Business Briefs: Where Workers Went, What Drives Passion & Email Customer Service

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Welcome to Business Briefs! The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Where the Workers Went

There is plenty of data on current employee shortages in work environments. “It’s hard to find good help” is an oft-repeated mantra these days. Pew Research looked into employee scarcity from a couple of perspectives this year, asking about both departures and destinations as employees migrated from one job to the next. 

The group surveyed 965 non-retired U.S. adults who said they left their jobs last year. Low pay and poor opportunities for advancement topped the list of reasons for leaving, both cited by 63% of respondents as major factors in their decisions. Additionally, feeling disrespected was a factor for 57% of departures. Childcare issues were a factor for 48%, and flexibly (when and where they work) was a factor for 45%.

Did the departing employees find better jobs? It sure looks like it. Of the original 965 surveyed, 56% reported they’ve landed in a spot earning more money, and 53% have more opportunities to advance. With respect to family responsibilities, 53% say the new job makes it easier to meet those responsibilities. And 50% of the respondents say the new job gives them more flexibility. 

Read more here

Majority of Workers Who Quit a Job in 2021 Cite Low Pay, No Opportunities for Advancement, Feeling Disrespected – Kim Parker & Juliana Horowitz, Pew Research Center

What Drives Passion?

Do you love your job? I mean, really love it? It might have something to do with the awesomeness of the job. Then again, it might have more to do with…you. In a study of 824 subjects, researchers investigated how personality types influenced passion for work.  

At base, they distinguished between two types of passion for work: harmonious (that’s probably the best sort) and obsessive, which is not so good.  

What’s wrong with being obsessive? Well, putting too much emphasis on work-things can wreck havoc on your psyche. It also places you at a high risk for burnout. 

So, researchers recruited 824 subjects and put them through a battery of tests to determine their levels of extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. The subjects also answered questions about their relationship with their workplace. Here’s what the researchers learned: 

  1. In general, there’s a relatively low level of passionate workers in large organizations
  2. Having a low agreeableness score, teamed with a high conscientiousness score, places you at risk for being obsessive at work
  3. Having a great deal of employee autonomy tends to foster more obsessive characteristics

That is, if you have a lot of freedom at work, but you’re kind of a loner, who really cares about doing the right thing…then you’re at higher risk for burnout related to potential work obsession. At base, the findings can help us understand colleagues and ourselves. 

Read more here

What Drives Passion? An Empirical Examination on the Impact of Personality Trait Interactions and Job Environments on Work Passion – Annika Breu & Taha Yasseri, Current Psychology

Email is More Satisfying

Communication is key, right? When things go wrong with a service provider, there are lots of ways to deal with it. You could do nothing. But that probably won’t help. You could call the customer service hotline. That’s better. You could launch an insta-chat; another good option. Or you could email: Bingo. 

Researchers looked at 653 customer reviews on the handling of customer service claims. According to the data, customers who communicated their dissatisfaction through email correspondence rated their interactions with the services team as “more responsive” and clearer than those who escalated through the telephone. That led to the customers feeling as though the situation was handled more justly. 

Moral of the story? To foster customer satisfaction, businesses should provide a means of timely email communication; it works better than telephone hotlines. 

Read more here

How Fair is the Handling of the Claimant Customer? A Comparison Between the e-mail and Telephone Channels – Sara Tahali & Hélène Yildiz, Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics