The purpose of this study was to understand turnover intentions of 911 workers and to identify job factors that are related to turnover. Serving as the link between the public and police, fire and ambulance services, 911 operators work behind the scenes; under stressful conditions and often times without recognition or appreciation. Across the nation, there is a high rate of turnover.by 911 operators and a difficulty in recruiting competent personnel to replace them. A cross-sectional survey research study was conducted using 911 operators from police departments throughout Central Florida. A questionnaire was developed using a combination of established questions, focusing on specific issues of turnover intentions, job satisfaction, job performance, management strategies, job challenges, and role clarity. In addition, questions relating specifically to 911 operators were incorporated into the questionnaire. Twenty-five agencies from the seven Central Florida counties participated in the study, including six sheriffs offices, 18 police departments, and one private public safety agency. Out of 659 questionnaires sent out, 370 were returned for a response rate of 56 percent. As part of the research, both management and line operators were surveyed to determine if variations in perceptions existed. Although 911 operators felt turnover was an important issue in their agencies, data indicated turnover intentions were low. Areas of dissatisfaction included pay rates, low staffing levels, job training issues, and lack of positive recognition from both management and officers. Descriptive statistics were reported according to the data received. Results indicated that most employees did not think about quitting or leaving for another agency, but strongly felt that turnover was a major issue in their agencies. Overall job satisfaction was very high, although with pay and advancement opportunities satisfaction was very low. Respondents also felt that they did not receive enough recognition and appreciation by management, yet were willing to put in extra effort for the success of their agencies. In looking at the results of job stress questions, participants indicated that they didn't feel burned out from work but did believe that too many others burned out from demands of the job. Results also indicated a strong conflict between work and family life issues. Cross-tabulations were reported based upon independent variables of agency type, position, tenure and marital status. Results from these analyses reaffirmed many of the same finding as determined in the descriptive statistics. Management showed slightly higher levels of job satisfaction than line employees in all areas. There was also higher satisfaction with pay for those employees with less than two years of service than for those with more than two years. The majority of respondents intended to remain with their agency for the next five years and did not intend to quit, showing a strong dedication to their individual agencies. Finally, correlations were also conducted to show positive or negative relationships between the major issues. A negative relationship was found between turnover intentions and job satisfaction as well as job satisfaction and job challenges. There was also a positive correlation between job challenges and turnover intentions. There was a negative relationship between job satisfaction and job security, indicating the high level of perceived job insecurity correlates to the low level of job satisfaction. The same reason also explains the relationship found between job challenges and job security results. The results indicated that 911 professionals, regardless of position, show a high satisfaction for their jobs despite problems that may exist. It is necessary for both managers and supervisors to show appreciation towards their employees, highlighting positive actions rather than just negative actions. In addition, agencies have made a concerted effort to increase starting pay for new-hires, yet have not adjusted veteran employee pay rates accordingly. Management should attempt to correct this problem in order to reduce turnover. Other areas of focus by management should be training programs, hiring practices, and advancement opportunities for qualified employees. Ideas of further research were suggested to include a longitudinal study of 911 centers. By determining if there is a decrease in turnover and turnover intentions by employees, management can deduce if their practices are effective or if other methods and ideas need to be formulated. A study of various geographical locations would help to determine if any problems are specific to this particular area or if they are universal. This is an untapped area of research that requires much attention in order to maintain the health and welfare of every community.
Liou, K. Tom
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic;Emergency communication systems -- United States -- Employees;Job satisfaction;Labor turnover;Telephone -- Emergency reporting systems
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Cerbulis, Erik C., "Job Attitudes of 911 Professionals: A Case Study of Turnover Intentions and Concerns Among Local Governments Throughout Central Florida" (2001). HIM 1990-2015. 225.