We run a field experiment to study the impacts of managerial attention on employee attrition, productivity and well-being. We also study how managerial attention, as scarce resources, should be allocated among workers. Our studied firm, a network of 157 company-owned spa stores in China, has an annual turnover rate of 110%. This poses huge costs for the company. In addition, the productivity of workers is heavily influenced by their emotions. Thus, the strategic provision of managerial attention could be effective in reducing employee turnovers, or improving employee well-being and productivity at workplace.
We assign stores into two treatment groups and one control group. In both treatment groups, managers are provided a list of employee names every week, and need to have a private conversation with the listed employees. Each conversation has a standardized format, and managers received training prior to the experiment.
Our first treatment, labelled as "random allocation", is to provide managerial attention to random employees. Lists of employees are generated through random numbers, and the order of attention allocation is uncorrelated to any employee characteristics. Our second treatment, labelled as "target allocation", is to focus on employees with more negative emotions and therefore higher probabilities of attrition. We generate the list of employee names through high-frequency employee satisfaction surveys' scores.
The field experiment starts on April 1st, 2019 and lasts 6 months.