Essay: Determinants of employees’ turnover intentions

This article is to examine the extent at which the various stipulated organizational factors such as Employees’ pay level, security of employees’ position, work- family responsibilities, as well as supervisory and social support exert influence on employees’ turnover intentions in both Public and Private Institutions in Ghana. Data in this article will be conveniently obtained from both primary source with the aid of questionnaires and secondary sources such as articles from journals as well as books as clearly indicated.

Keywords: Organization, Working Conditions, Job Satisfaction, Turnover Intention,


Probably among the numerous rhetorical questions concerning employees’ turnover intentions, the most dominant ones such as: – why people would like to leave their jobs since it is extremely tedious to find a befitting job in recent times?, As were as why people would like to be thoroughly committed to their recent jobs regardless of the less pay coupled with less benefits they receive as rewards while new jobs are being commenced in every second of an hour?, are repetitive in the minds of individuals. These and other few perceived circumstances adjoining turnover intentions ( thought of leaving or staying) among employees within both public and private sector organizations have become pertinent issues for at least the past twenty(20) years (Pitts, Marvel, & Fernandez,2011) such that in recent thrived literatures ( Pitts et al,2011; Wynen, Op de Beeck, & Hondegghem,2013), as a result of individual employees’ perception and decision making process related to individuals’ demographic and personal factors coupled with organizational factors, turnover intention has been conceptualized. Despite a consensus agreement in the aforementioned literature, it is tranquil vital for consideration of other factors by researchers besides individual and organizational characteristics that have the propensity to affect employees’ turnover intentions (Wynen, & Op de Beeck, 2014). And as much less is known about the various organizational factors which either compel employees to stay or leave, this article affirms the existing theories by looking at the likelihood effects of certain organizational determinants on employees’ turnover intentions in the registered institutions from Ghanaian perspective. The remainder of this article sequentially organized as follows: the next immediate Section evokes a critical review of related literature on determinants of employees turnover and their respective effects on employees’ turnover intention; methodology deployed for the study, limitations of the study, direction(s) for future research and finally ends with concluding remarks which entails key findings as per the reviewed literature.
Over thirty (30) years ago, the unwritten mutual agreement that existed between employees and employers has virtually been damaged and the underlining conception that employees will stay with a sole organization for the rest of their career has been progressively irrelevant (Robbins & Judge, 2009) p.115. As there is no single recipe to keep employees with an organization due to the complexity nature of retention (Sinha & Sinha, 2012), In general, people (more especially) new employees become more committed to their job such that research has revealed an inverse correlation between organizational commitment and turnover intentions but due to the dynamic and unpredictability nature of human behavior ( Robbins & Judge 2009), there is a need for employers to keep their employees from going to work for their direct competitors (Sinha & Sinha, 2012) despite the fact that they (employees) see it unethical to leave their respective organizations more especially where they are spearheading new initiatives. In line with the aforementioned theories, studies have revealed that employees turnover intentions are driven by several key factors such as pay, secure position, work-life balance, supervisory support (Wynen,& Op de Beeck, 2014 ; Robbins & Judge, 2009), ‘which ought to be managed congruently’ (Sinha & Sinha, 2012). As turnover intentions are one of the most powerful marauders of a decrease in customer service and quality (Hancock, Allen, Bosco, McDaniel, & Pierce, 2011), organizations would want to espouse meticulous strategies that eventually aid the retention of their most valued employees (Sinha & Sinha , 2012) as it confirms the presumption that is eccentric between employees and their related job environment, it could serve as a mechanism for their turnover intentions (Galletta, Portoghese & Battistelli,2011). How employees are related to their work environments is to some extent dependent on their job satisfaction (how well employees are okay at their work place) though not separately looked at in this paper but its impact on the various key factors such as pay, secure position, work- family responsibilities, and supervisory support to exert influence on employees’ turnover intentions are not neglected. This according to researchers is beyond every reasonable doubt because of the higher expenses that the hiring and retention of newly employees often come with (Sinha & Sinha, 2012).
Employees’ Pay level
Regardless of the ordeals that employees go through in securing their befitting job, how much they are paid as well as the constituents of their pay structure are not overlooked, as studies have revealed that people are expected to leave their current work due to low wage and dissatisfaction of what makes up their pay structure (Treuren & Frankish, 2014). In affirmation of this, there has been a vivid demonstration in other studies such as those from (Day, 2011 ; Shields et al., 2012) that there is a possible link between the understanding of how much is their ( employees) pay, pay constituents, employees’ pay and job satisfaction, organizational performance and employees turnover rate; Which goes to buttress the assertion that, ‘the more an employee understands how their pay is determined, the greater the employee’s pay satisfaction (Day, 2011) which retrospectively determines their level of commitment, engagement as well as their retention (Shields et al., 2012). Even though pay may be seen as less important to employees as it plays a very small role in predicting employees turnover intentions especially during the financial crisis (Wynen, & Op de Beeck, 2014) as pay levels were accordingly found to be stable in public administration sectors among European Union countries (Eurofound, 2012). Contrary, (Weaver, 2012) found that to retain employee, higher pay levels or pay satisfaction can never be neglected due to their inevitable impact.
H1: There is an inverse relationship between employees’ pay level and their turnover intentions
Work- Family Responsibilities
In as much as one needs work to do in order to observe his or her due responsibilities in the house effectively, reasonably one would think that work assignments or duties should be the prime motive of each and every individual employee but, contrary to this an equally importance is assigned to family commitments as it has been asserted that the necessary arrangements to facilitate the balance between work and family commitments has a propensity to curtail turnover intentions ( Batttistelli et al.,2013 ; Lee & Hong, 2011). Due to its essence, all over the world Governments are championing in the area of work and life balance (Den Dulk & Groeneveld, 2013) even though not all work-life policies are found to be equally momentous in envisaging turnover (Lee and Hong 2011) however, Governments’ interest in work-life balance is steadily curtailing employees intention to leave their current work especially Public Institutions (Wynen, & Op de Beeck, 2014) this explains that work-Family Conflict ( imbalances in work-life) strongly reduces employees’ job satisfaction which in turn, accounts for higher level of turnover intentions (Nohe & Sonntag, 2014), as Amstad, et al. (2011) study buttressed an association between work-family conflict with employees turnover intentions .
H2: There is a positive association of Work-Family Commitment (Responsibility) and turnover Intentions.
Security of Employees’ Position
The decision of whether to work for government or for private employer has been a relevant issue among the labour force for a longer period of time nevertheless the prestige of government jobs still stands tall among the proliferated private institutions all over the world. The most outstanding question that remains relevant is the job security of employees even though laws are enacted to protect employees and to monitor the capricious exercises of the power to engage and fire. Studies have revealed that benefits and salaries are high in private sector but job security is less (Jehanzeb et al., 2013)
H3: Security of employees’ positions positively affects their turnover intentions
Supervisory and Social support
‘The decision to look for a new Job is being re-considered and keeping what one has is the new attitude ‘ ( Eurofound, 2012) p.41, more especially when individual employees are satisfied with their pay level, the presence of work-life arrangements and many other working conditions (Wynen & Op de Beeck,2014). These seem to have been an absolute antidote to employees’ turnover intention in an organisation but not withstanding this researcher(s) still believe(s) that, the extent at which employees acknowledge that, others ‘care about their ability to experience positive work-family relationships and demonstrate this care by providing helpful social interaction and resources’ (Kossek, Pichler, Bodner,& Hammer, 2011) has a propensity to Lessing the turnover intentions of employees (Nohe & Sonntag, 2014). In addition, turnover rate is lowered accordingly as a result of a sufficient amount of supervisory support (Wynen & Op de Beeck, 2014) coupled with a research which revealed that, social support (thus, the feeling that people are there to serve as a safety cushion) alleviate the relationship of work-family conflict to turnover intentions especially when it came from the work domain (Nohe & Sonntag, 2014)
H4: Supervisory and Social support alleviate employees’ turnover intentions
Turnover Intentions
Employee’ contemplations with respect to their decision of leaving their present organization
(Turnover intention) ‘ is the first step that occurs immediately before an employee call it quit'(Dolcos & Daley,2009), even though, increasing levels of unemployment as well as uncertainty in getting a befitting work has been allotted as reasons justifying why people fear to quit their organization (Dolcos,2009) yet certain circumstances are gradually extenuating this long existing fear , for instance ‘ a stressful work environment naturally creates behavioral intentions among the workforce'(Dele,2013)
H5: There is a positive relationship between determinants of turnover intention and employees’ turnover intentions
Job satisfaction
Clearly, as per the related literature, it is envisaged that there is a linkage between the various stipulated determinants and employees’ turnover intentions as Governments’ recent developed interest in work-life balance is steadily restraining employees’ intention to leave Public Institutions (Wynen & Op de Beeck, 2014). This seems to have made employees’ job satisfaction less vital in the role it plays in the turnover intentions of employees but notwithstanding this, researchers still hold the notion that, the aforementioned determinants are complimented by the level at which such employees are satisfied with these determinants as Robbins and Judge (2009) asserted that satisfied employees are to some extent less prone to turnover (pg.123) even though the level of satisfaction is less important in predicting turnover intentions of superior performers ( Robbins and Judge, 2009), since every efforts are deployed to satisfy such employees in order to keep them.
H6: Job satisfaction positively complements determinants of employees’ turnover intentions.

Model for the study
Implicitly employees have turnover intentions which are manifested when triggered with certain factors or determinants. The beneath model clearly portrays that their (employees) turnover intentions do not happen overnight; the four (4) stipulated independent variables have a propensity to determine employees’ turnover intentions through their job satisfaction.
Independent Variables Dependent Variables
Figure: Proposed model to test the possible impacts of the various independent Variable(s) on the
dependent variables
Procedure & Sample
The study will purposefully select employees, who have no control over the various determinants of their turnover intentions from all the registered public and private institutions with at least 20 employees from Accra-Metropolitan Assembly in Ghana to contribute in the study by completing the questionnaires that will be provided in February, 2015. Accra-Metropolitan Assembly will be selected for two reasons; first, is the capital of Ghana and Secondly, an assumption that it is clustered with institutions. The questionnaire would be made of 27 items with both open ended and close ended questions under 8 sections. The drafted questionnaire will be pre-tested to assess its propensity to measure the probable outcome.
The turnover intentions as the dependent variable would be measured by three- items measure. This measure is based on Mobley Horner & Hollingsworth theory (1978). One of the three-items is; ‘I think a lot about leaving the organisation’. Where the response ranged by 5-point likert scaling from 1=’strongly disagree’ to 5= ‘strongly agree’
Job Satisfaction as a variable that complements the various factors or determinants of employees’ turnover intentions would be measured using a single global rating as sited by Robbins & Judge (2009) pg 118. This measure is nothing more than a response to one question. The only item or question in this measure would be; ‘All things considered, how satisfied are you with your job’? Respondents circle a number between 1 and 5 that corresponds to answers from ‘highly satisfied’ to ‘highly dissatisfied’ . The independent variables that were observed as
determinants of employees’ turnover intentions were accordingly measured as follow;
Supervisory and Social support was measured with three items adopted from Haynes, Wall, Bolden, Stride, and Rick (1999). Items were amended to focus on supervisory and social support employees receive during and after work. A sample of the three items is; ‘To what extent do you receive supervisory and social support assistance when you are in need’? The items had to be answered on a five-point likert scale ranging from 1 ‘ not at all’ to 5 ‘ a great deal’
Work- Family Responsibilities will be measured using Calson, Kacmar and Williams (2000) instrument which contains eighteen items divided into three categories (time based, strain-based and behaviour ‘based) which has been modified to exclude the third category the purpose of this study. The modified instrument contains four items two from each category considered. Sample items for the measurement are ‘the demands of my work interfere with my home and family life’; ‘when I get home from work I am often too frazzled to participate in family responsibilities’ are examples of time-based and Strain-based respectively. The respondents will be asked to indicate their level of agreement raging from (1) =highly disagree to (5)=highly agree
Employees’ Pay Structure and Level will be measured using Heneman and Schwab’s (1985) four dimensional pay satisfaction questionnaire which has been modified to include only two questions on pay level (e.g. How satisfied are you with your current salary?) as well as two questions on pay structure and administration (e.g. How satisfied are you with the way the organization administers pay?). Response could be varied from (1) ‘very dissatisfied to (5) ‘very satisfied’.
Security of Employees’ Position will be measured based on a 13-item job insecurity scale of Ashfold, Lee and Bobko (1989) which has been modified to 3-item scale for the purpose of this study. A sample of items in this modified scale is; ‘How important to you personally that you may move to a lower level job in the organization’? The response format is ranged between (1) ‘very unlikely’ to (5) ‘very likely’.
Statistical Method
Through the application of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (S.P.S.S.) 18.0, A simple linear regression will be used to established and ascertain relationship between the turnover intentions of employees (dependent variable) and the various stipulated independent variables (determinants). Logistic regression model will be accordingly used since the level of measurements of the various variables is nominal.
Based on the variables identified in the literature, the following function will be formulated purposely for the study:
ETI= f (the determinants of employees’ turnover intentions including their job satisfaction)’…1
The model below will be further constructed based on the above function.
ETI= ?? 0 + ??1EJS + [??2EPSL+ ??3SEP+ ??4WFR+ ??5SSS] + ””””’??2
ETI= Employees’ Turnover Intentions
EJS= Employees’ Job Satisfaction
EPSL= Employees’ Pay Structure and Level
SEP= Security of Employees’ Position
WFR= Work- Family Responsibility
SSS= Supervisory and Social Support
?? = a constant showing how a change in independent variable affects dependent variable’s value
?? = stochastic error term
Like all other proliferated studies in this area, this study is not devoid of limitations. The time constrain did not permit an empirical study into this challenge to find out the possible connection between the various determinants (independent variables) and employees turnover intentions (dependent variables).
Future research
Future researchers into this topic can defile all odds to look at this topic empirically to find out the propensity of the aforementioned determinants of employees’ turnover intentions; this to some extent will curtail personal biases of the researcher as well as discovering other possible determinants that have not been mentioned here.
This study was set to examine the propensity of some stipulated determinants to influence the turnover intentions of employees, as the related literatures clearly depict that employees’ turnover intentions are highly determined by the various independent variables as aforementioned which are intensified through the level of employees’ job satisfaction, therefore to mitigate the turnover intentions of employees certain arsenals should be accordingly deployed to positively enhance the various determinants that have the predisposition to uplift employees’ job satisfaction.

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