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Unformatted text preview: vided into groups based on positive versus negative emotions, and very different turnover intentions were found in the various categories. As shown
in Exhibit 4.8, of the mainly positive employees, only
6 percent were planning to leave their jobs as
opposed to 28 percent in the discontented group,
and 16 percent in the neutral group.
The implication, according to the study, is that 40
to 45 percent of the workers surveyed are at risk of
leaving when the job market heats up and the
economy gets rolling again. This will mean costs and
disruptions for companies. In the meantime, companies may have a significant portion of their workers
who are disenchanted and hanging on to their jobs
for the wrong reasons. To the extent that these negative employee emotions affect customer service
and performance, employers may end up fairly
Sources: Towers Perrin. (2003). Working today: Exploring
employees’ emotional connections to their jobs. Retrieved June
25, 2003, from http://www.towers.com/towers/webcache/towers/
experience.pdf; Quote from Vu, U. (2003, February 24). Employee
morale: One-third unhappy. Canadian HR Reporter, 16, p. 2. The nonpartisans (26%):
Mild or mixed emotion 7%
28% 30% Source: Reprinted with permission of Towers Perrin, from
“Working today: Exploring
employees’ emotional connections to their jobs.” © Towers
Perrin 2003. 3% 6%
44% Exhibit 4.8
Employee discontent and
turnover intentions. 38% Staying with the company Planning to move elsewhere Not looking but possibly
open to good offer Planning to retire 122 Individual Behaviour Part Two Performance
It seems sensible that job satisfaction contributes to less absenteeism and turnover,
but does it also lead to improved job performance? After all, employees might be so
“satisfied” that no work is accomplished! In fact, research has confirmed what folk
wisdom and business magazines have advocated for many years—job satisfaction is
associated with enhanced performance.48 However, the connection between satisfaction and performance is complicated, because many factors influence motivation and
performance besides job satisfaction (as we’ll see in Chapter 5). Thus, research has
led to some qualifications to the idea that “a happy worker is a productive worker.”
All satisfaction facets are not equal in terms of stimulating performance. The
most important facet has to do with the content of the work itself.49 Thus, interesting, challenging jobs are most likely to stimulate high performance (we will see
how to design such jobs in Chapter 6). One consequence of this is the fact that the
connection between job satisfaction and performance is stronger for complex high
tech jobs in science, engineering, and computers and less strong for more routine
labour jobs. In part, this is because people doing complex jobs have more control
over their level of performance.
Another issue in the connection between job satisfaction and performance has to
do with which of these is the cause and which the effect. Although job satisfaction
contributes to performance, performance probably also contributes to job satisfaction.50 How does this happen? When good performance is followed by rewards,
employees are more likely to be satisfied. Thus, the standout computer analyst who
is given a bonus should register an increase in job satisfaction. This reversed
causality is beneficial because the other benefits of high satisfaction accrue.
However, many organizations do not reward good performance sufficiently, thus
setting a limit on the connection between satisfaction and performance.
In addition to boosting formal job performance, satisfaction can also contribute
to employees’ informal, everyday behaviour and actions that help their organizations and their co-workers. Let us turn to a discussion of this. Organizational Citizenship Behaviour
behaviour. Voluntary, informal
behaviour that contributes to
organizational effectiveness. Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) is voluntary, informal behaviour that
contributes to organizational effectiveness.51 In many cases, the formal performance
evaluation system does not detect and reward it. Job satisfaction contributes greatly
to the occurrence of OCB.52
An example of OCB should clarify the concept. You are struggling to master a
particularly difficult piece of software. A colleague at the next desk, busy on her
own rush job, comes over and offers assistance. Irritated with the software, you are
not even very grateful at first, but within 10 minutes you have solved the problem
with her help. Notice the defining characteristics of this example of OCB:
■ ■ The behaviour is voluntary. It is not included in her job description.
The behaviour is spontaneous. Someone did not order or suggest it.
The behaviour contributes to organizational effectiveness. It extends beyond
simply doing you a personal favour.
The behaviour is unlikely to be explicitly picked up and rewarded by the performance evaluation system, especially since it is not part of the job description. What are the various forms that OCB...
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