CHAPTER 3 EMPLOYEE RETENTION AND THE ROLES OF MANAGERS IN RETAINING EMPLOYEES
Chapter 2 focused on the literature review of the definition and description of job satisfaction and the discussion of the determinants of job satisfaction. It became evident from the discussions that job satisfaction is a complex phenomenon that cannot be defined without making reference to its determinants, namely, personal and institutional factors. The literature review in Chapter 2 reveals that personal and institutional factors have significant influence over the degree to which employees may be satisfied with their jobs. One of the conclusions that can be drawn from these discussions is that the intensity with which employees value or assess each determinant may vary between employees and as a result, they may either be motivated to endure or pressurised to quit. Most importantly, how employees assess the value of each determinant may propel them to make significant career movements.
Chapter 3 presents a literature review which is aiming to respond to the second research question and research objective described in Chapter 1 and focuses on two most important theoretical deliberations, namely, literature reviews of the definition of employee retention and the roles of managers in retaining employees. This chapter therefore considers managers as playing a critical role in retaining employees. The main concerns that are dealt with in the first part are about the legislative framework for employee retention in the South African public service and the definition of employee retention. The second part of this chapter focuses on the roles of managers in retaining employees. The issues that are dealt with in this part include managers’ roles in designing competitive and market-related rewards, creating a supportive institutional culture, investing in employee training and development and creating and maintaining work-life balance as critical to retaining employees.
Employee retention, as explained in Chapter 1, is considered an independent variable in this study. It is expressly interrelated to job satisfaction in that the initiatives that are instituted to reduce employee turnover are the same as those that determine or define job satisfaction. Initiatives and practices to retain employees are, in the South African public sector, comparatively new. They have been instituted as part of the process of transformation from apartheid to a democratic and accountable government that has a mandate to deliver services to the general society.
These initiatives were initiated post-1994 as part of the review of legislation and the conditions of work in both the public and private sectors and to introduce just and fair human resource management (HRM) practices. They were instituted to enable the South African government to deliver services to satisfy the needs of society. Employees, in the context of the changing HRM practices, are acknowledged by legislation as important role-players without which the South African government cannot deliver services to the society. In order to support managers to effectively implement these practices, legislation entrusts them with the authority that their counterparts in the private sector do not enjoy.
LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR EMPLOYEE RETENTION
The legislative framework that makes provision for the institution of employee retention practices in the South African public sector is an important aspect of the theory of employee retention. The legislative framework is a confirmation that employee practices are lawful and binding, especially to managers who are entrusted with the authority to implement them. Even though legislation is not prescriptive, it lists functions that managers and employees must perform to achieve anticipated goals. Although the list of legislation that is discussed in this chapter is not exhaustive, the discussions in subsequent sections describe the legislative framework that governs employee retention in the South African public service.
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996)
As the supreme law of the Republic, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), gives effect to the promulgation, enactment amendment of legislation that governs the implementation of HRM. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) does not single-out employee retention, but considers it as part of HRM practices that should be instituted to realise the goals of a democratic and accountable government.
Further to the promulgation and enactment of legislation, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) empowers managers in the South African public sector with the authority to implement the Public Service Act (103 of 1994), Labour Relations Act (66 of 1995), Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998), the White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service (1997) and the Public Service Regulations (2001). This legislation is, as and when circumstances so require, amended to keep abreast with the changing needs of the public service and the South African society in general.
Public Service Act (103 of 1994)
Parts of the provisions of the Public Service Act (104 of 1994) (hereafter referred to using the acronym ‘PSA’) were reflected upon in Chapter 1 in the definition of the keyword ‘employees’. The PSA was enacted to uphold the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996). It provides for employee retention in that it guides the organisation and administration of the public service with respect to the conditions of employment. As explained in Chapter 2, the conditions of employment are negotiated by parties with the bargaining councils and include salary increases, performance bonuses, pay progressions, service benefits, compensation, workplace practices and financial allowances. As they were broadly referred to in Chapter 2, these working conditions and rewards significantly influence job satisfaction and may be used by managers to retain satisfactorily performing employees.
Chapter 3 of the PSA describes the designation and status of heads of departments (HoDs) relative to that of other groups of managers and employees in public institutions. It describes the nature and amount of authority that is entrusted to HoDs and identifies them as accounting officers whose overall responsibility is to ensure that public institutions operate effectively and efficiently. Amongst other roles that the PSA assigns to HoDs, are the responsibilities to organise and administer human, financial and physical resources and to develop systems that enable public institutions to deliver on their constitutional mandates.
Chapter 4 of the PSA guides the HoDs on how to develop, institute and monitor the implementation of promotion and career advancement initiatives. Section 12(4)(b) of the PSA requires HoDs to institute performance management, whilst Section 7(3)(b) obliges them to efficiently manage and administer their departments, including to utilise, train and develop employees. By virtue of their leadership positions, HoDs (refer to Section B.2.1 of the Public Service Regulations, 2001) must delegate public service activities vertically to middle and junior managers to create a chain of accountability.
Labour Relations Act (66 of 1995)
The Labour Relations Act (66 of 1995) as amended and hereafter referred to using the acronym ‘LRA’ was passed into legislation in 1995, a year after the PSA. It was passed into legislation to give effect to Section 195 (1) (h) – (i) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996). Similar to the PSA, it puts into place workplace practices that support the cultivation of good human resource management and career development practices in order to maximise human potential and requires that public institutions utilise personnel management practices that are based on ability, objectivity and fairness.
Unlike the White Paper on Human Management in the Public Service (1997) and the Public Service Regulations (2001) that give guidance to managers on how they should institute employee retention practices, the LRA creates an environment in which there are effective labour relations. It therefore gives recognition to employee retention as an incidental matter. The LRA promotes participation by employees in decision-making processes, protects employees’ rights to freedom of association and provides for collective bargaining and the establishment of bargaining councils to negotiate issues that are of interest to employees and the State as the employer.
The LRA makes indirect provision for employee retention in that it regulates matters that are related to job satisfaction. For example, when unions are active, employment practices tend to be fair and objective. Effective relations between the unions and managers enhance the image of public institutions and if employees perceive public institutions to which they are employed as reputable, it enhances their job satisfaction. Equally important, participation by employees in the decision making processes enhances job satisfaction. In this way, it is justifiable that the LRA empowers managers to institute employee retention practices in the South African public sector. The descriptions of the provisions that are contained in the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) are discussed in the subsequent subsection.
Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998)
The implementation of Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) is seen in the context of transforming human resource management practices and the composition of workforce profiles of both the public and private sectors in South Africa. The Act was introduced as law to dismantle discriminatory practices in employment, occupation and income in the South African labour market. Employee retention is provided for in the Employment Equity Act as an incidental matter in that the Act promotes measures of equality, fairness and transparency in decisions about promotions and career advancement, broad representation training and development initiatives and the distribution of rewards, all which significantly influence job satisfaction (see Chapter 2). Chapter 3 of the Employment Equity Act provides for the implementation of affirmative action measures, consultation between managers and employees, disclosure of information, all of which were acknowledged as significantly contributing to job satisfaction in Chapter 2.
Furthermore, Chapter 3 of the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) provides for employment equity planning – which is an important part of the human resource plan of public institutions, reporting and the publication of information that relates to the workforces of public institutions and the duty to inform employees about critical human resource decisions that affect their conditions of employment. All these provisions are significant to employee retention in that when the employer communicates regularly and gives opportunities for employees to participate in decisions that affect the employment relationship, employees’ level of engagement increases. They therefore are able to support employment decisions easily without any conflict arising. In actual fact, they become the owners of the decisions, which may significantly enhance their job satisfaction.
Similarly, when employees perceive the procedures that are adopted to decide on promotions and career advancement as fair and when they evaluate the prospects for promotions and personal growth as reasonably fair, it also enhances their job satisfaction. The reporting and publication of information, as well as the duty by the employer to inform are important elements of facilitating communication that empowers employees and that keeps them informed of changes and developments in their working environment. By communication, a sense of caring is established and an environment which is supportive is created. In the absence of these practices, employees may feel that they are not valued, which some may assess as requiring them to search for new job opportunities. The provisions for employee retention, as contained in the White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service, are discussed in the next subsection.
White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service (1997)
The White Paper on Human Management in the Public Service (1997) was enacted as part of the legislation whose aim is to achieve a transformed public service, in particular to foster a management shift from centrally controlled and process-driven public service to that which, amongst other factors, treats public servants as a valuable resource. The White Paper on Human Management in the Public Service fosters a shift from personnel administration to human resource management and part of its vision is to achieve a competent, capable and well-managed workforce.
Chapter 4 of the White Paper on Human Management in the Public Service provides a framework within which critical elements of employee retention such as human resource planning, succession planning and working conditions should be managed, whilst Chapter 5 gives guidance on how promotions and career management practices should be managed. Most importantly, Chapter 5 of the White Paper on Human Management in the Public Service also identifies performance management as an integral part of effective HRM and development, and therefore requires that training and development and rewards be linked to performance management.
CHAPTER 1: GERERAL ORIENTATION
1.1 BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.5 UNIT OF ANALYSIS AND UNITS OF OBSERVATION
1.6 HYPOTHETICAL STATEMENT
1.7 CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY
1.8 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
1.9 DEFINITION OF KEYWORDS
1.10 OUTLINE OF CHAPTERS
CHAPTER 2: JOB SATISFACTION AND THE DETERMINANTS OF JOB SATISFACTION
2.2 JOB SATISFACTION
2.3 DETERMINANTS OF JOB SATISFACTION
CHAPTER 3: EMPLOYEE RETENTION AND THE ROLES OF MANAGERS IN RETAINING EMPLOYEES
3.2 EMPLOYEE RETENTION
3.3 THE ROLES OF MANAGERS IN RETAINING EMPLOYEES
CHAPTER 4: THE STUDY AREA
4.2 DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
4.3 SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE AND THE PUBLIC SECTOR
4.4 CULTURE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
4.5 Ranking structure of the South African Police Service
4.6 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
CHAPTER 5: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
5.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
5.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5.4 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF THE RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE
5.5 METHOD OF ENUMERATION
5.6 ADHERENCE TO ETHICAL REQUIREMENTS
5.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER 6: THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
6.2 BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
6.3 RESPONDETS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS THEIR JOBS
6.4 PROBABILITIES FOR PROMOTION AND RECOGNITION
6.5 TRAINING AND CAREER PLANNING
6.6 LEADERSHIP STYLE AND INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT
CHAPTER 7: CONCLUDING REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
7.2 CONCLUDING REMARKS
LIST OF REFERENCES respondents
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