Does Family-Friendly Policy Matter?

Soo-Young Lee of Seoul National University is extending our work on turnover in the federal government. New in the Public Administration Review:

This study investigates the relative effects of four types of family-friendly policies—child care subsidies, paid leave for family care, telework, and alternative work schedules—on turnover rates and effectiveness in federal agencies. Contemporary social exchange theory predicts that an agency’s average level of satisfaction with a specific family-friendly policy is negatively associated with turnover in the agency but positively associated with overall performance. This analysis differs from common expectations. Only child care subsidies show a positive, significant influence on reducing turnover. Child care subsidies and alternative work schedules reflect positive and significant influences on agency effectiveness. Ironically, an agency’s average satisfaction with telework arrangements proves to be a significant but negative effect on performance.