A study of job satisfaction and turnover among hospital social workers
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A major concern for social work directors of hospital social work departments is the ability to recruit and retain qualified staff. The reasons for job turnover are varied and include job satisfaction. Turnover in social work may also be influenced by professional expectations concerning the quality and significance of work and the ability to meet these in the work situation. Further, turnover may be influenced by the degree of perceived congruence between professional and organizational values and the professional and organizational definitions of role and function.;A critical premise of the study was that there have been changes in organizational conditions in hospitals and that these changes have created a work climate which increases conflict for professional social work staff. This work climate is related to the organization's increasing corporate focus rather than traditional bureaucratic features.;This study surveyed a sample of social workers employed in hospitals in the metropolitan New York City area. The study reviewed the influence of 11 independent variables considered highly valued aspects of the work situation for professional social workers to see the extent of their influences. These 11 variables included autonomy, professional status, work significance, challenge, work intensity, role conflict and value conflict, co-worker and supervisory support and 2 variables associated with the changing work climate of hospitals, corporatization and organizational priorities.;The findings indicated that such factors as job challenge, role and value conflict, work significance, co-worker support and perceived shifts in organizational priorities were strongly associated with job satisfaction. Job satisfaction was found to be strongly associated with turnover intention. The study also confirmed that if these factors are not present, social workers have a greater tendency to consider leaving. In addition, if work is not considered significant, social workers may also consider leaving hospital based practice.;The study also found that, although organizational priorities were viewed as problematic, other variables appeared to modify the effect of these influences.