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Employee Satisfaction and Turnover Intentions

The Upper Palmetto YMCA

Yasmin Kirkwood, Gabby Epelle, Casey Finnell, Sale’ Holmes, Sarah Shaw

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Contents
Company Background ................................................................................................................................... 3
Executive Summary........................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
Data Analysis ................................................................................................................................................. 5
Recommendations ...................................................................................................................................... 18
Appendix 1: Survey ..................................................................................................................................... 21

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Company Background

The Upper Palmetto YMCA (UPYMCA) was established in 1913 and serves York, Chester, and
Lancaster counties in South Carolina. The UPYMCA Corporate Office is now located at 151. S
Oakland Avenue in Rock Hill. There are 11 locations of the UPYMCA: The Clover Branch, The
Gold Hill Branch, The YMCA at Carolina Crossing, The York Branch, The Chester County Branch,
The Fort Mill Branch, The Lake Wylie Branch, Riverwalk YMCA, The Rock Hill Aquatics Center,
and the YMCA Wellness center. Each branch offers unique opportunities for members of the
community to come together for fitness and community involvement.

According to their website, “The Y [YMCA] is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to
strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social
responsibility.” In order to serve the community through youth development the UPYMCA
offers: child care, education, camps, and sports activities. To promote healthy living, the
UPYMCA offers a place for families to come together for family time, workout classes, health
education classes, sports for members of all ages, and group activities such as bible study and
pottery classes. Social responsibility is also important to the UPYMCA. This is shown through its
services that address social issues such as: child welfare, education, employment, housing, and
substance abuse. Also, this organization fosters appreciation for other cultures by volunteering
within the community to connect diverse populations.

The YMCA is a charitable organization and relies on donations and volunteers to supplement
the membership dues and allow the organization to “work side-by-side with their neighbors to
make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to
learn, grow and thrive.” The YMCA offers financial assistance to families and individuals who
may not be able to afford childcare or the other amenities offered by the YMCA.

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Executive Summary

To begin this process, we made a list of some broad topics that can be addressed by
management research to discuss with Mr. Moe Bell, the CEO of the UPYMCA. Some of these
topics included: employee engagement, employee retention, work stress, work/life balance,
and employee productivity. We presented this list to Mr. Bell over email and then followed up
with a call to discuss and receive any additional ideas that he had about issues within the
UPYMCA. During that conversation, Mr. Bell indicated that he would like to focus the research
on the Fort Mill branch of the YMCA which has experienced an ongoing struggle with employee
retention.
After receiving this information from Mr. Bell, we brainstormed issues that are related to
employee retention such as: compensation, morale, manager support, customer interaction,
work/life balance, and identification with job tasks. We compiled a list of questions to be
answered on a scale of Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. We refined this list to those
questions we felt were most clear and concise and sent the draft to our professor, Dr. Griggs,
and to Mr. Bell. After receiving feedback from both, we finalized the list of questions and
formatted them into an electronic format using Qualtrics.
We used the Qualtrics platform to collect data both in person and by enlisting the help of
management to forward the survey to employees via email. We received a total of 42
responses and used those responses to draw the following conclusions.

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Data Analysis

Through analyzing our data, we have defined four prominent categories to report on
concerning the work environment at the UPYMCA. These four categories are: Overall Employee
Satisfaction, Career Development, Management, and Customer Interaction. Our survey data
was initially measured on a scale of strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly
agree, but for our graphs of each survey category, we have condensed that data into three
categories: disagree, neutral, and agree. By combining strongly disagree and disagree as well as
agree and strongly agree, the graphs provide a clearer view of the trends that appear
throughout the categories we measured.

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Turnover Intentions
Turnover intentions are defined for this purpose as the level of employee commitment to their position
and the company. Employee commitment should be one of the most important things to a company
because their ultimate success depends on them. Taking periodic measures of turnover intentions can
help companies make sure that they are functioning healthily and to correct any shortfalls before the
issue turns into a major setback.

There are other jobs in the organization I would like


29% 48% 24%
to move up to

I feel that there is room to move up 29% 40% 31%

I plan to stay with this organization more than three


17% 24% 60%
years

I do not plan to look for a new job in the next year 14% 17% 69%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Disagree Neutral Agree

This graph shows that turnover is an issue for the UPYMCA.

 Only 60% of employees plan to stay with the organization for more than 3 years.
 Only 24% of employees feel that there are better jobs to move up to within the UPYMCA.
 The average response on a scale of 1 to 5 was 3.68 and the standard deviation was 0.89

The following data shows areas of possible discontent for employees.

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Top 5 Areas of Employee Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

Satisfaction
1. Comfortable with amount of physical work (98%)
2. Able to complete work in allotted time (96%)
3. Like the work (90%)
4. Able to complete daily tasks (88%)
5. Able to rely on supervisor when there is an issue (81%)

Dissatisfaction
1. Ability to live comfortably on wages (14%)
2. There are jobs that I would like to move up to (24%)
3. Believe paid fairly (36%)
4. Work is challenging (44%)
5. Customers are difficult to please (60%)

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Employee Satisfaction

Culture
Culture is meant to be the binding factor within an entity and their employees. Culture includes things
like common values and a mission that everyone can work towards. Having a strong culture can help
unite employees and form a positive work environment.

Culture
The culture and emotional climate of the business is
7% 7% 86%
generally supportive

I have good working relationships with my co-workers 2% 12% 86%

My work area is clean and comfortable 5% 29% 67%

I enjoy coming to work 2% 12% 86%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Disagree Neutral Agree

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Pay
Pay should not be the only motivating factor in a job but it is something that employees depend on.
Wage is the most commonly considered aspect of pay although other benefits such as healthcare,
bonuses, and events can also contribute to its appraisal.

Pay

I am rewarded when I do a good job 24% 43% 33%

I can live comfortably on my wages 55% 31% 14%

I feel that I am paid fairly 43% 21% 36%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Disagree Neutral Agree

Findings regarding Pay:


 Over half of employees feel that they are not able to live comfortably on their wages
 Only one third of employees feel that they are rewarded when they do a good job
 43% of employees feel that they are not compensated fairly
 On the scale of 1 to 5 the average response was 3,2 with a standard deviation of 0.89.

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Roles
Roles are referred to as the specific tasks that a person’s job entails. This section explores the extent to
which employees are satisfied with the tasks that they are given. Employees want to be stretched in
their roles but not to an overwhelming extent. Assigning roles that are consistent with their positions
are important to employees as well.

Satisfaction with Current Role


I am given assignments that stretch my abilities 12% 44% 44%

I find my work challenging 22% 32% 46%

I am comfortable with the level of physical work I am


7% 93%
required to do

I can complete all of my work in the allotted time 5% 95%

I am capable of carrying out my daily tasks 12% 88%

I like the kind of work I do 10% 90%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Disagree Neutral Agree

Findings regarding role satisfaction


 Employees generally feel like they are capable of completing their tasks, comfortable with the
amount of physical work they do, and are given enough time to carry out their tasks
 Less than half of employees stated that they find their work challenging
 90% of employees say that they like the work that they do
 On a scale of 1 to 5 the average response was 4.05 with a standard deviation of 0.47.

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Work Related Stress
Stress that stems from work activities which manifests on the job or outside of work is considered work
related stress. Managing employee stress can help them to perform better and be happier in their jobs.

Work Related Stress


I rarely feel nervous or stressed at work 10% 12% 78%

I rarely feel stressed about work outside of work


10% 17% 74%
hours
The culture and emotional climate of the business is
7% 7% 86%
generally supportive

I feel that I have flexibility in my schedule 5% 14% 81%

My job does not interfere with my responsibilities at


5% 14% 81%
home

I am rarely upset by unexpected events at work 2% 12% 86%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Disagree Neutral Agree

Findings regarding work related stress


 Only 10% of employees state that they feel stressed about work outside of work hours
 Over three quarters of employees feel that their job does not interfere with their home lives.
 On a scale of 1 to 5 the average response was 4.09 and the standard deviation was 0.13.

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Career Development
Career development is the extent to which there is opportunity for mobility within the company and
development within positions. Having the opportunity to move up within an organization is a great
motivator for employee performance. This is also true for ongoing development programs that can be
offered to all employees.

Employee Satisfaction with Professional


Development
The organization values my contributions 5% 21% 74%

I am given opportunities to learn and improve 7% 40% 52%

I receive on-going training 10% 31% 60%

There are other jobs in the organization I would like to move


29% 48% 24%
up to

I feel that there is room to move up 29% 40% 31%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Findings regarding Career Development


 Employees would like to see more room to move up within the company.
 Training processes seemed favorable, however according to the open ended responses
participants would like for management to “incorporate better training practices for
new hires.”
 On a scale of 1 to 5 the average response was a 3.02 with a standard deviation of 0.27.

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Management Satisfaction
Management satisfaction measures how employees feel with respect to their managers. This includes
job autonomy, respect, communication, and procedures. This relationship is a guiding factor in
individual as well as company success.

The following graph shows the aggregated data collected for the Management Satisfaction category.

Employee Saisfaction with Management

I am able to act independently of my supervisor while


14% 86%
performing my job

I often communicate with my supervisor 2% 22% 76%

My manager listens to my ideas and opinions 7% 14% 79%

The organization provides clear, non-contradictory policies


7% 17% 76%
and procedures

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Findings Regarding Management Satisfaction


 The majority of employees feel that policies and procedures are clear.
 Employees report feeling valued by their management.
 On a scale of 1 to 5 the average response was 4.15 with a standard deviation of 0.18

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Customer Interaction
Customer interaction refers to the positive and negative aspects that employees experience in this area.
At the YMCA employees spend a lot of time interacting with their customers. Maintaining mutual
respect and fostering a positive relationship for all generates a desired environment.

The following graph shows the aggregated data collected for the Customer Interaction
category.

Employee Saisfaction with Customers

My manager supports me during customer disagreements 2% 31% 67%

Customers often make me feel appreciated 14% 14% 71%

Customers are rarely difficult to please 17% 24% 60%

Customers rarely make me feel inferior or look down on me 17% 17% 67%

Customers rarely make me feel angry or irritated 17% 21% 62%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Findings Regarding Customer Interaction


 Employee perceptions of relationships with customers are more positive than negative
 Although, there is room for improvement concerning customer-employee interaction
 Very few (2%) employees feel unsupported by management during confrontations with
customers
 On a scale of 1 to 5 the average score that employees gave on questions regarding
customer interaction was 3.2 with a standard deviation of 0.20.

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Open Ended Feedback
Participants were asked to complete an open ended feedback section. Of the 42 total
participants surveyed, over half responded to our questions. Please view the following results
of our open ended feedback section.

Question #1 Results:
Respondents were asked: “What 1-5 changes if implemented could improve job satisfaction at the Fort
Mill branch?” The following graph indicates the Respondents opinions.

Changes Respondents would make to their Job

"Job Satisfaction/Brighten up the… 12%

"Learn to accept customers/co-… 4%

"Need more Employees/more hours" 15%

"Better communication amongst… 15%

"Equipment is old/ doesn't work" 12%

"Less gossip, more team work, and… 12%

"Rude Customers" 4%

"Opportunities to move up" 12%

"Higher pay/better benefits" 38%

"More training and performance… 23%

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%

Findings
 Nearly 40% indicated that a wage increase would increase satisfaction. The current pay/benefits
structure may be a direct correlation to the percentage of employees wanting more hours.
For example, one employee said, “Pay definitely. It is embarrassing how much we do and how
little the pay is.”
 Employees also favored the possibility of engaging in more on-the-job training opportunities.
 Participants favored the chance to move up with the company, one respondent said, “More
support with training and professional development…be allowed to hire more full-time staff.”

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Question #2 Results:
Respondents were asked: “What aspects of your job contribute most to your job satisfaction?” The
following graph indicates the Participant’s opinion of which aspects of the job contribute to his/her job
satisfaction.

What Respondents liked Most about their Job

"Mission of the Y" 6%

"Working with customers" 59%

"Ability to giving back to the Community with the work that


44%
I do"

"People I work with" 28%

"Flexible Schedule" 6%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

Findings
 59% of the respondents to this question found working with customers to attribute to their job
satisfaction.
 Respondents enjoy the work they do and the impact it has on the Fort Mill community. One
Respondent wrote, “serving the members of our organization is very rewarding.” This is an
indicator that employees enjoy working at the Y because they are able to connect with those in
the community they serve.
 Connecting with one another was another key attribution to job satisfaction

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Question #3 Results:
Respondents were asked: “What aspects of your job most take away from your job satisfaction?” The
following graph indicates the Participants opinion of which aspects of the job lead to employee
dissatisfaction.

Aspects of Respondent's Job that lead to Job


Dissatisfaction
"Equipment doesn't work" 4%

"Part-timers doing full-time work" 4%

"Content of work" 12%

"Co-worker drama" 19%

"Working with Pushy/Angry Customers" 42%

"Lack of Promotion and Growth Opportunities" 12%

"Need for Higher Pay" 35%

"Lack of a supportive work environment, don't feel apart


of the team" 15%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

Findings
 The biggest concern for employees are working with angry or pushy members. In reference to
dissatisfaction, one respondent wrote, “members of the organization do not understand that we
are a non-profit organization and expect too much of us.”
 The need for higher pay is mentioned again in this question. This may be an indication that
employees correlate a portion of their job satisfaction with pay.

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Recommendations
Pay and Hours

The issue of pay was by far the one that came up most frequently in our survey. While we understand
that it might be difficult to raise salaries we have developed the following suggestions for improving
worker satisfaction with respect to compensation. We would like to:

 Give employees the opportunity to work more hours. Some survey respondents indicated that
they would be willing to work more hours but were not given the opportunity.
 Communicate how pay is determined for not for profit organizations. This might alleviate some
of the frustration felt by many of the respondents.
 Provide a reward system. This includes things like giving an award for employee of the month
and employees who have worked for the company for a certain amount of time (example: six
months, 1 year etc.) This will improve employee commitment and satisfaction.
 Organize Employee Appreciation Events. This includes events like raffles, parties, etc. This will
also improve employee satisfaction and commitment.

Career Development

Many employees felt that there were not jobs to move up to in the organization. Since creating new,
non-entry-level positions is not a feasible option for a non-profit organization, we suggest the following
actions to give employees the perception of advancement without having to incur the expense of
creating new jobs.

 Create new titles. Since creating non-entry-level jobs is not a feasible option, the UPYMCA
should consider creating more fulfilling positions so that employees can get the sensation of a
promotion even though there is little to no difference in compensation. Secondly we would like
to redesign existing roles. For example, one complaint that employees had was cleaning the
restrooms. If employees who performed well could have that task removed from their job
description and another task with more responsibility, such as planning or scheduling, could be
added in its place, then the employee could receive the sensation of receiving a promotion
without additional expense by the company.
 Give employees input into job design. To re-design jobs, we recommend a cross-functional
committee with employees from every department and seniority level. This committee would
be able to analyze the positive and negative parts of each job within the company and come up
with creative ways to break up tasks into different jobs.

Customer Interactions

As we reviewed the employee’s responses, we also noticed a great number of responses were about
customers. Some employees expressed their customer interactions in some open-ended questions on

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the survey we conducted. When asked, what aspects of your job take away from customer satisfaction
employees responded as followed

 “When customers are supercilious or rude.”

 “Dealing with customers who are upset about little things that the employees cannot
control.”

 Employees should communicate to customers the core values and the mission of the
organization. They are there to strengthen the community, which means helping customers
in any way possible. We would also like to see a slogan. This shows a customer that
employees are here for them and with a brief conversation they can resolve all issues, if
possible.

Training

Also, reviewing our open-ended questions employees talked about training as an issue. They expressed
their concern with the inconsistency of the training process. When asked, what changes would you
suggest to improve your job satisfaction, they responded as followed:

 “More support with training of new hires.”

 “More consistent training to be sure everyone is on the same page especially the directors
with the front desk staff.”

Considering these comments, we think that training and the attitudes of customers can be resolved in
the following ways:

 Branch managers and managers on duty to communicate to new hires how their job impacts
the organization. The best way to do this is by going over the organization’s core values and
how the Fort Mill branch operates in accordance to those values. Also, discuss some of the
branch’s “house rules,” with the new hired employees, so everyone is on the same page and
his/her transition to the organization is smooth. Ultimately by following this recommendation,
new hired employees will be well equipped to engage, behave, and interact with staff,
managers, and customers per the organization’s core values.
 Provide adequate training during the “on-boarding” process of new hires. Training is crucial to
the success of any organization because it improves employee morale, causes fewer accidents,
increases productivity, and requires less supervision. Therefore, managers can achieve this
objective by creating a “Training Playbook,” which provides employees a simple overview of the
organization, an attainable 90-day goal, and FAQ lists. We believe having a checklists and
appropriate goals are best during the first 90 days of employment to ensure employees are
adhering to the rules of the organization. Additionally, if management applies this
recommendation they will find it easier in giving feedback to their employees.
 Management should provide continuous training and professional development to staff. The
training initiatives for seasoned employees can include simulations that teaches them how to
handle different customer attitudes/behaviors. After completing the training sessions,

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employees should receive a reward or certificate for their participation in the training process.
By doing so, employees will feel appreciated and it will let them know that their hard work did
not go unnoticed. Ultimately, if management incorporate this recommendation, we anticipate a
decrease in customer dissatisfaction.

Equipment

During the review of our survey results, multiple concerns were voiced with the equipment and
maintenance that are available to employees. A few examples of these statements come from open-
ended questions on job satisfaction. When asked for suggestions of how job satisfaction could
potentially be improved, employees said:

 “Consistent stereo equipment”

 “More frequent maintenance of equipment and deep cleaning of the room is needed for
safety and for health.”

 “Equipment should be taken care of by instructors. It's difficult to do my job if someone else
has broken something and you don't find out until class is starting.”

 Keep a written standard of cleaning and maintenance rotations so it can be assured that
regular attention will be paid to the location’s accommodations. Something like a checklist could
be used to divide tasks among employees or it could simply be required for everyone to sterilize
equipment after use. Of course, the most important part of whatever solution is chosen, is that
it be enforced. By tending to this area of concern, employees as well as customers will be more
comfortable in their environment and able to perform to the best of their ability. With these
recommendations, we hope for a positive outcome.

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Appendix 1: Survey

Satisfaction
Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree
I enjoy coming to work     
I have good working relationships with my co-
    
workers
I find my work challenging     
I like the kind of work I do     
The culture and emotional climate of the business is
    
generally supportive
I feel like I am a part of a team with a shared mission
    
and values
I am given assignments that stretch my abilities     
I am carrying out my daily tasks     
I feel that I am paid fairly     
I can live comfortably on my wages     
I can complete all of my work in the allotted time     
I can strongly rely on my supervisor if I have trouble     
My job does not interfere with my responsibilities at
    
home
I am comfortable with the level of physical work I am
    
required to do
My work area is clean and comfortable     
I am rarely upset by unexpected events at work     
I rarely feel nervous or stressed at work     
I rarely feel stressed about work outside of work
    
hours
I feel that I have flexibility in my schedule     

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Career Development
Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree
I feel that there is room to move up     
The organization values my contributions     
I am rewarded when I do a good job     
There are other jobs in the organization I would like
    
to move up to
I am given opportunities to learn and improve     
I receive on-going training     

Management
Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree
I do not plan to look for a new job in the next year     
I plan to stay with this organization more than three
    
years
I am rarely late to work     
I rarely miss work     
The organization provides clear, non-contradictory
    
policies and procedures
My manager listens to my ideas and opinions     
I often communicate with my supervisor     
I am able to act independently of my supervisor
    
while performing my job

Customer Interaction
Strongly Somewhat Neutral Agree Strongly
disagree disagree Agree
My manager supports me during customer
    
disagreements
Customers often make me feel appreciated     
Customers rarely make me feel angry or irritated     
Customers rarely make me feel inferior or look
    
down on me
Customers are rarely difficult to please     

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What 1-5 changes would you suggest to improve your job satisfaction?
Please answer in as much detail as possible and provide solutions when
possible.

What aspects of your job contribute most to your job satisfaction?

What aspects of your job most take away from your job satisfaction?
Please answer in as much detail as possible and provide solutions when
possible.

Age
15-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+
What is your age
    
range?

Tenure
>1 year 1-3 years 3+ years
About how long have you been employed with the UPYMCA?   

Position
Full Time Part Time
What is your position type?  

Gender
Male Female Prefer Not To Answer
What is your gender?   

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