Structural Equation Modeling for Evaluating Employee Satisfaction

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This study profiles the attitudes and perceptions of a rural school district by its employees including the relationships, roles, and contributions that employees and culture play in the development of job satisfaction. Drawing on a sample of two longitudinal sets of employee data, psychographic motives, demographic attributes, and employee activities are revealed. Job satisfaction related to work environment, organizational behavior and curriculum support is empirically tested and supported using Structured Equation Modeling (SEM). The findings suggest that the job satisfaction model is relevant, that the model is relevant across the time of the longitudinal study and that there is improvement in job satisfaction between the two time periods.

Keywords: Strategic Planning, Employee Satisfaction

INTRODUCTION

This paper assesses employee satisfaction using Structural Equation Modeling. In 2000, the school board of a school district in New York State implemented a survey to assess the level of employee satisfaction. The purpose of the first survey is to establish a benchmark for future reference as the district implemented its strategic plan. In 2003, the same survey was administered to all employees in the school district in order to assess the impact of strategic and tactical initiatives by the school board and the school's administration as well as to assess if there is a change in employee satisfaction. Findings indicate that effective strategic planning followed by implementation of appropriate tactics lead to higher employee satisfaction and improved performance.

The study is motivated by three observations. First, there appears to be increasing use of strategic planning by educational institutions with no corresponding measures of the success and the effectiveness of the strategic planning process. Second, why do some educational institutions out perform others, given the same level of resources. (Barney & Arikan, 2001) Formal strategic planning, as a key factor in educational environments, has not been documented. Third, investigation and research work in strategic planning initiatives in the not-for-profit sector is still at its early stage. Existing conceptual frameworks need to be further tested, substantiated and refined. Particularly a further understanding of the relationship between the strategic planning and enterprise/employee performance would have enormous potential to benefit an organization's long-term strategic performance.

This paper is a study of relationship and interaction between strategic planning and employee satisfaction with a focus on the process perspective of the implementation. It uses a case study approach and employs a fact-based principle that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. A model assessing job satisfaction has been developed based on the findings of a longitudinal study. The paper concludes with findings, implications and recommendations for the future research.

METHODOLOGY

In 2000 and 2003, the School Board authorized the implementation of an Employee Satisfaction Survey to assess the attitudes and perceptions of the school district by its employees. The goal of the board and administration was to gather this information without suffering the consequences of biased information. An additional goal was to establish a continuous benchmark for employee satisfaction and long range program planning within the district. The purpose of the Central School District survey is to give the school board a better understanding of the unbiased wants and needs of the district's employees. In addition the survey will provide to the board and administration not only feedback for targeted areas upon which to focus but also a benchmark for continuous improvement.

The survey's composition was based upon prior surveys and upon input from the district's administrators and board members. The approved survey includes eighty-eight (88) questions using a five point Likert scale. …