EFFECT OF WORK LIFE BALANCE ON EMPLOYEE RETENTION

ABSTRACT

The study examined the effect of work life balance on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital. The study investigated the effect of work-life balance components such as job sharing, compressed work schedule, flexible work schedule, family leave policy and employee retention programmes on employee retention.

The results of the multivariate regression analysis indicated that: Job sharing had positive and significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan (β=0.224; t=2.691; p<0.05); Compressed work schedule had positive and significant influence on influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital (β=0.143; t=2.071; p<0.05); Flexible work schedule had positive and significant influence on influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital (β=0.283; t=3.127; p<0.05); Family leave policy had positive and significant influence on influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital (β=0.327; t=3.827; p<0.05); Employee assistance programme had positive and significant influence on influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital (β=0.147; t=2.234; p<0.05); The overall effect of work-life balance schemes is statistically significant on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital (F=18.1; p<0.05).

The study concluded that work-life balance with respect to job sharing, compressed work schedule, flexible work schedule, family leave policy and employee assistance programmes strongly drives employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital.

The study suggested that; There is need to review active policies and upgrade current practices on work-life balance arrangements; There should be equality and uniformity in the implementation of work-life balance policies with reference to workloads and work outside official duties. Organizations can organize social gathering and public programmes to reduce the mental pressure in the workplace; Provisions should be made possible for leave facilities, both with or without pay for family emergencies and child care within the organization for female employees’ to create a work environment devoid of tension and inequity.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

                                                            INTRODUCTION

1.1                        Background to the Study

The retention of employees is among the challenges bedeviling many organizations across the globe in this present 21st century. Management of organizations is faced with the task of retaining competent employees in order to avert high rate of employee turnover. Retention of employees is equally of utmost importance to an organization as it minimizes the cost an organization would spend on recruitment, selection and replacement activities. Retention of employees brings about continuity in employees’ areas of expertise and institute a culture in which merit can be rewarded (Hashim, Azman, Ghani & Sabri, 2016).  It is necessary to ascertain the factors that instill employees to stay in their organization. Factors such as job satisfaction, managerial support, organizational cultural behavior, compensation policies, management style of leadership and work environment have been hypothesized to have great influence on employee retention. However, work-life balance is a vital factor that influences the retention of employees.

Work-life balance has increasingly gained the attention of employees and employers of most organizations across the globe. Work-life balance refers to the extent to which employees concentrate between their work and personal issues.  Similarly, work-life balance refers to the capability of employees to satisfy their work and family commitment as well as fulfill other personal responsibilities (Fapohunda, 2014).  A proper balance between work and life, workers become propelled to stay in such organization simply because their jobs afford them the time to pay attention to their personal matters.  The desire to find a suitable balance between work and life is a challenge for all employees. Singh and Dubey (2016) note that when employees are opportune to balance their work and life, work places tend to be peaceful and interesting. The astronomical demand for work-life balance have prompted management of organizations to initiate work-life balance schemes such as flexible working hours, alternative work plans, leave policies, child care assistance, employee assistance programmes and compressed working hours (Kluczyk, 2013; Maphanga, 2014) .

An employees’ length of work hours is a veritable yardstick for assessing work-life balance. A long work hour is inimical suitable healthy work-life balance. Socioeconomic challenges, labour market pressures and poor living standard in Nigeria worsen the work-life balance of an average worker in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, some employees prefer to work overtime just to earn reasonable income to meet the basic essentials of life. Most workers in Nigeria are affected by lack of work flexibility, increased pressure at work, long-work hours. All these debar employees to work at their best, consequently propel them to leave such organization (Fapohunda, 2014).

Work-life balance practices in Nigeria are declining, which has partly led to high turnover rate of employees in some organizations. When employees finds it difficult to appropriately balance their official duties and personal life, they tend become frustrated, in which at times, they resign. Inadequate work-life balance does not only cause employee turnover, but also affects their productivity and job performance. To this end, the study examines the effect of work-life balance on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.

 

1.2                        Statement of Problem

Employees are the life-blood of an organization. Many organizations are beset with the challenge of retaining their employees, especially competent ones, whose contributions to the organizations is invaluable. Without effective retention measures, organizations will lose their key employees and result in employee turnover (Vimala, 2012; Kumar & Govindarajo, 2014). Work-life balance is a powerful strategy that can be used by organizations to retain their workforce.

Employees with adequate work-life balance feel fulfilled in work and non-work roles and equally experience absence or little conflict between work and non-work roles. Employees in this context tend to have higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs and personal life and equally lower levels of pressure, stress, depression and tension (Iaon, 2010; George, 2016).

Fapohunda (2014) avers that high rate of employee turnover in Nigeria is not unconnected to poor work-life balance policies in some organizations. When employees find it much difficult to have time for personal activities, they tend to be dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction consequently leads to poor job performance, which can prompt such employees to leave their organizations for another. To buttress this position, Klucyzk (2013) states that one of the reasons why employees continue to work in a particular organization especially in the public organizations is partly because their job gives them time to attend to other personal issues. Most organizations have lost competent personnel because of their inability to create proper work-life balance policies. This is prominent in the private sector where an average employee complains of little or no time to attend to non-work responsibilities (Rizwan, etal, 2014). The inability to manage work and non-work duties can eventually make an employee resign from his job. In this regard, an organization loses its workforce to other firms, and will have to incur costs to acquire new personnel.

Maphanga (2014) posits that many organizations especially in third world countries have cold attitude towards work-life balance policies such as job sharing, breaks from work, leave, compressed working hours, job rotation, flexible work schedule, child care assistance and employee assistance programmes while some are unconcerned about the non-work responsibilities of their staff.

It is therefore imperative for organizations to judiciously make use of work-life balance schemes to retain their workforce. The employees and organization benefit most when workers experience greater balance between work and personal life.

 

1.3                        Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of work-life balance on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan. The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Evaluate the effect of job sharing on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  2. Explore the effect of compressed work schedule on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  3. Determine the effect of flexible work schedule on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  4. Examine the effect of family leave policies on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  5. Determine the effect of employee assistance programmes on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.

1.4    Research Questions

Based on the research objectives, the following questions are of great importance to the study:

  1. How does job sharing influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan?
  2. How do compressed work schedule affect employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan?
  3. How does flexible work schedule influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan?
  4. How does family leave policies influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan?
  5. How does employee assistance programmes influence employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan?

 

1.5      Research Hypotheses

The hypotheses guiding the study are stated as follows:

  1. H01:  Job sharing does not have significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  2. H02:  Compressed work schedule does not have significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  3. H03:  Flexible work schedule does not have significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  4. H04:   Family leave policies do not have significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.
  5. H05:  Employee assistance programmes do not have significant influence on employee retention in Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.

 

1.6    Operationalization of Variables        

The dependent variable is employee retention while the independent variable is work-life balance. Employee retention is captured by factors that influence employee’s decision to stay in an organization such as reward system, career development, perceived management support, management style and organizational justice. Work-life balance is proxied by work-life balance schemes such as job sharing, compressed work schedule, flexible work schedule, family leave policies and employee assistance programme are the independent sub-variables.

EMR= f (WLB)……………… (1.1)

Where:

EMR= Employee retention

WLB= Work-life balance schemes

 

But WLB= f (JS, CWS, FWS, FLP, EAP)…………. (1.2)

JS= Job sharing; CWS= Compressed work schedule, FWS= Flexible work schedule; FLP= Family leave policies; EAP= Employee assistance programme

 

EMR= f (JS, CWS, FWS, FLP, EAP)…………. (1.3)

EMR= β0 + β1JS + β2CWS + β3FWS + β4FLP + β5EAP +µ………….. (1.4)

 

 

 

1.7   Scope of the Study

The study examines the effect of work-life balance on employee retention. The study is confined to Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan, Ogun State. Medical staff of Babcock University Teaching Hospital constitutes the population of the study.  Based on the report received from the administrative section, there is 331 medical staff (89 –medical doctors; 178- nurses and 64-medical professionals) in Babcock University Teaching Hospital. After applying the Yamane formula coupled with the proportionate formula, the sample size consists of 181 staff (49-medical doctors; 97-nurses and 35-medical professionals).

 

1.8    Significance of the Study

This study is beneficial to management practice, industry, government and society. The study will inform management of Babcock University Teaching Hospital on how to design or redesign friendly work-life policies to instill employees’ retention intention. Management of other organizations will be enlightened on how to make judicious use of work-life balance schemes to retain competent workforce. This will go a long way to reduce the cost of recruitment and selection processes. Government through its relevant agencies will be educated on the need to enact friendly work-life policies in labour law regulations. It is believed the promulgation of work-life policies will minimize the high rate of employee turnover in Nigerian work environment. Lastly, the academic community, whether lecturers, students and researchers will find this study instrumental in their future research undertakings on the subject matter. This study serves as an embodiment of knowledge that can be consulted by anyone interested to conduct research on the subject matter.

1.9   Definition of Key Terms

Work-life Balance

This refers to the adequate prioritization between work (career, ambition, job responsibilities) and personal life (pleasure, leisure, health and family).

Employee Retention

This refers to the various policies and practices which let the employees stick to an organization for a longer period of time.

Job-Sharing: This refers to an employment arrangement where typically two people are retained on a part-time or reduced-time basis to perform a job normally fulfilled by one person working full time.

Compressed Work Schedule: This allows employees to work for the mandated workweek in less than the mandated number of workdays. For instance, a full-time employee scheduled for 40-hours per week could work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.

Flexible Work Schedule: This policy allows employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times from work, or choose the days that they work. For example, an employee might be allowed to come in any time between 9am and 11am, and leave any time between 6pm and 8pm.

Family Leave Policies: These policies recognize that many staff have family responsibilities and that all staff will have occasional need to be absent from work to attend to personal or domestic emergencies. Examples of family leave policies include casual leave, maternal leave, sabbatical leave, etc.

Employee Assistance Programs: This is a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees to resolve personal problems such as marital, financial, emotional, legal issues and family issues that may adversely affect employee’s performance.

Reward System: It refers to the procedures, rules and standards associated with allocation of benefits and compensation to employees.

Career Development: This involves developing the skills and knowledge that enables  employees to plan and make informed decisions about education, training and career choice.

Perceived Management Support: This is the degree to which employees believe that their organization values their contributions and cares about their wellbeing and fulfills their socio-emotional needs.

Management Style: This expresses the characteristic manner of execution of managerial work of managers in relation to controlled workers. Management style determines the way and manner upon which necessary tasks and departmental needs are met. Management styles in organization include Laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional and transformational.

Organizational justice: This refers to employee perceptions of fairness in the workplace. These perceptions can be classified into four categories namely distributive, procedural, informational and interactional.

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