Category Archives: Furloughs/Layoffs/Turnover

Inflexible jobs also make non-parents miserable

Source: Jared Wadley, Futurity, April 30, 2018

Work-life balance is not an issue exclusive to women, particularly mothers, new research shows. Men and people without children can suffer when they feel that their workplace culture is not family-friendly, as well.

When employees think their careers will suffer if they take time away from work for family or personal reasons, they have lower work satisfaction and experience more work-life spillover. In addition, they are more likely to intend to leave their jobs, say researchers…..

….People typically think only women and moms experience work-family issues, and need flexible work arrangements, like telecommuting, part-time work, or job sharing. Society believes it’s women who bear the brunt of unfriendly work cultures, when it actually impacts all genders, says Lindsey Trimble O’Connor, lead author and assistant professor of sociology at California State University Channel Islands…..

Related:
Not Just a Mothers’ Problem: The Consequences of Perceived Workplace Flexibility Bias for All Workers
Lindsey Trimble O’Connor, Erin A. Cech, Sociological Perspectives, Online First, April 13, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Flexibility bias and the “ideal worker” norm pose serious disadvantages for working mothers. But, are mothers the only ones harmed by these norms? We argue that these norms can be harmful for all workers, even “ideal” ones—men without caregiving responsibilities who have never used flexible work arrangements. We investigate how working in an environment where workers perceive flexibility bias affects their job attitudes and work-life spillover. Using representative survey data of U.S. workers, we find that perceived flexibility bias reduces job satisfaction and engagement and increases turnover intentions and work-life spillover for all types of workers, even ideal workers. The effects of perceived bias on satisfaction, turnover, and spillover operate beyond experiences with family responsibilities discrimination and having colleagues who are unsupportive of work-life balance. We show that workplace cultures that harbor flexibility bias—and, by extension, that valorize ideal work—may affect the entire workforce in costly ways.

Firm Turnover and the Return of Racial Establishment Segregation

Source: John-Paul Ferguson, Rembrand Koning, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 17-50, January 8, 2018

From the abstract:
Racial segregation between American workplaces is greater today than it was a generation ago. This increase has happened alongside the declines in within-establishment occupational segregation on which most prior research has focused. We examine more than 40 years of longitudinal data on the racial employment composition of every large private-sector workplace in the United States to calculate between-area, between-establishment, and within-establishment trends in racial employment segregation over time. We demonstrate that the return of racial establishment segregation owes little to within-establishment processes but rather stems from differences in the turnover rates of more- and less-homogeneous workplaces. Present research on employment segregation focuses intently on within-firm processes. By doing so, we may be overstating what progress has been made on employment integration and ignoring other avenues of intervention that may give greater leverage for further integrating firms.

Who stays, who goes, who knows? A state-wide survey of child welfare workers

Source: Austin Griffiths, David Royse, Kalee Culver, Kristine Piescher, Yanchen Zhang, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 77, June 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Child welfare workforce turnover remains a significant problem with dire consequences. Designed to assist in its retention efforts, an agency supported state-wide survey was employed to capture worker feedback and insight into turnover. This article examines the quantitative feedback from a Southern state’s frontline child welfare workforce (N = 511), examining worker intent to leave as those who intend to stay employed at the agency (Stayers), those who are undecided (Undecided), and those who intend to leave (Leavers). A series of One-Way ANOVAs revealed a stratified pattern of worker dissatisfaction, with stayers reporting highest satisfaction levels, followed by undecided workers, and then leavers in all areas (e.g., salary, workload, recognition, professional development, accomplishment, peer support, and supervision). A Multinomial Logistic Regression model revealed significant (and shared) predictors among leavers and undecided workers in comparison to stayers with respect to dissatisfaction with workload and professional development, and working in an urban area. Additionally, child welfare workers who intend to leave the agency in the next 12 months expressed significant dissatisfaction with supervision and accomplishment, and tended to be younger and professionals of color.

Highlights
• Child welfare worker intent to leave is best examined through a continuum.
• A stratified pattern of dissatisfaction emerged when exploring this continuum.
• A multinomial logistic regression model revealed significant (and shared) predictors.

Do Reform Values Matter? Federal Worker Satisfaction and Turnover Intention at the Dawn of the Trump Presidency

Source: Sung Min Park, Maria Ernita Joaquin, Kyoung Ryoul Min, Reginald G. Ugaddan, American Review of Public Administration, Online First, First Published May 4, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
With heightened bureaucratic bashing and the planned reorganization of the U.S. federal bureaucracy, hiring is going to be difficult, but what could make those already in the service satisfied and willing to stay in their jobs? How could flexible work systems have an impact on worker job satisfaction and turnover intention? Using hierarchical linear modeling, we explore the impact of alternative work systems on employee job satisfaction and turnover intention in the context of values underlying managerial reforms. Flexible work systems are found to have a positive impact moderated by the kind of values promoted by particular reforms. A discussion on the main findings, research, and practical implications for public human resource management theory and practice is provided.

Employee Burnout Is a Problem with the Company, Not the Person

Source: Eric Garton, Harvard Business Review, April 6, 2017

Employee burnout is a common phenomenon, but it is one that companies tend to treat as a talent management or personal issue rather than a broader organizational challenge. That’s a mistake.

The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees, which cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S., are just the most obvious impacts. The true cost to business can be far greater, thanks to low productivity across organizations, high turnover, and the loss of the most capable talent. Executives need to own up to their role in creating the workplace stress that leads to burnout—heavy workloads, job insecurity, and frustrating work routines that include too many meetings and far too little time for creative work. Once executives confront the problem at an organizational level, they can use organizational measures to address it…..

Private Equity, Layoffs, and Job Polarization

Source: Martin Olsson, Joacim Tåg, Journal of Labor Economics, Ahead of Print, March 29, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Private equity firms are often criticized for laying off workers, but the evidence on who loses their jobs and why is scarce. This paper argues that explanations for job polarization also explain layoffs after private equity buyouts. Buyouts reduce agency problems, which triggers automation and offshoring. Using rich employer-employee data, we show that buyouts generally do not affect unemployment incidence. However, unemployment incidence doubles for workers in less productive firms who perform routine or offshorable job tasks. Job polarization is also much more marked among workers affected by buyouts than for the economy at large.

Can a Flexibility/Support Initiative Reduce Turnover Intentions and Exits? Results from the Work, Family, and Health Network

Source: Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Shi-Rong Lee, J. Michael Oakes, Wen Fan, Jeremy Bray, David Almeida, Leslie Hammer, David Hurtado, Orfeu Buxton, Social Problems, Advance Access, First published online: 29 December 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We draw on panel data from a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a flexibility/supervisor support initiative called STAR on turnover intentions and voluntary turnover among professional technical workers in a large firm. An unanticipated exogenous shock—the announcement of an impending merger—occurred in the middle of data collection. Both organizational changes reflect an emerging employment contract characterized by increasing employee temporal flexibility even as employers wield greater flexibility in reorganizing their workforces. We theorized STAR would reduce turnover intentions and actual turnover by making it more attractive to stay with the current employer. We found being in a STAR team (versus a usual practice team) lowered turnover intentions 12 months later and reduced the risk of voluntary turnover over almost three years. We also examined potential mechanisms accounting for the effects of these two organizational changes; STAR effects on reducing turnover intentions are partially mediated by reducing work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, burnout, psychological distress, perceived stress, and increasing job satisfaction. The effect of learning about the merger on increasing turnover intentions is fully mediated by increased job insecurity. STAR also moderates the negative effects of learning about the merger on turnover intentions for different subgroups. Findings provide insights into the effectiveness of an organizational intervention, the dynamics of organizations, and how competing logics of two organizational changes affect employees’ labor market expectations and behavior.

Pension Structure and Employee Turnover: Evidence from a Large Public Pension System

Source: Dan Goldhaber, Cyrus Grout, Kristian L. Holden, ILR Review, Online First, Published online before print November 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Public pension systems in many U.S. states face large funding shortfalls, and policymakers have considered moving toward defined contribution (DC) pension structures in the interest of reducing the likelihood of future shortfalls. Concerns exist, however, that such changes might increase levels of employee turnover. The empirical evidence on the relationship between pension structure and turnover is mixed, and is quite limited in the case of public-sector plans. The authors study a single class of public-sector employees (teachers) who are enrolled in either a traditional defined benefit (DB) plan or a hybrid DB-DC plan during overlapping periods of time. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the authors find little evidence that the introduction of the hybrid plan increased employee turnover; in fact, they find that turnover is lower among teachers who transferred out of the DB plan into the hybrid plan. Employers may benefit by shifting the debate away from plan structure per se and toward a discussion of how to provide employees with pension plans they will highly value.

Evidence-Based Change in Public Job Security Policy: A Research Synthesis and Its Practical Implications

Source: Hyunkang Hur, James L. Perry, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 45 no. 3, September 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
For most of the 20th century, public employers granted their employees high levels of job security. The 21st century has brought a reversal of fortunes, with emphasis increasingly on at-will employment systems. Both distant and recent policy choices about job security have been based largely on normative and ideological considerations rather than behavioral science evidence. This article synthesizes public- and private-sector job security research to provide a more evidence-based footing for future public job security policy. Although changes related to job security are global, our attention is primarily on the United States. The article reviews job security research with origins in organizational behavior research, at-will employment research, and institutionalization and public trust research across sectors. Based on the review of the literature, we develop an integrative model of job security. We highlight practical implications that flow from the model and discuss future research needs.