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2018 Conference Presentation

Workforce EnglandUnited Kingdom

11 September 2018

The role of job demand, control and support on job satisfaction and job quitting intention among long term care workers in England

Shereen Hussein, King's College London, United Kingdom


Background: Previous research shows that job satisfaction and job quitting intentions are strongly correlated and various job and personal characteristics have significant impact on both outcomes. This sector is estimated to employ at least 2 million workers in the United Kingdom with considerable projected increases due to ageing demographics. It is also a sector with reported high turnover and vacancy rates. Understanding key factors influencing job quitting are essential for workforce planning and strategies.

Objectives: The aim is to examine the intersecting factors influencing job satisfaction and intention to quit among workers who provide care for older people or those with long-term disabilities where their work is characterized as highly emotional in nature.

Methods: The use of a structural equation model helps to clarify the relationships between intentions to quit, job satisfaction, domains of job content and personal and job characteristics. Data is obtained from the Longitudinal Care Work Study (LoCS) with a sample of 1,096 social care workers in England. Participants have completed surveys gathering the Karasek standardized job content questionnaire, specifically measuring domains of psychological job demand, decision latitude (job control) and levels of support they receive from their line managers and co-workers (job social support). Using exploratory factor analysis we constructed the two outcome measures of job satisfaction (JS) and intention to quit (ItQ) from these individual variables. Principal component analysis (PCA) was also used to identify if some individual and work characteristics could be summarized by some underlying factors.

Results: The findings of the model provide a richer interpretation of these relationships when compared to reduced form models where only one outcome is measured. Compared to other studies focused on professional social service staff, LTC workers have similar levels of job control but higher levels of job demand (with 34% are in high strain jobs) but higher levels of job insecurity. There was a significant negative association between levels of global job satisfaction and intention to leave. Level of work social support significantly improves JS and reduces ItQ. While higher level of job control significantly improves global JS but has no significant impact on ItQ.

Conclusion: The findings have several policy and practice implications in the light of the escalating demands on this workforce and implications on level and quality of care provision. These are discussed within the context of increased personalization and marketization of care and funding constraints.

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