Thursday, September 01, 2011

It Really Is About Relationships . . .

In the book "Why Work Isn't Working Anymore," now almost 10 years from its writing, Fritz Aldrine and I hypothesized (based on statistical as well as substantial anecdotal evidence) that what was missing in most workplaces was satisfaction and further that the failure of employers to engender and support positive relationships with co-workers was the primary reason. Now, 10 years later, "using the rich data set of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) this article analyzes the effects of job characteristics on job satisfaction as well as the conditions under which low job satisfaction leads to job search, and under which job search leads to job changes. Individual fixed effects are included into the analysis in order to hold unobserved heterogeneity constant. According to the empirical results, the strongest determinants of job satisfaction are relations with colleagues and supervisors, task diversity and job security. Furthermore, job satisfaction is an important determinant of the self-reported probability of job search, which in turn effectively predicts actual job changes. The effect of job search on the probability of changing jobs varies with job satisfaction and is strongest at low levels of job satisfaction. The effects of job dissatisfaction on job search and of job search on quits are stronger for workers with lower tenure, better educated workers, workers in the private sector and when the economy and labor market are in a good condition." See: "The Interaction of Job Satisfaction, Job Search, and Job Changes. An Empirical Investigation with German Panel Data" from JOURNAL OF HAPPINESS STUDIES, Volume 10, Number 3, 367-384, via Takeaway: Satisfied and happy employees are more productive. Satisfaction is most predictive among those employees who share positive workplace relationships. Providing opportunities and training in cultivating positive and functional relationships in the workplace is time well spent.


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