New evidence of the relationship between employee satisfaction and firm economic performance

Santiago Melián-González (Department of Economics and Business Management, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain)
Jacques Bulchand-Gidumal (Department of Economics and Business Management, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain)
Beatriz González López-Valcárcel (Department of Quantitative Methods in Economics and Management, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Publication date: 7 September 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Employee satisfaction appears in any discussion about how employees can contribute to organizational performance. The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between employee satisfaction and organizational performance; this later measured with three firm-level performance outcomes (return over assets, operating margin, and revenue per employee).

Design/methodology/approach

At different times and from two independent sources the authors obtained firms’ data about worker attitudes and financial and productivity performance, respectively. The analyzed sample of 475 firms is the biggest among the studies that analyze performance and employee satisfaction at the firm level. The impact of employee satisfaction over firm performance was assessed.

Findings

Overall satisfaction and satisfaction with senior leadership, compensation, and work/life balance, respectively impact firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

The ratings come from both employees and ex-employees and the individual characteristics were unknown. Additionally as an internet-based sample there has been a lack of control over the individuals’ response process.

Practical implications

Managers have evidence about the importance of their employees’ satisfaction on firm performance, and on how the facets involved on worker satisfaction impact the performance.

Social implications

Employer review web sites are increasing their popularity. However, unlike the marketing field with consumers HR area has not taken advantage of this trend. The found results may contribute to highlight the importance of this kind of data.

Originality/value

Hitherto there is only one empirical evidence about the positive role of worker satisfaction in objective and financial firm level performance. That was based in best-firms type data. The current study draws in a big sample independent of this kind of rankings. Additionally, the job facet satisfaction conceptualization considered demonstrates the usefulness of this way to understand the employee satisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

Melián-González, S., Bulchand-Gidumal, J. and González López-Valcárcel, B. (2015), "New evidence of the relationship between employee satisfaction and firm economic performance", Personnel Review, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 906-929. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-01-2014-0023

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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