Yesterday I took issue with a blog post that claimed the research shows the link between job satisfaction and employee performance is a myth. Today I want to extend the evidence-based case for job satisfaction by making the point that the debate about what drives employee performance is irrelevant for employees that don’t show up to work. Employees with low job satisfaction are less productive simply because they are less available to perform.
The research is very clear that low job satisfaction is a primary cause of employee withdrawal behaviors. Employees withdraw from work in stages. First, employees show up late. They withdraw further by not showing up for work (e.g. calling in sick). The final stage of employee withdrawal is turnover. Employees withdraw because they can’t stand either their managers or co-workers, the job itself sucks, the pay is poor and the opportunity for promotion even worse.
Employee withdrawal hits both your top line and your bottom line. Employees that are late to or absent from work cause major production and customer service disruptions. Lateness and absenteeism causes severe stress for employees and managers that have to scramble to fill the gaps. The erosion of product and service quality is inevitable. New employees moving up the learning curve are much less likely to meet your customers’ expectations than an experienced employee. Recruiting, interviewing, orienting, and training new employees is expensive.
If your employees are showing up late for work and your turnover rate is high, I can guarantee you that low job satisfaction is one of the main reasons. Dissatisfied employees are less committed, they are poor organizational citizens, and they are often unavailable to perform. Treat the importance of job satisfaction as a myth and your employees will make you pay for it.