Job Perceptions and Intent to Leave Among Direct Care Workers

Evidence from the Better Jobs Better Care Demonstrations

The high rate of turnover among the ranks of direct care workers in the long-term care arena was explored in this study. Direct care workers' perspectives on rewards and problems associated with their job were assessed in relation to intent to leave their job.

Data for the study was collected as part of the Better Jobs Better Care (BJBC) project. Participants were 3,039 direct care workers who were administered the BJBC Direct Care Worker Survey.

Key Findings:

  • The job reward rated most highly by participants was helping others, while income was the lowest rated job reward.
  • Perceiving one's job as a dead end and job overload had the strongest association with intention to leave a job.
  • An increase of one point on a helping others measure was associated with a 45 percent increase in the odds of being in the group of workers with low intentions of quitting.
  • Odds of being in the group with high intentions of quitting decreased by 35 percent for each one-point increase in the helping others measure.
  • Increases in reports of supervision quality were associated with a 30 percent decrease in the odds of leaving one's job.

Promoting job rewards and reducing the impact of job problems may lead to less turnover for direct care workers.