Methods: This survey was conducted in 2016 as part of a larger study with data collected from public workers to examine their perceptions of the various types of incentives offered by the state government. The survey was completed by 5,723 respondents (50% response rate). Multivariate regression analysis was utilized to identify predictive factors towards employment longevity. Data were analyzed using R (version 3.3.2) with an alpha of .001 to establish statistical significance due to the large sample size.
Results: On average, the respondents were 33 years of age (SD = 10.19) and their average employment longevity was 2.69 years (SD = 2.91). Most respondents had a bachelor’s degree (84.7%), were female (81%), and worked in the Child Protective Services (CPS) division (78.6%). Respondents who were older (OR 1.002; CI 1.000-1.004), African American (OR 1.042, CI 0.994-1.092), received overtime pay (OR 1.130; CI 1.075-1.187), received merit increase (OR 1.668; CI 1.569-1.774), and was a CPS stipend recipient (OR 1.232; CI 1.168-1.300) were more likely to report a longer employment length (tenure). On the other hand, respondents who were male (OR 0.946; CI 0.900-0.994) were less likely to report a longer employment length (tenure).
Conclusion/Implications: This study revealed that receiving financial incentives has a positive influence on the length of stay among employees in Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, and Statewide Intake divisions. It stresses the importance of integrating individual and organizational factors, particularly when providing a variety of financial merits and promoting workforce diversity in gender and racial representations to support employment longevity in the public sector with less competitive salaries than the industry. With both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, the state department would save training costs due to turnover, and clients and their families would receive a greater continuity level of care. Additionally, worker support must be gender and racial equitable to show that the department values a diverse workforce. This service model is unique because of the multi-layers of financial incentives that interact with worker intention for a longer tenure.