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Labor supply and productivity responses to non-salary benefits: Do they work? If so, at what level do they work best?

Marilyn Spencer (Department of Decision Sciences and Economics, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA)
Deniz Gevrek (Department of Decision Sciences and Economics, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA)
Valrie Chambers (Department of Accounting, Stetson University, Celebration, Florida, USA)
Randall Bowden (Department of Education Administration, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 August 2016

2468

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of a particular low marginal-cost employee benefit on employees’ intended retention and performance. By utilizing a unique data set constructed by surveying full-time faculty and staff members at a public university in the USA, the authors study the impact of this employee benefit on faculty and staff performance and retention.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on the impact of reduction in dependent college tuition at various levels on employees’ intentions to work harder and stay at their current job by using both OLS and ordered probit models. The authors also simulate the direct opportunity cost (reduction in revenue) in dollars and as a percent of total budgeted revenue to facilitate administrative decision making.

Findings

The results provide evidence that for institutions where employee retention and productivity are a priority, maximizing or offering dependent college tuition waiver may be a relatively low-cost benefit to increase retention and productivity. In addition, the amount of the tuition waiver, number of dependents and annual salary are statistically significant predictors of intended increased productivity and intent to stay employed at the current institution.

Originality/value

Employee retention and productivity is a challenge for all organizations. Although pay, benefits and organizational culture tend to be key indicators of job satisfaction, little attention is given to specific types of benefits. This study is the first comprehensive attempt to explore the relationship between the impact of this low-cost employee benefit and employee performance and retention in a higher education institution in the USA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi.

Citation

Spencer, M., Gevrek, D., Chambers, V. and Bowden, R. (2016), "Labor supply and productivity responses to non-salary benefits: Do they work? If so, at what level do they work best?", Personnel Review, Vol. 45 No. 5, pp. 1047-1068. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-02-2015-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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