Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity

22.11.2013
Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sales performance.

"In the hospitality industry, employee turnover is notoriously high because restaurant jobs are highly substitutable -- if you don't like your job at Chili's you can go to TGI Friday's down the street," said Michael J. Tews, assistant professor of hospitality management, Penn State.

"High employee turnover is consistently quoted as being one of the problems that keeps managers up at night because if you're involved with recruiting and training constantly, then you can't focus on effectively managing your existing staff and providing a high-quality service experience."

The team -- which included researchers at Penn State, Loyola University of Maryland and Ohio State University -- surveyed 195 restaurant servers from a casual-theme restaurant chain in the United States. The survey included items related to different aspects of fun at work, including "fun activities" and "manager support for fun." The researchers then compared the survey responses to sales performance and turnover data.

In the survey, questions related to "fun activities" focused on social events, such as holiday parties and picnics; teambuilding activities, such as company-sponsored athletic teams; competitions, such as sales contests; public celebrations of work achievements; and recognition of personal milestones, such as birthdays and weddings.

Examples of survey items related to "manager support for fun" included asking participants to rate the extent to which they agreed to statements, such as "My managers care about employees having fun on the job" and "My managers try to make working here fun."

According to Tews, "manager support for fun" does not necessarily align with "fun activities." For example, "fun activities" may be created by upper-level managers or even by staff members and may or may not be supported by local managers.

The research yielded three key findings. First, manager support for fun lowers turnover, particularly among younger employees. Second, fun activities increase sales performance, particularly among older employees. Third, manager support for fun lowers sales performance irrespective of age. The results appear in the November 2013 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

"The question becomes, is the productivity loss associated with manager support for fun worth the significant reduction in employee turnover?" Tews said. "We think if you have both manager support for fun and fun activities, the dip you see in productivity as a result of manager support for fun may be canceled out by the increase in productivity you see as a result of fun activities. In this scenario, you also see the greatest reduction in employee turnover."

"For younger employees, a manager allowing them to have fun on the job is important because fun leads to the development of friendships," Tews said. "As you mature and get a little older, while it is still good to have cordial work relationships, friendships at work are less important because you have other interests, such as family interests."

"The take-home message is that fun can work, but it's not a panacea," Tews said. "You really have to think about what outcome you are trying to achieve, and you also have to consider the characteristics of your workers."

In the future, Tews and his colleagues plan to examine what makes a work activity fun and why some people enjoy participating in these fun work activities, while others do not.

Other authors on the paper include John Michel of Loyola University of Maryland and Kathryn Stafford of Ohio State University.

This research was supported by the Caesars Hospitality Research Center, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Sara LaJeunesse | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Formed to Meet Customers’ Needs – New Laser Beams for Glass Processing

17.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Preserving soil quality in the long term

17.12.2018 | Architecture and Construction

New RNA sequencing strategy provides insight into microbiomes

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>