A survey of staff turnover and retention in the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture, Ukhahlamba district

Msomi, Mzwandile William (2010) A survey of staff turnover and retention in the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture, Ukhahlamba district. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The aim of this research was to understand the main factors that explain turnover and retention at DOA Ukhahlamba District and to recommend to the District and Provincial management the appropriate strategy for retaining staff. To be able to achieve this aim, the following research objectives have been visited, namely: a) turnover trends, b) analysis of primary and external turnover factors and c) primarily retention factors. Data for analysing turnover trends was collected from the 2004 to 2007 DPSA and DOA annual reports. Primary data on labour turnover and retention factors was collected from 41 employees across different sections at DOA Ukhahlamba District by means of a questionnaire survey. The data was analysed using statistical methods, including frequency distribution, chi-square test and Pearson product-moment correlation. The findings have revealed that there is no clear pattern of turnover trends at DOA and DPSA, and DOA percentage turnover figures are low in comparison with those of the DPSA. In terms of organizational-specific factors, the top three primary turnover factors were identified, namely: a) communication within the organisation, b) leadership and the organisation and participation in decision making. The research results further revealed that communication within the organization had a significant impact with regard to race, but division, location, and grades did not. With regard to the external factors, research results identified the following most important external labour turnover factors arranged according to their importance, namely: lack of availability and quality of health care services and infrastructural development; lack of available sport and recreation facilities; crime in the area and people living in the neighbourhood; lack of educational opportunities available for the family, and geographic location of place of employment. The findings further revealed the top three retention factors, were strongly significantly correlated to each other, namely: resource availability, use of discretion in handling customer complaints, and the impact of the job on society. These are positively related to intention to stay. The implications these results to the management would require the review of the organisational Human Resource Management Policy and the introduction of Attraction and Retention Policy because at present its is non existence at DOA Eastern Cape. Research limitations: the study did not fully explore ethnicity when analysing the communication within the organisation as a labour turnover factor despite having an organisation that is diverse in nature, future academic research should focus more on labour turnover at management level and moderating variables to external labour turnover factors as there is little research done in this area. The factors identified for labour turnover and retention should be treated with caution as it may not be applicable to all sector Departments in the Eastern Cape and may be limited to Ukhahlamba District due to its geographic location. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge as it will serve as a guide to Eastern Cape DOA and other sector Departments in choosing factors to consider when designing their retention strategy in order to reduce labour turnover. To the academic researchers, the first three primary retention factors identified in the survey have not been seen before, grouped and rated amongst the top three retention factors which therefore means that the management support becomes more important than looking more on salary package as the first priority factor as revealed by most of the research literature consulted (Gustafson, 2002; Mobley, 1982; Mobley, 1979; Herzberg, 2003). This shows that labour turnover and retention factors will not be the same to all organisations, the location of the business and surrounding environment should be considered carefully when designing the appropriate policy and retention strategy of the organisation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Department of Agriculture, Ukhahlamba District, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Government employees, Labor turnover, Employee retention
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Personnel management. Employment management
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Rhodes Business School
ID Code:2395
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 06:52
Last Modified:25 Jan 2012 06:52
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