European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP) Conference edition:11 location:London, United Kingdom date:14-16 April 2014
Perceived employability concerns the employee’s perception of possibilities of finding new employment in other organizations. From the employer’s perspective, highly employable workers present a competitive advantage: these employees are generally highly competent, and therefore contribute to organizational functioning. However, the employer may also fear to lose highly employable staff to competitors. This is referred to as the management paradox which may refrain employers from (further) investing in the employability of their employees because of fear for turnover. We believe this paradox is false: along the lines of the Job Demands–Resources model we believe that perceived employability stimulates employees’ well-being as employees who perceive themselves as highly employable are likely to be in jobs providing them with many resources. In turn, when employees feel well they are less inclined to leave the organization.
Accordingly, the aim of this study is to study the pathways between perceived employability, well-being, and turnover intention. Specifically, we hypothesize (1) a positive effect of perceived employability on well-being, and (2) a negative effect of well-being on turnover intention.
Hypotheses were tested with structural equation modeling in a two-wave sample of 380 employed from Flanders (i.e., Dutch speaking part of Belgium).
Results supported both hypotheses: perceived employability positively affects well-being and well-being negatively affects turnover intention.
In conclusion, perceiving job possibilities with other employers enables employees to feel well. Feeling well, in turn, lowers employees’ intention of leaving the organization. Therefore, employers are advised to (continue to) invest in employability, as the risks on turnover associated with such investments are limited.