The role of collective labor contracts and individual characteristics on job satisfaction in Tuscan nursing homes

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Abstract

Background:

The role played by remuneration strategies in motivating health care professionals is one of the most studied factors. Some studies of nursing home (NH) services, while considering wages and labor market characteristics, do not explicitly account for the influence of the contract itself.

Purpose:

This study investigates the relationship between the labor contracts applied in 62 Tuscan NHs and NH aides’ job satisfaction with two aims: to investigate the impact of European contracts on employee satisfaction in health care services and to determine possible limitations of research not incorporating these contracts.

Methodology:

We apply a multilevel model to data gathered from a staff survey administered in 2014 to all employees of 62 NHs to analyze two levels: individual and NH. Labor contracts were introduced into the model as a variable of NH.

Results:

Findings show that the factors influencing nursing aides’ satisfaction occur at both the individual and NH levels. Organizational characteristics explain 16% of the variation. For individual characteristics, foreign and temporary workers emerge as more satisfied than others. For NH variables, results indicate that the labor contract with the worst conditions is not associated with lower workers’ satisfaction.

Conclusion:

Although working conditions play a relevant role in the job satisfaction of aides, labor contracts do not seem to affect it. Interestingly, aides of the NHs with the contract having the best conditions register a significantly lower level of satisfaction compared to the NHs with the worst contract conditions. This suggests that organizational factors such as culture, team work, and other characteristics, which were not explicitly considered in this study, may be more powerful sources of worker satisfaction than labor contracts.

Practice Implications:

Our analysis has value as a management tool to consider alternative sources as well as the labor contract for employee incentives.

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