Does number of years of work impact employee behavior

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Does number of years of work impact employee behavior

DOES NUMBER OF YEARS OF WORK IMPACT EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOUR IN AN ORGANIZATION?

Dr. Mauli Mahajan

Dubai


ABSTRACT

The aim of the research was to study if there is any impact on the behaviour of employees in relation to the number of years they have worked in an organization. Nine different instruments were used to measure various employee dimensions such as Organizational Role Stress (ORS), Role-Efficacy (RE), Stress Tolerance level (STL), Organizational Commitment (OC), Motivational Orientation (MO) and Conflict Management Style (CMS). The study intended to answer the following questions: Ranging from less than a year, 1 to 2 years, 2 to 4 years, 4 to 6 years, 6 to 8 years, 8 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years of work, which range leads to high or low level of ORS, RE, STL, OC, MO & CMS? Null hypothesis was generated and was verified by an investigation which was based on interpretation and analysis of the instruments that was obtained through empirical research from 798 employees, in Mumbai city- India. Study revealed that, employees working since 1 to 2 years and 10 to 15 years scored significantly higher on ORS dimension and between 8 to 10 years scored significantly lower. Employees working since 2 to 4 years and 4 to 6 years scored significantly higher on RE and 10 to 15 years and 8 to10 years scored significantly lower. Depression was felt highest by employees who had served between 8 to 10 years and 10 to15 years and lowest between 4 to 6 and 6 to 8 years. Highest anxiety was felt by employees between 2 to 4 years and lowest was scored by employees between 1 to 2, 4 to 6, 6 to 8 and 10 to 15 years. Anger was scored highest by 10 to15 years group and lowest by employees in the 1st year of their work. Highest score on Type-A-Behaviour was felt by 10 to 15 years group and lowest by 4 to 6 and 8 to10 years group. On the dimension of OC highest was scored by employees who had worked for 8 to 10 years and lowest by less than 1 year group. On MO dimension, highest was scored by employees who had worked for 1 to 2 years and lowest by 8 to 10 years group. As for the conflict management style, all the employees who had worked for less than one year to 15 years, they all go for collaborating and compromising approach. So we can conclude that different years of service in an enterprise brings out various highs and lows of different behavioural dimensions among employees.

Keywords: Employee Dimensions, Employee Behaviour, Number of years of work

Purpose: The study was undertaken to find out if number of years of work in an organization impacts employee behavior.

Introduction

Today’s fast growing and challenging business environment demands organizations to perform efficiently and systematically to consciously and competently face and deal with the emerging challenges and changes. This calls for leadership inputs at every level. It is well established that leadership has substantial influence on human performance and it is the quality and competency of human capital which determines success or failure of organizations. Leadership, therefore, is not to be perceived as position of power, but a skill that can enhance confidence in people by reorganizing each other’s strengths and work together towards achieving goals and targets of an organization.

Second important factor to be considered is the number of years put in by the employee in the same organization. Before the scenario was such that an individual felt quiet secured and comfortable in the job he/she was doing and did not think of replacing it fast. The thought of change may have discomforted him/her so he/she may have continued the job in the same organization even though he/she may not have been 100% happy or satisfied. But in today’s time with challenging competitive environment one has started to think and act on replacement. It has made an individual jump from one job to another faster than before. This may be due to either better packages offered, better position/status, variety of work, intellectual stimulation, abuse from customers, high level of stress, high burn out, long hours at work, mergers and downsizing, difficult job at hand, not getting along with people or due to individual ambition to grow and achieve higher. Some jobs with high turnover rate are retail (67%), food service (62.2%), information technology (50%), nursing (43%), childcare (30%), hospitality (31 to 34%) and sales (66%).

Whatever may be the reason but it directly or indirectly affects positively or negatively to the organization or/and to the individual. Some negatives of high turn over rate on the organization are, it adds to the cost and time alongwith affecting the team dynamics, productivity and continuity of the organization. Compared to that there are some positive for staying with the organization for long such as, seniority, leadership opportunities, stability, increased benefits, self-improvement, perseverance, a say in company’s future etc.

Thus it becomes interesting to know how number of years of working in the same organization influence the behavior of an employee, positively or negatively. The researcher identified nine behavioral dimensions such as role stress, role-efficacy, depression, anxiety, anger, motivation, commitment and conflict management styles that are found to be significant in influencing employee behavior and compared its effect on employees who have worked for less than 1 year to 15 years in the same organization.

Methodology

In order to determine the impact of number of years of work on employee behavior, qualitative research method was used. Enterprises were identified through reference mechanism with specific selection criteria such as:

  • Having employee strength of 90-100 in number,
  • Having investment of 1 - 1.5 crores, and
  • Having made some level of profit since last 5 years.

Out of 47 enterprises, 38 enterprises agreed to be part of the study with a condition that their identity will be kept strictly confidential. Three employees from each enterprise were randomly selected from each category of years of service making a sample size of 798. The representation of number of years in service was as follows :

Years of Service Number of Sample
Less than 1 year 114
1 to 2 years 114
2 to 4 years 114
4 to 6 years 114
6 to 8 years 114
8 to 10 years 114
10 to 15 years 114
Total : 798

The study was taken up in and around Mumbai as it is the largest business center having large number of registered offices and corporate enterprises and fair representation of medium size organizations, which was confirmed from the review of secondary data.

Each employee was given a set of nine instruments to administer. They were: Organisational Role Stress Scale developed by Pareek (1981), Role Efficacy Scale developed by Pareek (1981), Depression Scale developed by Zung (1979), Self Rating Anxiety Scale developed by Zung and Cavenar (1990), State-Trait Anger Scale developed by Spielberger (1981), Type-A-Behaviour Scale developed by Gmelch (1982), Organisational Commitment Scale developed by Khokhle (1997), Motivational Orientation Questionnaire developed by Rao (1987), and Conflict Resolution Scale developed by Thomas Kilmann (1974).

Data Analysis

The data determined was statistically analysed by calculating mean and SD for each dimension under each number of years of work. In order to test the difference between mean scores of all categories, ANOVA and was calculated. To study the effect of one dimension on the other, correlation was calculated.

Results and Discussion

Table 1 shows the scores of employees who have worked for less than 1 year to the ones who have worked for 15 years. ORS was found highest in employees who had worked for 1 to 2 years and 10 to 15 years in comparison to others. This means that role stress is experienced highest during the initial years of joining work as well as after putting in more number of years in the same organization. Compared to that lowest ORS was found in employees who had worked for 8 to 10 years.

RE was found highest in employees who had worked for 2 to 4 years and 4 to 6 years, whereas it was lowest in employees who had worked for 8 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years. Depression was found highest in employees who had worked for 8 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years, whereas it was lowest in employees who had worked for 4 to 6 years and 6 to 8 years. Anxiety was found highest in employees who had worked for 2 to 4 years and lowest in employees who had worked for 1 to 2 years, 4 to 6 years, 6 to 8 years and 10 to 15 years in the same organization. Anger was found highest in employees who had worked for 10 to 15 years and lowest in employees who had worked for less than 1 year. Type A Behavior was found highest in employees who had worked for 10 to 15 years and lowest for 4 to 6 and 8 to 10 years group. Results reveal that high ORS leads to low RE, high depression, high anger and high type-a behavior, as found in the 10 to 15 years group. Role stress is seen highest during initial years of work and more than 10 years of work. It will be interesting to know various reasons that have led to the high level of stress, depression and anger .

OC was found highest in employees who had worked for 8 to10 years and lowest amongst less than 1 year group. This stands true as when one joins the organization fresh, his attachment and commitment is not much but when one passes through various situations and experiences, where one sees how the organization reciprocates and gives back for the work done, commitment level increases after few years. MO was found highest in employees who had worked for 1 to 2 years and lowest by 8 to 10 years group. Seems that when one joins a new organization the motivational level is very high to learn, to prove and to grow but as years pass by it comes down due to reasons such as leadership style, reward system, organizational climate, structure of work, relationship with co-worker, managing conflict at work and workshop education & learning. In the first couple of years one wants to show his potential and prove himself to the organization and so in the process gets highly motivated and charged up. But it is interesting to see that though commitment increases, motivational level goes own. That is the reason employees in 8 to 10 years group feel more depressed and their anger level goes up.

In managing conflict, avoiding style was found highest among employees who had worked for 4 to 6 years & 6 to 8 years, accommodating style was found highest amongst 1 to 2 years group, compromising & collaborating styles was found highest amongst 8 to 10 years group and competing style was found highest amongst 6 to 8 years group. In comparison to that, avoiding style was found lowest amongst 8 to 10 years group, accommodating, compromising & collaborating styles was found lowest amongst less than 1 year group and competing style was found lowest amongst 1 to 2 years group. Interestingly it was found that, all the employees who had worked for less than one year to 15 years, they all go for combination of collaborating and compromising approach to conflict management.

Conclusions and Implications

The results imply that from the day an individual starts work till every additional year, it impacts his/her behavior positively or negatively. Positive dimension such as motivational level is higher in the initial years compared to the commitment level. As the years get added, commitment level increases but motivational level decreases. Organizational role stress also increases with more years and due to which role efficacy, depression, anxiety & anger increases. Surprisingly to manage conflict, number of years doesn’t influence employee behavior as both newly employed as well as old veterans, they all go for compromising and collaborating approach.

Human Resource (HR) professionals need to work on individual employee needs and develop individual programs to enhance significant behavior dimensions. Identifying reasons that lead to role stress, depression, anxiety and anger, can guide them to increase motivational level, commitment level and role efficacy which play an important role in employee satisfaction, better performance and organizational growth. Keeping this in mind suitable organizational development modules can be developed to strengthen employee behaviour and sustainability of skilled and qualified employees.

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Appendix – 1 ABBREVIATIONS

ORS = Organization Role Stress

IRD = Inter Role Distance

RS = Role Stagnation

REC = Role Expectation Conflict

RE = Role Erosion

RO = Role Overload

RI = Role Isolation

PI = Personal Inadequacy

SRD = Self-Role Distance

RA = Role Ambiguity

RIN = Resource Inadequacy

RES = Role Efficacy Score

REI (%) = Role-Efficacy Index

MO = Motivational Orientation

Org. Comm. = Organizational Commitment

AOC = Affective Commitment

NOC = Normative Commitment

COC = Continuance Commitment

STL = Stress Tolerance Limit

CMS = Conflict Management Style

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