Job Satisfaction & Turnover

by Anita Flynn

Employee turnover is the percentage of employees that elect to leave a company within a specified time. Some industries by nature of their core business lend themselves to a high turnover rate. Information technology is a dynamic market fueled by a youthful employee pool willing to jump ship to establish a successful career. For traditional businesses, however, such as manufacturing or health care, lack of job satisfaction is a key driver in motivating an employee to leave.

Money Talks

But what is job satisfaction? Is it being content just to have a job in uncertain economic times? Job satisfaction encompasses an array of qualifiers -- some easy to measure and others more emotional. Compensation is an integral part of job satisfaction. An employee may like what he does, but if someone offers him more money to do it, then a degree of dissatisfaction creeps into the thought process. Compensation also includes medical benefits, annual bonus programs and other financial perks that figure into job satisfaction.

Bad Bosses

Bad bosses drive good workers away.

Organizational mismanagement also is a prod for an employee to look elsewhere. Difficult supervisors or a management team clueless about its mission and execution strategy may be a signal that it's time to move on. During economic downturns, employees will hang on, preferring bad management practices to no job at all. But once the job market shows signs of life, they become more courageous in their pursuit of job satisfaction.

Co-Worker Comfort

Co-workers: The tie that binds.

One important factor to consider as an employer who expects a return on investment for hiring and training onboard talent is the overall atmosphere within the employee network. People working with other people is a daily tightrope walk; when they get along and connect on an emotional level, it's difficult for them to walk away. Though an unquantifiable measure of job satisfaction, people and personalities are important nonetheless. Unfortunately, if one of them does decide to leave, it can have a Pied Piper effect where others follow him to his new work destination.

Turnover Impacts Success

Employee turnover is costly. Depending on the years of knowledge and experience walking out the door, it can severely hinder the ability of an organization to focus on its goals if it's continually hiring and training new employees. Consistently monitoring employees' job satisfaction pulse is well worth the effort.

About the Author

Anita Flynn resides in Philadelphia and has worked for more than 36 years for a global chemical manufacturer. She has an extensive background in the SAP Order-to-Cash environment. Flynn holds a BS in marketing and an MS in information systems management. She has been published in "Supervision" magazine and was a contributing author to Philadelphia's local CBS website.

Photo Credits

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