Moses Rivera, BS, University of Central Florida; Melissa Murillo Gomez, University of Central Florida
The way that work is designed has a considerable impact on employees. Further, through the influence of job attitudes, performance, retention, and health and safety, work design impacts organizations. The present study examines a novel method of assessing employee perceptions of quality of work life, publicly available ratings on Indeed.com, and its utility in predicting employee job attitudes in an industry with substantial challenges to employee quality of work life, the hospitality industry.
The principle of healthy work design is simple, yet impactful: that work can be crafted to support employee health, safety, and quality of work life (NIOSH, n.d.). Features of work, such as support from the organization and coworkers, participatory work practices, supervisory relationships, communication, job design, job security, and justice, can be structured to support positive outcomes for employees (Wilson et al., 2004). An emerging body of literature supports that healthy work design has positive outcomes for employees and employers (Wilson et al., 2004).
Research assistants extracted all variables from Indeed.com Work Happiness Profiles for all hotels within the 32819 zip code – this region is associated with a high density of hotels and hospitality establishments along I-Drive in Central Florida. Indeed.com’s Work Happiness Profiles is an online review that allows employees to submit a publicly available rating of their employer.
Table 1 contains all bivariate correlations and descriptive statistics. Overall, average ratings of work design features tended to be somewhat positive, ranging from 59 to 74 on a scale from 0 – 100. Average ratings were lowest for stress-free environment (M = 59.41), belonging (M = 64.09), and compensation (M = 63.14). Average ratings were highest for achievement (M = 73.44), purpose (M = 72.08), and energy (M = 70.99). All healthy work design variables were strongly and positively related to work happiness scores. According to the strength of these relationships, employee belonging, energy, inclusion, purpose, and trust emerged as the strongest correlates of work happiness (all correlations = .99, p<0.01).
The results highlight the importance of organizations? attention to healthy work design, particularly to work features that contribute to employees’ experience of the psychosocial work environment. Based on the results, hospitality organizations should consider policies, procedures, and initiatives that increase employees? sense of belonging, that promote engagement, that promote inclusion, that help employees? connect work activities to a sense of purpose, and highlight justice and trust.
Particularly in industries where employee experiences are difficult to standardize and where it is particularly challenging to promote positive job attitudes, performance, and retention, the results highlight the importance of a focus on healthy work design. Not only are work design variables associated with employee attitudes, but they are preserved for the general public and job seekers to see on public websites such as Indeed.com. The present study presents evidence that supports the use of healthy work design to promote the quality of work life for current employees, as well as the confidence of potential future employees.