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The Role of Job Satisfaction in Employee Retention Among Senior

The Role of Job Satisfaction in Employee Retention Among Senior

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Published by Allen Alfred
International Academic Journals http://bellpress.org/Journals
International Academic Journals http://bellpress.org/Journals

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Published by: Allen Alfred on Feb 09, 2013
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European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.54, 2008ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361Xwww.BellPress.org 9
The Role of Job Satisfaction in Employee Retention among SeniorHigh School Teachers in Ghana (A Case of the AsuogyamanDistrict)
 Nana Nimo Appiah-Agyekum (Corresponding author)University of Ghana Business SchoolP O box LG 78, Legon-Accra, GhanaTel: 00233024748218 E-mail:nappiah-agyekum@ug.edu.gh Emmanuel Tenakwah Senior University of Ghana Business SchoolP O box LG 78, Legon-Accra, GhanaE-mail:
emmanuelsnrtenakwah@gmail.com 
Abstract
Job satisfaction is a significant phenomenon in senior high schools. Lowered job satisfactionand dissatisfaction are believed to influence staff member commitment, morale and turnover and this is particularly salient to the teaching profession. It is therefore in the interests of senior high schools and school systems to ensure that levels of job satisfaction are high so thatthe schools are places of relative stability and student learning. The primary aim of the studywas to investigate the role of job satisfaction in employee retention in SHS teachers using theAsuogyaman District in Ghana as a case. To achieve this goal, seventy-five (75) SHS teachersdrawn from the five (5) SHS’s in the Asuogyaman district filled questionnaires centering onthe subject matter of the project. Their responses were assessed and presented using simplefrequency tables. The analysed data was also weighed against the secondary data to deriveconclusions for the study. The data was also discussed qualitatively. At the end of the study, itcame to light that in job satisfaction indeed played a major role in employee retention amongSHS teachers. Also SHS teachers were not satisfied with their conditions of service and werelikely to leave if proactive steps were not taken to enhance their conditions of service.
Keywords:
Job satisfaction, Retention, Ghana, Teachers, Senior High School
Introduction
Global concerns about teacher satisfaction and their subsequent retention are acute principallydue to the market transition which has opened up the labour markets and created alternatecareer paths to current and potential teachers (Bishsay, 1996). In similar fashion, frameworksfor understanding academic achievement and the labor force outcomes of schooling haveconceptualized teacher quality as a key input (Darling-Hammond, 1997) in the educationalsphere.
 
European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.54, 2008ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361Xwww.BellPress.org 10As put by Henry Adams in the Schools and Staffing Survey (1999-2000), "a teacher affectseternity" in the sense that teachers profoundly appreciate the eternal dimensions of their work,for they nourish not only the minds but also the hearts and souls of their students. By servingin schools that emphasize a child's complete development, teachers also have the privilegedopportunity to transmit the core academic skills as well as the lessons that count most in life:lessons about spirituality, love, values, the wonder of creation and the purpose of existence.Indeed, the work of the high school teacher is of such significance, it is often regarded as aministry and a calling, rather than just a job (Van den berg, 2002). Attracting and retaininghigh quality teachers is therefore a primary necessity as well as a challenge for educationalinstitutions.In Ghana, though senior high school teachers are a crucial element of educational opportunitystructures, the recent opening-up of labour markets in general and within the school systemhas raised concerns about retaining qualified teachers especially in senior high schoolsserving poor communities. While several factors have been identified as accounting for theabove phenomena, recent studies conducted in some developing countries underscore the factthat more than one quarter of the teachers who left teaching did so because of jobdissatisfaction (Henke, Choy, Chen, Geis, Alt, & Broughman, 1997). Teacher dissatisfactionand its effects on teacher retention with recourse to the foregoing therefore pose a grave threatto a profession with an increasing demand for members (Darling-Hammond, 1999).Job satisfaction has been defined as a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisalof one’s job; an affective reaction to one’s job; and an attitude towards one’s job (Ubom,2001). Weiss (2002) also argues that job satisfaction is an attitude but points out thatresearchers should clearly distinguish the objects of cognitive evaluation which are affect(emotion), beliefs and behaviours. In Ghana, Job satisfaction is an important component of teachers’ lives that can impact on student safety and academic advancement, staff morale, productivity and performance, quality of care, retention and turnover, commitment to theeducational institution and the profession with additional replacement costs (e.g. agency staff)and further attempts to hire and orientate new staff. It has also been shown that when jobsatisfaction in the teaching profession increases, turnover decreases (Robert et al, 2004).Job satisfaction is also dynamic and can vary according to individual characteristics,expectations, style of management, changes to policy and individual lifestyle choices (e.g.Blegen, 1993; Haynes et al, 2006; Lu, 2005). In addition, demographic factors and teacher specific and school specific characteristics also affect job satisfaction of the senior highschool teacher. Recent studies carried out in a number of countries have also drawn attentionto the degree of job satisfaction among teachers and have shown that teachers' work “intensification” (Hargreaves, 1994) mirrors societal trends toward overwork (Naylor, 2001).Imposed and centralized system accountability, lack of professional autonomy, relentlesslyimposed changes, constant media criticism, reduced resources, and moderate pay have all been related to low teacher satisfaction in many developed countries around the world (Vanden Berg, 2002; Dinham and Scott, 1998).The effects of the trends identified above according to Farber (1991) include declining jobsatisfaction, reduced ability to meet students' needs, significant incidences of psychologicaldisorders leading to increased absenteeism, and high level of claims for stress-relateddisability. Most importantly, teacher dissatisfaction appears to be a main factor in teachersleaving the profession in many countries. Research into improving satisfaction among
 
European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.54, 2008ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361Xwww.BellPress.org 11teachers especially at the senior high school level, with recourse to the foregoing, is becomingmore and more important given not only that a growing number of teachers leave the profession but also that dissatisfaction is associated with decreased productivity. The studytherefore sets out to investigate the role of job satisfaction in employee retention amongsenior high school teachers using the Asuogyaman District as a case.
JobSatisfactionofteachersDefinitionandconcept
Job satisfaction of teachers has been the focus of considerable research in recent decades (De Nobile, 2003; Dinham & Scott, 1998). Given the links that have been established between jobsatisfaction and employee commitment, turnover, absenteeism, productivity and occupationalstress (De Nobile & McCormick, 2005; Luthans, 2002; Singh & Billingsley, 1996; Spector,2000), such interest is, perhaps, not surprising. Job satisfaction is defined as a positiveemotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job situation and is linked with thecharacteristics and demands of one's work (Evans, 2001). People's work-related satisfactionconsists of achieving change and improvement, and promoting their growth, which haveimportant implications on teachers' behaviours at work and affect their desire to continue their work and their involvement in the job, and relationship with other staff. Further, while Jobsatisfaction has been described as favourable or positive feelings about work or the work environment, Job dissatisfaction has been conversely defined as unhappy or negative feelingsabout work or the work environment (Furnham, 1997).Lawler (1973) also argues that the concept of teacher satisfaction refers to a teacher's affectiverelation to his or her teaching role and is a function of the perceived relationship betweenwhat one wants from teaching and what one perceives it is offering to a teacher. From thegeneral point of view, Morse (1953) views the strength of an individual's “desires, or his/her level of aspiration in a particular area” to be an important factor in job satisfaction. Heexplains that those with the strongest desires or highest aspirations are least happy with their  job if the environment does not facilitate satisfaction of their needs. Along these lines,Maeroff (1988) describes teachers' “sense of empowerment” as a major way “to maketeachers more professional and to improve their performance”. The power Maeroff referred tois “the power to exercise one's craft with confidence and to help shape the way that the job isto be done”.Without slighting the above, it is universally held (see van den Berg, 2002; Dinham and Scott,2002) that in terms of definitions, there is no generally agreed upon definition of teacher jobsatisfaction or of what constitutes teacher satisfaction although there might be someinternational trends such as, the notion that teachers are most satisfied by matters intrinsic tothe role of teaching: student achievement, helping students, positive relationships withstudents and others, self growth and so on. In conclusion, Dinham and Scott (1999) argue thatcontext seems to be the most powerful predictor of overall satisfaction. As Cherniss (1995), points out: “People can make their lives better or worse but what they think, how they feeland what they do are strongly shaped by the social contexts in which they live”.
Rewards of teaching
Various rewards of teaching have been identified that impacts strongly on job satisfaction andsubsequently teacher retention in the educational sphere. Though varying dimensions exist inthe typologies of these rewards, they can broadly classified as being intrinsic/ primary

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