Industiral / Organizational Psychology

Improving Employee Retention with Pre-determined Scenario


JC’s Casino reports distress in employee retention that appears to reflect with negative customer response.  Dealers report hostile work environments and have chosen lower wage jobs within the local competition.  Housekeepers are reported to have become unreliable and manage a larger workload causing customer dissatisfaction as rooms are not ready for check – in.  The casino President, JC, is desperate for a fix to the casino’s employee retention problem.

Employee retention is crucial to maintaining a positive and consistent organization.  Organizations utilize expense and time to seek out, interview, higher employees, and train employees, which can be costly (“Management Study Guide”, 2013).   Employee retention should be on an organization’s priority list, as losing employees can cost the company productivity and customers, ultimately decreasing profit and success (“Management Study Guide”, 2013).    Positive motivational strategies combined with stress relievers could have a profound impact on employee retention rates.  Proper motivation and reducing stress promotes employee job satisfaction and increases production.  Implementing motivational theories into JC’s Casino could potentially repair damaged areas of the business.


Employee motivation drives the individual to have a desire to maximize performance and seek out higher opportunities (Spector, 2012).  An organization that expects employees to perform at or above a certain level must keep employee motivation high (Spector).  Motivational theories delve into the expectations about the reasons individuals behave and perform in a certain manner, as well as indicate predictors of future performance (Spector, 2012).  JC’s casino appears to lack employee motivation that is affecting customer satisfaction.    Although the housekeepers are paid to clean and prepare rooms by three in the afternoon, they are not reaching their quotas.  The fact that the housekeeper’s attendance is poor causes a heavier, more stressful workload on those who do go to work that does not accommodate meeting their quota. The casino does not offer any form payment for the heavier workload.

Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory implies that motivation through rewards or incentives produces desired behaviors (Spector, 2012).  The perception of behavior is a response to the environment, and motivation occurs externally through the major tenet of the law of effect (McLeod, 2015).  Thorndike declared a behavior supported with an incentive would likely cause repetitive desired behavior and punishment would decline undesired behaviors (Spector, 2012).  The use of positive reinforcement promotes desired behavior through a reward system (McLeod, 2015).  The use of negative reinforcement extracts stimulus that causes negative behaviors and promotes desired behavior (McLeod, 2015).   Punishment deflects undesired behavior through the use of negative consequence for undesired behavior (McLeod, 2015).  All three forms of reinforcement weaken the undesired, or negative behavior while strengthening the positive, or desired behavior.  According to Skinner, applying reinforcement on a consistent basis ultimately leads to a permanent behavior modification that is desirable (McLeod, 2015).

Implementing incentive programs for housekeepers could potentially increase performance and attendance.  JC could reward housekeepers for each room cleaned and prepped over their quota, as this is going beyond normal job expectations.  An additional incentive could be given for each room cleaned and prepped before the three o clock check in time.  Another incentive that can prove to be useful is simple praise.  Praise gives individuals a sense of appreciation and should be given to housekeepers consistently as it is a form of recognition of a job well done.  Adding positively reinforcing incentives promotes higher productivity, better performance, and increased customer satisfaction.  Implementing an incentive program keeps housekeepers motivated to perform above expectation as they strive to obtain an incentive outside of normal pay.  They may begin to feel appreciated and valued by the casino giving an internal desire to report for work and enhance personal job performance.  With incentive programs intact, housekeeper’s absenteeism may be reduced, and retention increased.

Justice and Equity Theories

Justice theories declare employees seek fair, conventional treatment in the workplace (Spector, 2012).  Equity theory declares that individuals compare their performance to others to validate compensation differences.  Comparisons potentially cause an increase in motivation as individuals attempt to perform to the same standard as more respected employees (Spector, 2012).  In a supervisory role, a leader should demonstrate moral and just treatment to motivate employees to maximize their potential and productivity (Spector, 2002).  When an individual feels unvalued or unappreciated by supervisors, performance declines that may result in the employee quitting (Spector, 2012).  Employees strive to attain an equilibrium of fairness among expectations in the workplace.  The inability to attain equilibrium deteriorates motivation and sends a chain reaction of undesired work behaviors (Spector, 2012).  When an employee feels as though their workplace is causing harm to them emotionally, they tend to seek a healthier working environment (Spector, 2012).

Dealers report that job separation is due to hostile work environment created by their supervisor, Joe.  The perception of Joe is “toxic, overbearing, evil, and incompetent” as well as unapproachable by all staff.  Dealers are willing to take a pay cut to achieve job satisfaction through a pleasant work environment.  Additionally, housekeepers feel overwhelmed with higher demands placed on them with no form of compensation.  The unconventional and unjust treatment of the employees has created a deteriorating retention rate that has impacted all aspects of production, customer satisfaction, and profit for the organization.  It is vital that Joe’s performance is confronted and turned around immediately to save the casino.

Stressors and Alleviations

Occupational stress is an occurrence in the workplace that causes an individual to have an adaptive response, similar to a defense mechanism (Spector, 2012).  Individuals experiencing occupational stress may experience job dissatisfaction, loss of motivation, or even health problems (Spector, 2012).  Indicators of stress include heavy workloads, hostile work environments, conflicts, and anything else that appears to be abnormal working environment (Spector, 2012).  At JC’s Casino, employees feel threatened by a hostile work environment created by Joe. The work environment created by the overbearing boss is a major stressor that leads to employee turnover.  Stressors for housekeeping include understaffing, heavy workloads, and having to add more work when employees call out.  Additionally, the administrative staff is under stress because they are asked to fill in when housekeeping cannot handle the demands of the company.  The HR Manager should implement a morals and ethics training class, along with creating a positive work environment for the management team.  The implementation of a training program designed to teach the proper management skills to retain employees should is necessary for Joe, or a replacement boss put into effect immediately.  Repairing the hostile environment is the priority.  Giving the management team insight on the effects of the ways leaders lead should impact management to create a more positive work environment that will allow for employee retention to increase.  Recruitment and training are an immediate need as well.  Housekeepers and dealers are necessary to the operations of the business and having a full, properly trained staff will create a reduction in stress and increase in job satisfaction because the workloads will decrease.  Additionally, a properly trained staff increases retention.

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a the attitude portrayed by an employee accommodating the amount of like or dislike the individual feels about the job (Spector, 2012).  Job satisfaction can have a direct impact on employee turnover if satisfaction is not apparent in the workplace (Spector, 2012).  JC’s Casino has an entire staff that demonstrates poor attitude about their job.  Housekeepers demonstrate inconsistent attendance and are unable to attain goals due to the large workload they experience.  Expectations to cover when someone calls out has become the norm with no compensation for working double duty in the same amount of time.  The use of the administrative staff outside of their job description creates dissatisfaction.  Dealers are forced to deal with a hostile leader.  Alleviating the stressors created by poor management will create satisfaction among employees.  Training Joe how to manage properly or dismissing him from his duty for a more reputable manager will create a more efficient and pleasant work environment.  Adding staff or giving incentives to the housekeepers and administrators who fill on for those calling out will create more satisfaction in the workplace.  Acknowledging employee efforts, giving positive feedback, and employee reviews will enhance satisfaction as this gives the employee a sense of recognition that will build motivation.

Counterproductive Employee Behavior

A counterproductive employee is one who elicits negative behaviors in the workplace.  A counterproductive employee hinders the growth of the company as they appear unmotivated or to act with malicious intent.  The inability of the Human Resource manager to appropriately deal with Joe’s hostile attitude is counterproductive to employee retention.  The inability of the housekeeping manager to maintain staff at proper levels is counterproductive to the expectations of the staff.  The dealers are counterproductive to the casino as they feel threatened and reside their loyalty and seek work with competitors.  The housekeeper’s attendance is poor which is counterproductive to the daily operations of the casino hotel.  Although the dealers and housekeepers behaviors appear counterproductive, the attitudes and lack of motivation are a direct result of a hostile and over demanding work environment.  Properly training or eliminating Joe from his position is vital to repairing employee satisfaction.  Hiring and training more housekeepers is an obvious solution to the housekeeping department.  To reduce counterproductive behaviors, the Casino must do a complete overhaul of the entire staff and develop a plan of action to bring the casino morale to a normal standard.


An organization’s success is dependent on job satisfaction and positive morale.  Implementing motivational theories increases job satisfaction and employee desire to do more.  The use of reinforcements pushes employees to go the extra mile and learn different aspects of the company that could potentially lead to promotion and increase retention.  Have a high employee retention indicates job satisfaction and loyalty that leads to a more united team.  Reducing counterproductivity increases production and leads to a more stable production rate and increases job satisfaction.


Management Study Guide. (2013). Retrieved from

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Skinner – Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from

Spector, P. E. (2012). Industrial and organizational psychology (6th ed.). USA: Wiley.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s