Employee turnover and turnover intention are key indicators of human resource development practice and overall organizational leadership effectiveness. Employees’ perceptions about job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, and organizational commitment are thought to be related to turnover intention. However, empirical studies that examine the relationship between job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, organizational commitment and turnover intention are limited, specifically in the Extension system. Almost all Cooperative Extension employees’ turnover studies investigated Extension agents, called educators in some states, as a subject of study; however there is no research that examines turnover intention among the focus of this study, Extension program assistants.
Ohio State University Extension (OSU Extension) program assistants, are responsible for recruiting individuals for educational programs, use standardized curriculum to provide informal teaching, and use standardized evaluation instruments to assess program impact. The Cooperative Extension System is experiencing significant changes, which may affect voluntary. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of demographics, job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, and organizational commitment on turnover intention for Extension program assistants.
The quantitative research methodology was based on the descriptive–exploratory study and correlational research design. The target population for this study was full time OSU Extension program assistants. An online survey was used to collect data from 149 OSU Extension program assistants. Respondents were asked to provide their perceptions and feelings related to their job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, organizational commitment, and turnover intention. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, chi-squared test of independents, correlation analysis, binary linear regression, hierarchical multiple regression approach, and Hayes Sobel test to measure mediation effects.
Findings from this study indicated that job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, organizational commitment, employee’s age, and years of service relate to employee turnover intention. Younger employees and employees with less years of service tended to have higher turnover intention. Lower levels of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and satisfaction with supervisor among OSU Extension program assistants tended to predict employee intention to leave.
The results of this study are consistent with previous research suggesting that job satisfaction, satisfaction with supervisor, organizational commitment, age, and years of service are important predictors of employee turnover intention. Monitoring and diagnosing employees’ perception and attitude as related to job withdrawal behavior are important HR actions towards the retention of OSU Extension employees. The findings from this study could be used as guidelines for the OSU Extension personnel development and organizational policy. Future quasi-experimental and longitudinal research is need to predict actual turnover. Recommendations for leaders, managers and supervisors in OSU Extension include: renew HR procedures and policies for recruitment, offer professional development for program assistants and their immediate supervisors, and improve retention strategies. Investing in strategies to reduce turnover intention among Extension program assistants will help fulfill Extension’s long term mission.