In recent years, millions of Chinese employees have voluntarily walked away from their areas of work. Various demographic factors have led to such a high level of employee turnover intentions, and they include age, gender, education, income, and length of tenure. As a result, there has been a need to establish whether there is a connection that exists between employee turnover intention and these demographic factors among full-time employees in China. It is worth noting that employee turnover is an aspect that can turn out to be detrimental to the performance and profitability of an organization. Employee turnover is often associated with the loss of human capital assets and valuable resources. Organizational performance is a product of performance and profitability; hence, it is imperative for the top management to be aware of the factors that might help them to predict turnover. Several research studies have established that there is a correlation between demographic factors and turnover intentions.
The ability of a human resource professional to attract and retain human capital is essential to the compensation dispersion of an organization. Generally, employees can remain as human capital assets by enhancing their knowledge and education while still in the workplace. However, China has for a long time been affected by voluntary turnover intentions, a situation that has led to organizations incurring increased expenditures. In China, the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be between 25%-500% based on their annual salary. There are instances when total expenditure can rise to $1 million because an employee has opted to leave an organization. As a result, if an organization is to remain on the path of profitability, there is a need to address employee turnover intention among young people. This discussion will focus on high turnover intention and the rate at which it has become common among young people in China.
In the past decade, more than 25 million employees in China working with different organizations terminated their employment voluntarily. Such a high level of terminations has seen organizations incur significant expenses as they are often required to replace the employees. This study has sought to address the general business problem associated with human capital losses arising from voluntary employee separations. These separations have proved to be detrimental to the profitability and competitiveness of an organization. In the course of this study, there will be a focus on the human capital theory as well as the theoretical framework. This theory illustrates how individuals are the custodians of human capital theory based on their experiences, abilities, skills, and competencies. These elements make it possible for individuals to be a source of economic value. In essence, human capital assets can be traced back to human capital investments such as educational attainment (Batt & Colvin, 2011). It is possible for human capital investments to be transferred from one employer to another. However, this is not the case with organizational investments as they are only meant to enhance the productivity of one employer. It is vital for organizations to apply the human capital theory as they seek to address the problem of employee turnover. Becker (1962) opines that the application of this theory is essential to this study based on the need to analyze the factors leading to high turnover intention in China.
Annually, there is a likelihood that 30% of Chinese employees will voluntarily change jobs due to the human capital assets earned through working. The increased rate of high turnover intention can often be as a result of the increased desire of employees to go for higher-paying jobs once they have gained human capital assets. The age of an employee may determine the extent to which an organization will lose or gain from human capital assets. In China, there is a likelihood that younger employees who are armed with firm-specific knowledge are likely to part ways with the organization as opposed to older employees (Bothma, 2013). Furthermore, the level of education of an employee may have a mixed effect on the organizational and individual levels. An organization with high-performing, better-educated, and skilled workers are likely to incur human capital losses due to disproportionate outcomes as far as organizational performance is concerned. Since there is a hypothesized relationship between turnover intent and employee demographics, it will be useful when trying to identify trends in the Chinese labor force. Besides, the identification of factors that often lead to high turnover intent will enable human resource practitioners to come up with comprehensive approaches that will help to curtail this problem |(Bal et al., 2013). There is a need for human resource practitioners to carry out research studies on the demographics of the Chinese population as this will help them to develop policies related to employee perceptions. This kind of research explains the reason why this study will determine how age as a demographic factor has an impact on high turnover intent.
Young people across China are the main reason why organizations are grappling with high turnover intent. Therefore, it is imperative for organizational leaders to develop retention policies corresponding to increases in human capital assets. For organizations to benefit from employee retention, they need to entice their young employee with comprehensive compensation packages. In addition, an organization should control its human capital assets using sustainable policies (Bornstein, 2013). Considering that China has a multi-generational workforce, it is imperative to ensure that there are effective human resource practices that will make it possible for organizations to generate the best returns from human capital investments. The literature of this study will be guided by a review of the large body of studies which will provide an in-depth analysis of high-turnover intent. It is essential to understand the essence of age if one is to understand the antecedents of turnover intentions. Some of these antecedents include job satisfaction, job embeddedness, and organizational justice.
The need for organizational leaders to identify antecedents to turnover will go a long way in reducing the costs incurred as a result of high turnover intent. These antecedents are often related to the perception of employees in the work environment. In addition, the precursors have come to be considered as moderating and mediating factors for enhancing organizational performance and curtailing turnover intention. Researchers have often used mediating and moderating effects such as age to describe the psychological essence of the variables that influence turnover intention among young people (Bouckenooghe et al., 2013). The mediating and moderating effects are a testament of when the events illustrated in this study would hold true.
Job embeddedness is the extent to which employees entangle with the organization. This antecedent is used by an organization to increase employee commitment, a situation that helps to reduce incidents of turnover intent. To foster job embeddedness, organizational leaders use strategies such as supervisor support channels and compensation packages to retain employees. Failure to use retention strategies reduces the intentions of the employees to remain with the organization. Such a situation leads to an increase in turnover intentions. If situations are leading to job insecurity, they are likely to harm job embeddedness (Becker et al., 2013). There are research studies that have established that employee’s age may have been a critical aspect that has led to increased turnover intentions among entry-level employees. Some of the critical events which have influenced young employees to part ways with an organization include internal networks, personal events, and professional events. Coworkers or constituents to a considerable extent influence the attitude of young workers about job embeddedness. As such, there is a likelihood that older workers will show signs of turnover intentions. There was a 24% decrease in turnover intention among young workers who were thought to have constituent attachments with their organizations (Abii et al., 2013). Human resource practitioners are working round the clock to devise ways of retaining younger workers such as knowledge sharing strategies. As a mediating factor, job embeddedness is used to solve problems to do with job insecurity to increase the intention of the employee to remain in an organization.
Job satisfaction is the positive emotional state of an employee with regards to their occupational experiences. Several research studies have analyzed the impact of job satisfaction and how it helps to reduce incidences of turnover intention. In China, turnover intentions among young people are often as a result of quitting a job to take another job. There has been plenty of data analysis that has been used to assess the relationship that exists between job satisfaction and turnover intentions (Brandon, 2014). In order to establish whether job satisfaction was a forecaster of turnover intentions, there is a need to examine different types of turnover. In essence, the increased levels of unit job and individual satisfaction are catalysts for reduced turnover intentions. If an individual is a victim of job dissatisfaction, there is a likelihood that he or she will opt for a job alternative. The level of job satisfaction among young Chinese employees was determined using various parameters such as their attitude towards work and generational cohort.
An analysis of generational differences was examined through various aspects such as job satisfaction, work attitudes, job security, and turnover intentions. Middle-aged employees working for the government have high levels of job satisfaction; hence, they are likely to come across employment opportunities (Bernardin et al., 2011). Such employees were less likely to walk away from their jobs with the intention of working outside of the government. For there to be job satisfaction among young employees, there are various moderators that come into play, and they include minimal stress, fair pay, and length of tenure. In essence, job satisfaction acts as an intermediary between performance levels and turnover intentions. For young people who are regarded as high-performers to stick with one organization, there is a need to provide them with a guarantee of various aspects such as pay for performance, promotions, and pay growth (Bryant & Allen, 2013). These aspects are catalysts for job satisfaction.
Organizational justice is the perception that employees have with regard to fairness in the workplace. Fairness perceptions are influenced by the attitude of employees concerning how their concerns are addressed by the powers that be (Bjelland et al., 2011). Organizational justice manifests itself in three ways: distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. There is a relationship that exists between employee perceptions on fairness and procedural justice without taking into account personal benefit. Distributive justice delves on the outcomes of employee perception of fairness. As a result, an employee is not concerned with the procedure that has been used to arrive at a decision, as long as they consider the outcome to be fair. Interactional justice is an illustration of the perception of an employee based on the amount of respect and dignity accorded to them in the decision-making process. In comparison to distributive and procedural justice, interactional justice is considered to have more of an impact on turnover intentions. More often than not, there might be a decline in the level of job embeddedness if an employee deems that they have had unfair justice interactions (Barro & Lee, 2013). The impact of interactional justice on turnover intent is dependent on the correlation that exists between procedural and distributive justice.
For young employees, their perceptions of fairness have to moderate and mediating effects on turnover intentions. For the purpose of establishing the psychological difference of employee perceptions towards turnover intentions, there was a need to examine the existence of a supportive organizational culture, and the behavior of organizational leaders. Several research studies have established that there is a negative relationship between turnover intentions and distributive justice (Ballinger, 2011). However, there is a positive correlation between distributive justice and procedural justice. Procedural justice was found to have a positive relationship with turnover intentions. To reduce turnover intentions, it is imperative for organizational leaders to come up with policies that ensure that employees are treated in a fair manner. Such policies will ensure that there is an inclusive work environment; hence, this will reduce turnover intentions Botsford-Morgan & King, 2012).
In the course of this research study, there is a need to carry out an in-depth analysis of age since it is a demographic characteristic that has had varying effects on high turnover intentions. Empirical studies have established that more than 3.6 million people will not be part of China’s workforce due to various factors and chief among them being age. With such a high number of people exiting the workforce, perhaps it is time for human resource practitioners to device ways that will help to reduce the high number of turnover intentions. Therefore, it would augur well for the organization to understand the needs and desires of young employees and to develop durable retention strategies. In the past two decades, it is estimated that young employees aged 18-25 opted for other jobs at an average rate of 6.3 times. This scenario was not the case with older employees who often thought that job opportunities were few; hence, they opted to remain in their current organizations. It is evident that the age of an employee had an impact on their perceptions about satisfaction and commitment. A comparison of employees based on their age is a testament to the differences that exist between turnover intentions and labor force mobility. There are low employee separations in China for employees aged 50-60. In comparison to other countries, China has a high labor turnover and a shorter length of tenure. In the mid-20s, Chinese workers are likely to start new jobs; hence, their years of tenure are shorter. In the later working years, there are longer lengths of tenure among Chinese workers, a situation that leads to reduced rates of turnover intentions.
A population study established that 33% of employees aged 18-34 were likely to part ways with their organizations within six months indicating a high level of turnover intentions. Taking age into account, it is worth noting that internal and external factors influence turnover intentions. Such factors include the thoughts of employees with regard to the availability of job alternatives in addition to economic conditions. There is often a likelihood that turnover intent will precede voluntary turnover and researchers have considered it to be a thought process. This process is influenced by various issues such as plans to leave, desire to quit, or the need to search for alternative employment. The largest prognostic influence for voluntary turnover was turnover intent. Among young people, the high rates of turnover intentions were as a result of economic factors, lack of organizational commitment, and personal characteristics. In essence, education degree, and age were found to be the main determinants of turnover intentions. Young people who had a degree in business or social science were the main culprits of turnover intentions as opposed to those with a degree in education.
In this study, the primary research question was: To what extent, if any, is there a relationship between age as a predictor variable and employee turnover intention? The research question will also be accompanied by supporting questions. First, is there a statistically significant relationship between turnover intention and an employee’s age? Second, is there a statistically significant relationship between turnover intention and an employee’s level of education? Third, is there a statistically significant relationship between turnover intention and the length of tenure as a variable?
The essence of developing the primary question is based on the fact that China has been experiencing a high rate of employee turnover intention. However, there has been a need to establish whether there is a correlation between employee turnover intention and age. Research studies have confirmed that turnover intention is a trend that is common among young people. As a result, it is imperative to carry out a comparison between old and young people as far as employee turnover intention is concerned. The question will allow me to understand the reasons that influence young people to entertain the idea of turnover intention. By carrying out an in-depth analysis of this question, this will help the Chinese employers to devise ways that will deter young people from embracing the culture of turnover intention. The supporting questions seek to examine the correlation that exists between turnover intention and an employee’s age, length of tenure, and level of education.
Based on the research question, this study will use the quantitative research method as opposed to qualitative or mixed methods. The need to use quantitative research is informed by the fact that this methodology will examine if there is a relationship that exists between criterion and predictor variables (Hitchcock & Newman, 2013). Furthermore, quantitative analysis involves the use of numerical data since the top leadership of organizations can easily understand it (Panter & Sterba, 2011). The goal of this research is to develop valuable qualities that will help to inform human resource practitioners since they hardly carry out this level of research. In the case of qualitative research, it is characterized by non-statistical research data which often helps a researcher to interpret the action or meaning of a particular phenomenon, based on an insider’s point of view. It is not appropriate to use qualitative analysis in this study because an outsider’s perspective was the basis used for analyzing the phenomena (Aguinis, 2013). Bergh (2009) concedes that the use of an insider’s point of view is not appropriate because it will limit the generalizability of the results of the research study. Mixed methods research is not appropriate as well because it involves the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods (Bishara & Hittner, 2012). Therefore, it is imperative to use a quantitative research method in addition to correlational research design.
Kothari (2004) suggests that by using a quantitative research method, it means that the results gathered from multiple regression analysis will provide a clear view of the significance, nature, magnitude, and strength between age and employee turnover intentions. Furthermore, a quantitative research method is the best fit for this research study because the intention is to survey a group of employees working for different organizations across China. According to Newman et al. (1998), it is expected that the outcome of the regression analysis will indicate whether the age of employees influences the variable of employee turnover intention. Quantitative research is indicative of unique characteristics that are used to explore and examine concepts and theories relevant to this study. When examining the research question, it is important to use numbers, intensity, frequency which will help to develop broad concepts and compress them into specific conclusions. Quantitative research is essential especially when the researcher intends to use deductive methods (Meyers et al., 2013).
A non-experimental correlational design is suitable for this research study since it involves the process of gathering information from an identified population (Natrella, 2013). In the field of research, it is possible to understand that association and correlation are more or less the same things. The use of correlational design is consistent with the need to explore the relationship between age and employee turnover intention. The correlational research is consistent with the sample population which will be used as a variable in the study. Researchers who often use correlational research design tend to assess the relationship that exists between the criterion variables and the predictor variables (Kumar, 2015). The employee’s age is the predictor variable whereas turnover retention is the criterion variable. It is not appropriate to use the causal-comparative correlational design because it involves the process of examining the differences of variables for more than one group. In this study, the projected population sample consists of one group. In essence, it is imperative to use a correlational research design for this study because there is no need for random group assignment (Goertz & Mahoney, 2012).
The research study will take into account various ethical issues. It is worth noting that ethics is a concept that is used to determine what is right and wrong. Furthermore, research work is based on the existence of a social, community, and individual values. As a result, research ethics often require the researcher to develop the art of protecting the dignity of subjects. It is essential to address the most critical ethical issues that will manifest this research study with a view of trying to avert possible conflicts.
This is one critical issue that will form the basis of this study. Since the research study will involve the process of seeking opinions from employees working in different organizations, it is imperative to ensure that they provide their consent in a clear and manifest way. The autonomy of the people who will take part in the research study should be protected through self-determination (Smit, 2018). The idea of informed consent is not to compromise the integrity of the respondents by protecting their honesty and personal integrity.
The objective of carrying out the research study is to ensure that the overall findings are beneficial to avoid the prospect of raising ethical considerations. It is important to take into account all the conceivable consequences of the research to device a way of creating a balance between the possible risks and the proportionate benefit. To protect the credibility of the research study, it is imperative to assess the number, degree, and types of potential risks (Love, 2012). This principle requires that the research study should be reviewed in the event that risks outweigh the intended benefits.
There is a close connection between anonymity and confidentiality with the rights of beneficence. For the research study to adhere to the concept of anonymity, there is a need to ensure that there is no correlation between the identity of the respondent and personal responses (Allwood, 2012). As a researcher, it is important to promise anonymity and if that is not the case, there is a need to address confidentiality. Of essence is to be aware of the fact that the information provided by the respondents remains private with a view of protecting their identity.
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