Trends in Integration-Based Orientation in Academic Libraries

Trends in Integration-Based Orientation in Academic Libraries

Aimee Denise Loya (University of California - Irvine, USA) and Deborah Stansbury Sunday (University of California - Irvine, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch821
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Positive or “good turnover” in organizations is the combination of voluntary and involuntary turnover that keeps the organization “refreshing” itself. This turnover can be made up of poor performers who leave or it can be a manageable rate of turnover that brings in employees with new skills, insights and motivation. “Bad turnover” is when people we wish to retain leave or when turnover is so high that it results in poor morale, poor service to patrons, and other negative impacts. Testa (2008) states that in the U.S., workers in their early 20s move from job to job with just 10% staying with an employer for two years. Comparable data is not readily available for librarians, and while we might disagree on what constitutes the perfect balance between “good turnover” and “bad turnover”, the authors believe that we would all agree that losing 90% of a young workforce within a two-year window is unhealthy for any organization. In a recessionary economy, workers are much less mobile, but retention programs are no less important than they would be during periods of strong economic growth.

By devoting the necessary time, resources and energy into developing and delivering a comprehensive retention program, it is possible to reduce the amount of “bad turnover” in your library. A holistic retention program includes well articulated components like: integration-focused orientation to the organization and the position; training, staff and organizational development; mentoring, performance coaching and evaluation; structured rewards and recognition programs; remuneration packages; and, exit interviews. This chapter focuses on integration-focused orientation programs, explores the connections between employee retention and successful integration, and discusses how current orientation programs in several academic and research libraries are effectively focusing on organizational culture and employee integration.

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