THE EFFECTS OF ON-SITE CHILD CARE ON EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES AND PERFORMANCE

Authors


  • We wish to thank the Michigan State University Foundation, the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, and the Sisters of Mercy Health Care Corporation for their support of this research. Helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper provided by John Hollenbeck, Ed Montemayor, Michael Moore, and several anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. John Hunter is also thanked for providing and explaining his statistical packages. Kathy Witte is thanked for her proofreading and typing assistance.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Ellen Ernst Kossek, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, 437 South Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1032.

Abstract

Using a quasi-experimental posttest design, this study compared supervisor perceptions of performance and absenteeism and employee attitudes of 155 child care center users and waiting list employees. Although child care was not related to supervisor views of performance or absenteeism, employees were more likely to receive favorable appraisals if absenteeism was low. Child care had greatest impact on females and employees without a family buffer. Child care positively influenced users' attitudes toward managing work and child care responsibilities, and views on the attractiveness and administration of benefits. The greater the use of care across all dependents, the more favorable the attitudes. A “frustration effect” occurred involving the lowering of waiting list employees' perceptions of the attractiveness and fairness of child care. The study suggests that child care benefits are more likely to significantly effect employee attitudes and membership behaviors such as recruitment and retention than performance or absenteeism.

Ancillary