Workplace Disruption in the Public Sector and HRM Practices to Enhance Employee Resilience
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-04, 22:03 authored by P Kim, Wonhyuk ChoWonhyuk Cho, I Yang
This article aims to analyze workplace dynamics in the public sector under highly disruptive environments. Survey data collected from 1,430 public employees in South Korea reveal that workload and work intensity have increased 13% to 15% on average compared to pre-pandemic conditions. Yet this impact on working conditions seems to be unevenly distributed across the public sector; the proportion of pandemic-affected workforce in each public organization ranged from 10% to 80%. More than 70% reported flexible work arrangements in place to alleviate the disruption, though less than 20% enjoyed access to occupational health and safety consultation to handle this change. We found that baby boomer men, who have the fewest family responsibilities, are most satisfied with flexible work arrangements, while millennial women, with the most domestic commitments, are least satisfied, leaving ample room for improvement. Results of a randomized survey experiment showed that resilience-enhancing Human Resource Management (HRM) practices such as special leave assistance programs influenced civil servants’ perceptions of workload and work intensity. Higher levels of satisfaction with resilience-enhancing HRM were found to be associated with lower levels of turnover intention, though this relationship was weaker among employees whose work became too intense or heavy (“numbing effect”) under the pandemic.