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Relationship between Employee Engagement, Job Satisfaction and Potential Turnover

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High employee engagement (EE) is associated with high work performance therefore; it is in the center of attention of researchers and HR managers. The aim of the study was to determine the level of employee engagement in the exposed workplace and to verify whether there are relationships between employee engagement, job satisfaction and potential labor turnout. Based on a survey conducted with operators (N=257) in call centers, where the rate of fluctuation is high, these relationships were confirmed. It was found that the level of EE may not be low even at a demanding workplace. It was also verified that EE has a positive effect on job satisfaction and at the same time negatively affects potential turnover.
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TEMJournal.Volume10,Issue2,Pages847‐852,ISSN2217‐8309,DOI:10.18421/TEM102-44,May2021.
TEMJournal–Volume10/Number2/2021. 847
Relationship between Employee Engagement,
Job Satisfaction and Potential Turnover
Alice Reissová
1
, Marek Papay
1
1 University of Jana Evangelisty Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem 400 96, Pasteurova 1, Czech Republic
Abstract High employee engagement (EE) is
associated with high work performance therefore; it is
in the center of attention of researchers and HR
managers. The aim of the study was to determine the
level of employee engagement in the exposed workplace
and to verify whether there are relationships between
employee engagement, job satisfaction and potential
labor turnout. Based on a survey conducted with
operators (N=257) in call centers, where the rate of
fluctuation is high, these relationships were confirmed.
It was found that the level of EE may not be low even
at a demanding workplace. It was also verified that EE
has a positive effect on job satisfaction and at the same
time negatively affects potential turnover.
Keywords employee engagement, job satisfaction,
potential labor turnover, call centers, operators.
1. Introduction
The issue of employee engagement has been
receiving attention for several decades and its
importance is still growing. Engagement is often
defined as dedication to the employer and the values
preferred by the organization [1]. An engaged
employee tends to be motivated and focused on
achieving set goals and motivates his colleagues in a
similar way. An engaged employee is positively
emotionally connected with his/her work, his/her
DOI:10.18421/TEM102-44
https://doi.org/10.18421/TEM102-44
Correspondingauthor:AliceReissová,
UniversitaJanaEvangelistyPurkyněvÚstínadLabem400
96,Pasteurova1,CzechRepublic.
Email:alice.reissova@ujep.cz
Received:07February2021.
Revised:07April2021.
Accepted:14April2021.
Published:27May2021.
© 2021 Alice Reissová& Marek Papay;
published by UIKTEN. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs
4.0License.
The article is published with Open Access at
www.temjournal.com
performances which is naturally of high quality, and
very often even beyond the set duties [2].
Many studies focus on identification of the factors
that influence an increase in work exposure. Karasek
[3] created the Job Demand-Control (JDC) model
which is based on the assumption that the factors that
affect the level of engagement are mainly the
working environment and autonomy (freedom in
decision making). The model was later further
developed and extended by another important factor,
the social support [4]. Within social support, the
main variables were identified as relationship at the
workplace, both between co-workers and between
subordinate and superiors [5], [6]. Recent studies [7]
point to the fact that, in the context of the human
resources management process, there is a general
need to look for practices that, as a system, will
contribute to higher performance. These HRM
systems of processes, commonly referred to as “High
Performance Work Systems (HPWS)”, are
considered to be the main sources of productivity.
The pillar of these systems is the fair treatment of
employees, which leads to development of positive
work attitudes, sense of responsibility and employee
engagement. The fact that organizational stimulation
leads to the development of employee engagement is
confirmed by other studies as well [8], [9].
On the other hand, stress can be a general factor
that significantly reduces employee engagement.
Elimination of the stressor intensity may increase the
engagement rates [10], [11], [12].
A high level of employee engagement is desirable
because it brings a number of positive effects. The
main areas in which the benefit of a high degree of
engagement can be observed are higher work
performance, higher job satisfaction, lower potential
turnover, and many others [13], [14].
In the services sector, high employee engagement
is also reflected in the service climate and higher
employee performance and it will subsequently be
reflected in customer loyalty [15].
There is a relative consensus among researchers in
this regard. There is no doubt about the positive
effects of employee engagement. The only
differences are in the number of variables and the
extent to which they affect the employee
TEMJournal.Volume10,Issue2,Pages847‐852,ISSN2217‐8309,DOI:10.18421/TEM102‐44,May2021.
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engagement. Given the benefits that employee
engagement brings, it definitely is advisable to pay
attention to the topic. The aim of this article will be
to find out what the level of employee engagement is
in the workplace, which can be generally described
as a “stressful environment”, since the goals are
usually high and the rules for achieving them are
strict. Furthermore, it will be verified whether there
are relationships between employee engagement, job
satisfaction, and potential labor turnover, because it
is the turnover that is high among the employees of
the call centers.
2. Methodology
The research took place at the call centers of a
large corporate company. These workplaces were
chosen because here the employees work under the
influence of a number of stressors. The theoretical
background, therefore, suggests that employee
engagement should be low.
A standard UWES questionnaire (abbreviated
version) according to Schaufeli et al. [16] was used
to determine the degree of involvement. The
questionnaire items are listed in Table 1.
Table 1. UWES Questionnaire – abbreviated version
Absorption
1) When I am working intensively, I feel happy.
2) I get carried away when I am working.
3) I am immersed in my work.
Vigor
1) At my work, I feel bursting with energy.
2) At my work, I feel strong and vigorous.
3) When I get up in the morning, I feel like going to
work.
Dedication
1) I am enthusiastic about my job.
2) My job inspires me.
3) I am proud of the work that I do.
Source: Designed according to [16]
The processing and evaluation of questions took
place according to the relevant manual [16], from
which the standards were also used (see Table 2).
Table 2. Standards for evaluation of engagement level
EE* Vigor Dedication Absorption UWES
1 ≤ 2.00 ≤ 1.33 ≤ 1.17 ≤ 1.77
2 2.01 – 3.25 1.34 – 2.90 1.18 – 2.33 1.78 – 2.88
3 3.26 – 4.80 2.91 – 4.70 2.34 – 4.20 2.89 – 4.66
4 4.81 – 5.65 4.71 – 5.69 4.21 – 5.33 4.67 – 5.50
5 ≥ 5.66 ≥ 5.70 ≥ 5.34 ≥ 5.51
Note EE = employee engagement level
1 = very low to 5 = very high
Source: Designed according to [16]
H1 assumes that the level of engagement of call
center employees is low.
Given that the aim of the study is to find out what
the relationships between employee engagement and
other variables (potential turnover and job
satisfaction) are, the questionnaire also included
questions that are focused on these variables. The
formulation of the questions was operationalized
according to the study by Ro et al. [10]. The
questions are listed in Table 3. For each question,
respondents answered using a seven-point Likert
scale (0 = definitely not to 6 = definitely yes).
Table 3. Questions to identify potential turnover and job
satisfaction
Potential turnover
1) I am thinking about leaving my job.
2) I read various job offers.
3) If I received a job offer at another call center for the
same salary, I would leave the current job.
Job satisfaction
1) I consider my work to be meaningful.
2) I like our company culture.
3) The employer values my work.
Source: Designed according to Ro & Lee (2017)
Subsequently, hypotheses were formulated:
H2 There are statistically significant relationships
between the individual variables (employee
engagement, job satisfaction and potential turnover).
The questionnaire was distributed to call center
employees in electronic form. A total of 287
employees were contacted. Some of the
questionnaires were discarded during their checking
because not all questions were filled in and several
employees did not complete the questionnaire. In the
research, 257 completed questionnaires were
included.
The data were processed and evaluated with use of
MS Excel and statistical software SPSS. From
statistical methods, Cronbach’s alpha and
MacDonald’s omega were used to determine
reliability, Pearson’s correlation coefficient was
chosen to calculate the strength of the linear
relationship between paired data, and finally
ANOVA was used to verify the statistical
significance of the ascertained differences.
3. Results
Before starting the calculations themselves, the
internal consistency (reliability) of the components of
individual factors was verified using Cronbach’s
alpha and MacDonald’s omega. The values from 0.6
to 0.8 can be considered acceptable. The values from
0.8 to 1 are very good and show a very good
consistency. It is clear from Table 4 that all three
variables showed very good reliability.
TEMJournal.Volume10,Issue2,Pages847‐852,ISSN2217‐8309,DOI:10.18421/TEM102‐44,May2021.
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Table 4. Evaluation of the internal consistency of the items
in the questionnaire
Alpha Omega
UWES 0.916 0.919
Job satisfaction 0.749 0.776
Potential turnover 0.825 0.826
Source: Own calculation
Furthermore, the level of call center employee
engagement was determined. For the calculation, a
process according to the manual [16] was used. The
results are shown in Table 5.
Table 5. Evaluation of employee engagement level
Vigor Dedication Absorption Employee
engagement
Value 4.199 4.495 5.056 4.583
Level low medium medium medium
Source: Own calculation
H1 assumed that the level of employee
engagement in the call center is low. However, the
results show that the overall exposure rate is
medium. The hypothesis was, therefore, not
confirmed. From a deeper analysis of the results, it is
evident that only one of the components of employee
engagement, namely vigor, shows lower values.
Values of dedication and absorption were found in
the middle zone. It should be noted, however, that the
level of employee engagement did not show a normal
distribution, which is clearly evident from the
histogram in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Histogram – found results of the distribution
level of engagement
Table 6 shows the elementary description of each
variable.
Table 6. Descriptive data of individual variables
UWES Job
satisfaction
Potential
turnover
N 257 257 257
Average 4,5831 4,5577 2,9858
Median 4,78 4,67 2,67
Standard error 0,08202 0,08624 0,0988
Standard deviation 1.31486 1,38254 1,58387
Dispersion 1.729 1.911 2.509
Source: Own calculation
In the next part of the research, the relationship
between employee engagement, job satisfaction, and
potential turnover were verified with the use of
Pearson’s correlation coefficient. It is evident from
Table 7 that employee engagement has a strongly
positive correlation with job satisfaction (0.734) and,
at the same time, negative correlation with potential
turnover (-0.529).
Table 7. Correlation between individual variables
Factors Employee
engagement
Job
satisfactio
n
Potential
turnover
Employee
engagement 1 0.734* -0.529*
Job satisfaction 0.734* 1 -0.560*
Potential turnover -0.529* -0.560* 1
* p = 0,01
Source: Own calculation
H2, which assumed the existence of relationships
between these variables, was thus confirmed. For
completeness, it should be added that the higher the
employee engagement rate, the higher the job
satisfaction rate (positive correlation) and, at the
same time, the higher the employee engagement rate,
the lower the potential turnover (negative
correlation). Therefore, an engaged employee is also
more satisfied employee who is less likely to leave
his or her employer.
As part of a deeper analysis of this issue, the
individual variables were subsequently tested
separately. Table 8 shows the results of the ANOVA
test, based on which it is clear that there is a
statistically significant effect between employee
engagement and job satisfaction.
Table 8. Relationship between job satisfaction and
employee engagement
Sum of
squares Df Mean
square F Significance
Regression 263.541 1 263.541 297.642 0.000
b
Residuals 225.785 255 0.885
Total 489.326 256
a = Dependent variable: Job satisfaction
b = Predictors: Employee engagement
Source: Own calculation
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In a similar way, the relationship between
employee engagement and potential turnover was
investigated. The results are shown in Table 9.
Table 9. Relationship between potential turnover and
employee engagement
Sum of
squares df Mean
square F Significanc
e
Regression 179.711 1 179.71
1
99.08
4 0.000b
Residuals 462.501 25
5 1.814
Total 642.212 25
6
a = Dependent variable: Potential turnover
b = Predictors: Employee engagement
Source: Own calculation
It is clear from the results that the independent
variable (employee engagement) statistically
significantly predicts the dependent variable
(potential turnover).
4. Discussion
The issues related to employee engagement, the
possibility of its measurement, and especially the
possibilities of its subsequent influence have been in
the focus of attention in the field of human resources
management for a long time. Employee engagement
is sometimes even referred to as a key indicator of an
organization’s health [16]. Burnout syndrome is
considered the opposite of employee engagement.
Burnout syndrome occurs primarily at workplaces
with demanding working conditions (time stress or
other disproportionate workload, limited autonomy,
high pressure on results which the employee can,
however, affect only partially or not at all, etc.). The
consequences of burnout syndrome are low work
performance and high turnover. Such a risky work
environment can be considered, for example, the
position of operator at a call center, where this
research took place. However, the range of possible
occupations where there is a potential threat of
burnout is very wide. A lot of research in this area
has been carried out, for example, in health care,
where demanding working conditions are
accompanied by a high degree of responsibility [17].
The level of employee engagement, nevertheless,
affects productivity in other sectors, such as
education [18]. In this context, education can be also
considered a risky environment. The occurrence of
burnout syndrome (which can also arise from the
initial very high EE) is relatively common there.
Positive effects of EE on performance have been
reported in the area of public administration [19],
[20], but also in a number of other sectors [21], [22].
An interesting finding was that even though the
call center can be considered a risky workplace (in
terms of high demands on the goal fulfillment and
strong time stress), and therefore a rather low level of
engagement is expected, a medium level of EE was
found. At the same time, however, it was clear from
the histogram that the EE values did not show a
normal distribution. It would certainly be appropriate
to make a deeper analysis and address the question of
whether it is among the people who have been
working here for a very short time (and have not yet
managed to “burn out”) that a higher level of
engagement exists, or whether it might be among the
people who have been working here a long enough
time but show a high degree of tolerance to these
stressors. It would also be interesting to use a
longitudinal survey to find out whether in the long
run a higher level of engagement would negatively
correlate with a low rate of real turnout (not just
potential turnout, i.e. declared turnout).
Questions of the tightness of the bonds between
employee engagement and other variables are the
subject of a large amount of research. Given the
definition of employee engagement (see the
introduction), the positive correlation with job
satisfaction is probably less surprising. Surprisingly,
however, despite the fact that these connections are
repeatedly demonstrated in different work
environments from the point of performance
management, job satisfaction of the employees is
often neglected or underestimated. Employers
generally consider the EE of their employees to be
higher than it actually is [23]. The complexity of this
phenomenon is due to the fact that EE and job
satisfaction are both affected by a wide range of
different factors which differ not only according to
the nature of work and job position but also
according to personality traits, value hierarchies, and
preferences of each individual. This diversity is
confirmed by a number of studies [24], [25].
Job satisfaction is also sometimes confused with
EE. These variables are related but they are two
different factors. Djoemadi et al. found that job
satisfaction is one of the factors that positively
influence employee engagement and that the most
important items in job satisfaction are working
conditions, employment relationships, and possibility
of promotions [26]. The results of this study show
that it is always necessary to clarify the terminology
and operationalization within the methodology
because the same items that were declared here in the
category of “job satisfaction” can be elsewhere
classified in the category “employee engagement”.
However, it is clear that all these variables are very
important for human resource management.
TEMJournal.Volume10,Issue2,Pages847‐852,ISSN2217‐8309,DOI:10.18421/TEM102‐44,May2021.
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From the point of view of employers, the
relationship between the level of employee
engagement and potential turnover seems to be a
fundamental issue. The financial costs of recruiting
and selecting new employees, as well as the costs
associated with the process of their adaptation, are
considerable. With managerial positions, direct
financial losses can be exacerbated by the loss of
know-how. The fact that employee engagement has a
positive effect on potential turnover has been found
both in this study and in a number of others [27],
[28], [29]. However, studies on the relationship
between EE and real turnover are not very
widespread, which can be seen as a challenge for
further research in this area.
5. Conclusion
The aim of this study was to determine whether
there is also a low level of employee engagement at a
workplace with a higher level of stress and whether
this level of engagement shows relationships with
other variables. Based on the research, it was found
that even in a workplace that has significantly
unfavorable working conditions; the level of EE may
not necessarily be low. On the other hand, it is
evident that the detected values are in the lower
average range. The question remains whether these
findings are not affected by the limitations of the
study that were mentioned in the discussion section.
The relationship between employee engagement
and job satisfaction was proven to be clearly positive
and at the same time the correlation between EE and
potential turnover was verified as negative. These
findings, which are in concord with the findings of a
number of other studies conducted in different types
of workplaces, confirm to employers and HR
managers the importance of addressing employee
engagement issues if they are to achieve high
productivity and prevent undesirable employee
turnover.
Acknowledgements
This research was supported by the Jan vangelista
Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
[grant number UJEP-SGS-2019-45-009-2].
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