Yang YaliFollow




Communication Studies


Master of Arts (MA)


Faith Mullen


Communication style, Employee retention, Employee turnover, Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation, Supervisory feedback


Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Leadership Studies | Organizational Communication


Employee retention is one of most valuable resources in an organization. Feedback from supervisors provides opportunities to clarify expectations, adjust goal difficulty, improve job performance, and enhance job satisfaction. The present study is intended to investigate the role that supervisory feedback messages play in employee retention decisions. The participants took a three-session survey that aimed to examine their perception of supervisory feedback received through direction-giving messages, empathy-giving messages, and meaning-making messages, as well as the effect that each kind of message had on each participant's retention intent. The follow-up interviews were conducted to explore in-depth insights on the factors motivating the employee to remain in an organization. The results from both quantitative and qualitative phases revealed that positive feedback from supervisors does not necessary motivate employees to keep working in an organization, and negative feedback from supervisors does not necessary motivate employees to quit. These results also revealed that the communicative styles used by supervisors for the direction giving messages, empathy giving messages, and meaning making messages in this study do not influence employees' desires to keep working in an organization. Other motivating factors were also analyzed in this study. Limitations and recommendations for future research were also discussed.