An investigation of turnover and retention factors of health professional staff within the Eastern Cape Department of Health

Mrara, Msibulele Theophilus (2010) An investigation of turnover and retention factors of health professional staff within the Eastern Cape Department of Health. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Health Professionals are critical in the provision of health services, more especially when it comes to nurses who are next to the patient most of the time. It is critically important for the Eastern Cape Department of Health to ensure that skilled health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses and the like are retained and the staff turnover regarding this category of staff is appropriately managed. The difficulty to attract and retain health professionals is negatively affecting service delivery in the Eastern Cape department of Health and leaves the department with an unacceptably high vacancy rate. This often put more of a burden on to the health professionals who remain within the organization. Some of them will end up leaving the organization. There is a great shortage of health professionals in South Africa and it becomes easier for the health professionals to get employment elsewhere, particularly in the private sector which appears to have a competitive advantage as compared to the public sector. In this study, both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to gather information through the utilization of a questionnaire and interviews were conducted mainly to confirm the results obtained. The results of the study have assisted to reflect factors that could be influencing the health professionals to leave health facilities of the Eastern Cape Department of Health. The respondents were drawn from the two areas within the Health Department, and these are, Mthatha and Port Elizabeth areas. One hundred (100) questionnaires were issued to the health professionals and sixty three responded. Documents that were received from the department were helpful in determining the turnover rate. The study has revealed that the Eastern Cape Department of Health may succeed in retaining the health professionals if they can be made to feel that their job is important. It appears that health professionals would like to be given enough opportunity to perform their functions and participate in the decision making processes of the department. Some factors may be contributing to the staff turnover and these are, lack of career opportunities to develop, challenges in the workplace, conflict with the management and colleagues. It is always important for the organizations to recognize its employees by giving them space to practice their profession and create a comfortable workplace that could have an impact in influencing the employee to remain within the organization. Employee turnover can be minimized, if employees can be exposed to a healthy workplace environment that will assist if fostering happiness, and in the process, enhance their motivation. It is imperative for the Eastern Cape Department of Health to focus on the training and development of its employees in order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness. As the employees gain the necessary skills to perform their job, productivity may improve. The performance of the employees should be properly managed, and the resultant incentives and rewards must be fairly distributed. This could promote harmony in the workplace and that could help in building relationships among employees. If employees are satisfied, there is an increased chance that they will stay within the organization and it becomes difficult for other competitors to attract them. Employees must be given adequate space to participate in the decision making processes of the organization, and by doing so, their loyalty to the organization could be increased.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Eastern Cape, South Africa, Department of Health, Medical personnel, Hospitals, Officials and employees, Labor turnover
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Personnel management. Employment management
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Rhodes Business School
ID Code:2091
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:11 Oct 2011 08:23
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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