RALEIGH, N.C., July 15 (UPI) -- Outsourcing, hiring temporary workers and project-based teams hurt productivity and cost U.S. employers money, researchers say.
Dr. Martha Crowley of the North Carolina State University and colleagues say an employee's satisfaction on the job is important because it affects employee loyalty, efficiency in the workplace and quality of life.
The researchers analyzed data on working conditions, workplace relationships and worker behavior of professional employees over the past 80 years.
Over this time period, employers have increasingly implemented techniques they said would improve worker productivity and profits including: layoffs, outsourcing, replacing salaried employees with contract staff and putting employees onto short-term teams designed to tackle individual projects.
The measures may have succeeded in increasing performance pressure, but there have also been unintended consequences such as a brutal work pace creating great stress, high turnover, a greater sense of chaos at work, fear and distrust of management.
The study, scheduled to be published in the August issue of Social Problems, says with workers primarily interested in protecting their own jobs, co-worker conflict hurts efficiency and quality of work since employees are less likely to work together effectively.
Workers may still do their jobs and put in long hours, but they are not doing the things they would do if they were passionate about their work and this can hurt the employer's bottom line, the study says.
"Some firms have had a lot of success by handling their employees differently," said Crowley, the study's lead study. "Treating employees well can boost your profits and productivity simultaneously without generating the unintended consequences of tactics based on fear."
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