Physical Surroundings and Their Effects on Employee Turnover in Humanitarian Assistance Service

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för service management och tjänstevetenskap

Abstract: Aim of the study: Understand the effects of physical surroundings on humanitarian assistance service workers’ satisfaction, and develop a first step conceptual model explaining the effects of physical surroundings on employee job satisfaction and turnover rate in humanitarian assistance service. Methodology: Qualitative multiple - case study design was adapted for this study to understand the effects of physical surroundings in humanitarian assistance service in South Sudan and Syria, with support from the abduction approach and hermeneutic epistemological stance. Data collection: The empirical data were collected via seven semi-structured interviews with professional humanitarian assistance service workers currently working in South Sudan and Syria. Theoretical and practical perspectives: This study is linking multiple Service management frameworks focused on employee satisfaction and business output with other theories developed in different disciplines and applies these models to the humanitarian service setting, a professional field that has not been evaluated often for the impact of staff well-being on organizational efficiency. Practically speaking, the study suggests that humanitarian agencies would benefit by addressing physical surroundings for their employees in order to promote greater efficiency and value for money, which is becoming more important as already limited resources must be spread across several protracted humanitarian emergencies. Conclusion: The study findings emphasize that four primary dimensions of physical surroundings (i.e., safety, communication tools, physiological needs, and ambient conditions), affect humanitarian assistance service workers’ job satisfaction, willingness to stay in the organizations and referral for employment. In addition to its direct effect on job satisfaction, physical surroundings affect self-esteem and create moral stress, which in turn affects overall satisfaction and willingness to remain in their position and organization.

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