As the challenges regarding recruitment and retention continue to increase, so does the need for a greater emphasis on creating a work environment that promotes knowledge, growth, and opportunity. With the expected wave of Baby Boomer retirements over the next few years, the challenges of replacing these knowledge workers will become even more critical for organizations in the public sector. This study examined those issues facing public sector organizations in regards to retention. Specifically, an investigation was conducted to assess the effectiveness of employee recognition programs and employee engagement and their impact on overall job satisfaction and an employee's intent to remain with an organization. Surveys were administered to 900 state employees at a medium to large sized agency in South Carolina. Participants were asked to respond to questions related to their perceptions of current recognition programs and engagement practices in their agency. In addition, respondents were asked questions relative to overall job satisfaction and turnover intentions. The study found that the perceptions of employee recognition and employee engagement have a significant impact on overall job satisfaction and intent to leave the organization. Although job satisfaction was not found to have a direct negative relationship to intent to leave, the findings supported the theory that the level of satisfaction with recognition and engagement practices is a significant predictor of turnover intentions.
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