Linking Work-Family Balance and Employee Turnover

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Are employees plagued by work-family conflict more likely to leave their jobs?

Research has shown that work-family balance is crucial to maintaining mental health and organization well-being. When individuals experience work-family conflict, do organizations end up paying the price by losing valuable employees?

Glenn Withiam, director of publication services at the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, recently spoke with Sean Way of Cornell University to discuss this topic. Professor Way and Chelsea Vanderpool, also of Cornell, published the article “Investigating Work-Family Balance, Job Anxiety, and Turnover Intentions As Predictors of Health Care and Senior Services Customer-Contact Employee Voluntary Turnover” in the May 2013 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Click here to download the podcast interview and here to access the article.

CQ_v53n3_72ppiRGB_150pixWProfessor Way told Cornell:

“We tested a model that connected work-family balance to turnover intentions, and we found that work-family imbalance was directly connected to employees’ intention to leave,” said Way. “Then we added job anxiety to the model and we found that it fully mediated the original link. In short, if your employees are worried about how their job is affecting their family, it looks like they are going to choose their family over their job.”

Additionally, Vanderpool and Way show that work-family balance affected voluntary turnover of these health care and senior services customer-contact employees. Way points out that the healthcare workplace is similar to the hospitality industry, with 24/7 operation, odd hours, split shifts, and uncertain customer relationships. Hence, both health care and hospitality industry managers might wish to note this study’s findings. Given the cost of voluntary turnover, Vanderpool and Way conclude that their study highlights why health care and hospitality managers should be concerned about their employees’ work-family balance and should consider ways to offset the stress of imbalances.

Click here to read the paper, and here for more articles from the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly May issue.

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