from this inaugural study illustrate some of the ways employers can use this data:
– On average, employers will promote 8.9 percent of their employees annually, and those employees will receive an average wage increase of 17.4 percent
– Firms are more likely to promote internal employees for management positions
– Promotions within a team are associated with higher turnover among other team members
– Employee turnover varies significantly with demographic factors
– Males and females show significant disparities across pay and organizational hierarchies

To Have and to Hold

Source: Theresa Agovino, SHRM, February 23, 2019

….Employee retention has taken on a new significance amid one of the tightest labor markets in the past 50 years. In January, the unemployment rate stood at 4 percent. The robust job market has given employees the confidence to seek new opportunities, while employers are wrestling with rising compensation and heated competition for new hires, both salaried and hourly. ….

…. The business ramifications are enormous. Each employee departure costs about one-third of that worker’s annual earnings, including expenses such as recruiter fees, temporary replacement workers and lost productivity, according to the Work Institute. ….

…. ​To engender loyalty, companies are trying every tactic, from raising salaries to bolstering benefits to offering more training and education. That last category is becoming critical: Inadequate career development is the leading reason people leave their jobs, the institute reports, with 21 percent of those interviewed citing it as the driving factor. Those employees expressed frustration with the lack of growth, development opportunities and advancement in their jobs. ….

Millennial Motivation Issues Related to Compensation and Benefits: Suggestions for Improved Retention

Source: Daniel L. Morrell, Kristie A. Abston, Compensation & Benefits Review, OnlineFirst, Published January 7, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Millennials are currently the largest generation at work and will reach an estimated 75% of the labor force by 2025. Studies have shown that millennials hold slightly different attitudes toward work when compared with previous generations. They more readily change jobs and are generally less committed to their organizations, with an estimated 66% of millennial employees planning to leave their current company within 5 years. These differences in work values necessitate changes in current approaches to compensation and benefit packages that would better align with these changing values. The goal of this article is to review recent empirical data on Millennials as compared with previous generations and then offer suggestions for what changes might improve retention.

Inclusive Work Practices: Turnover Intentions Among LGBT Employees of the U.S. Federal Government

Source: Meghna Sabharwal, Helisse Levine, Maria D’Agostino, Tiffany Nguyen, Advance Articles, The American Review of Public Administration, First Published December 12, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The federal government lags behind in progressive civil rights policies in regard to universal workplace antidiscrimination laws for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. The slow progress matters to inclusionary workplace practices and the theory and practice of public administration generally, as recognition of LGBT rights and protection are constitutive of representative bureaucracy and promoting social equity. This study examines the turnover intention rates of self-identified LGBT employees in the U.S. federal government. Using the Office of Personnel Management’s inclusion quotient (IQ), and 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), we identify links in the relationships between workplace inclusion and turnover outcomes among LGBT individuals. We also examine the impact of agency type on LGBT turnover rates based on Lowi’s agency classification type. Key findings suggest that LGBT employees express higher turnover intentions than those that identify as heterosexuals/straight, and LGBT employees who perceive their agencies as redistributive or communal are less likely to experience turnover intentions. However, an open and supportive workplace environment had a positive impact on turnover, suggesting that to implement effective structural change in an organization’s culture of inclusion, public sector managers must do more than merely “talk the talk.” This finding is also suggestive of LGBT employees’ desire to avoid the stigma of being LGBT and hide their identities. Institutions must heed the invisible and visible identities of their employees to be truly inclusive. Workplace practices that acknowledge the invisible and visible identities of their employees are a positive step toward real workplace inclusion.

Local government – Ohio, Michigan and Maryland: General Motors’ plant closures underscore the importance of economic diversity

Source: Francis A Mamo, Rachel Cortez, Gregory W. Lipitz, Alexandra S. Parker, Moody’s, Sector Comment, November 28, 2018
(subscription required)

On 26 November, General Motors Company (Baa3 stable) announced it will halt production at four US manufacturing plants as soon as March 2019. The closures are credit negative for several local governments in Ohio (Aa1 stable), Michigan (Aa1 stable) and Maryland (Aaa stable).

Collectively, the four plants employ more than 3,800 people and had a 2017 payroll of $480 million (see exhibit 1). All of the closures are credit negative for the affected local governments, but closure of the Lordstown plant in Warren, Ohio (Baa1 negative) will have a pronounced negative effect on Trumbull County’s (Aa3) employment base….

Is It “Just Work”? The Impact of Work Rewards on Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intent in the Nonprofit, For-Profit, and Public Sectors

Source: Keely Jones Stater, Mark Stater, The American Review of Public Administration, Advance Access, First Published November 27, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article uses the General Social Survey (GSS) to compare the effects of “social” work rewards on job satisfaction and turnover intent for nonprofit, public, and for-profit workers. Drawing on properties of the nonprofit sector, we hypothesize that social rewards should be more prevalent in nonprofit workplaces and have a larger impact on job decisions for nonprofit than for government and for-profit workers. Consistent with this, we find that social rewards are perceived as more prevalent in nonprofit organizations. In addition, having helpful coworkers and having a supervisor who cares about one’s welfare have larger effects on job satisfaction for nonprofit workers than for workers in the other two sectors, and having a helpful supervisor discourages turnover intent to a larger extent in the nonprofit sector than in the for-profit and public sectors. Overall, however, we find that differences in the magnitude of impact of social rewards by sector are less pronounced than theory would suggest.

Winning the War for Talent: Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees

Source: Anaïs Thibault Landry, Allan Schweyer, Ashley Whillans, Compensation & Benefits Review, OnlineFirst, First Published October 31, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Given the struggle that many organizations face hiring and retaining talent in today’s tight labor market, it is critical to understand how to effectively reward employees. To address this question, we review relevant evidence that explains the importance of workplace rewards and recognition. Based on a review and synthesis of the current literature, we make the case that organizations should move beyond salary and traditional cash rewards to place greater emphasis on nonpecuniary, tangible and intangible rewards and recognition initiatives. We further highlight the importance of aligning rewards with universal psychological needs. Finally, we discuss the need to conduct more research to understand when and for whom cash and noncash rewards increase intrinsic motivation, organizational commitment and optimal functioning in order to improve the design and implementation of existing reward programs.

Patient Centered Care and Turnover in Hospice Care Organizations

Source: Eric G. Kirby, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Vol. 41 No. 1, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Hospice care has significantly changed over the past 40 years. The industry has seen a growth in utilization rates, an increase in insurance coverage, and changing governmental funding. To reduce the significant risk of employee turnover, hospice care organizations have responded to these pressures. This study examines whether nursing turnover is affected as organizations respond to environmental pressures for increased patient-centered care (PCC). Does the use of patient-centered approaches to meeting client needs reduce turnover in the nursing staff? Using hierarchical regression to analyze organizational, market, and personnel data from 695 hospices across the United States, this study finds innovative PCC practices are significantly related to reduced nursing turnover.