META-THEORETICAL CONTEXT OF THE STUDY: EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND TALENT RETENTION

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CHAPTER 2: META-THEORETICAL CONTEXT OF THE STUDY: EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND TALENT RETENTION

The aim of this chapter is to put the current study in perspective by clarifying the meta-theoretical context that forms the conclusive parameters of the research. The new world of work entails numerous challenges (Szeto & Dobson, 2013) and requires increased adaptability to a fast changing work environment (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). Hence, individuals are increasingly exposed to stressors at work, which subsequently produce a conflict-enriched work environment (Sahin, 2011). The 21st century world of work requires coping capabilities for employees to adjust and handle difficult relationships more effectively. Research indicates social conflict at work is associated with poor mental health such as depression, health problems and lower job satisfaction (Schat & Frone, 2011; Spector & Bruk-Lee, 2008) and consequently, lower organisational productivity and increased turnover intentions (Schat & Frone, 2011). The challenging work context creates a need for employees to acquire coping resources to adjust and advance in their careers (Marock, 2008), and for organisations to improve their talent retention initiatives to gain a global advantage (Direnzo & Greenhaus, 2011; Kalliath & Kalliath, 2012). There seems to be a need for understanding employee coping behaviour, which in turn, may potentially inform employee wellness and talent retention strategies in the modern workplace.
This section will conceptualise coping behaviour and wellness within a bullying work environment and within a talent retention context.

TALENT RETENTION IN THE 21st CENTURY WORKPLACE

Retaining talent is developing as the most significant challenge of the imminent future for human capital management (Sinha & Sinha, 2012). Talent retention is a process where employees are encouraged to continue working at the same organisation for a prolonged period of time (Gurumani, 2010; James & Mathew, 2012). In addition, talent retention involves measures to inspire and support employees to remain at the organisation (Sandhya Kumar, 2011). Chaminade (2007) describes talent retention as a voluntary action by the organisation to create an environment where employees feel constantly engaged. The main strive of talent retention strategies is to prevent the loss of skilled employees from the organisation (James & Mathew, 2012). Individuals also have different needs, and may get disgruntled and look for other work opportunities. Therefore, organisations need to take control to retain their valuable employees or stand a chance of losing their talent base (Gurumani, 2010; James & Mathew, 2012). Sinha and Sinha (2012) view talent retention as a complex concept and argue that there is no single strategy to prevent employees from leaving.
The prospects and social requirements of employees have changed and as such, these changes have an impact on the world of work in the 21st century. The work environment is increasingly complex and demanding, and makes it also more challenging for organisations to attract talent and retain valuable employees (Scott-Ladd, Travaglione, Perryer, & Pick, 2010). A significant amount of organisations suffered mass restructuring and downsizing, which resulted in major lay-offs due to the global financial crisis (McDonnell, 2011). As such, countries and organisations of various sizes are now engrossed in a war for talent (DHET, 2014; Frase, 2007). Egerová (2013) argues that companies that are skilled in recruiting, developing and retaining their current talented workforce can obtain an excellent advantage over their competitors. In addition, high voluntary turnover is a major cause of lower productivity and negative attitudes in the workplace, which can cause an increase in recruitment and training expenses (James & Mathew, 2012; Kumar & Dhamodaran, 2013). Therefore, it seems high turnover can be extremely expensive and time consuming.
On an individual level, globalisation has caused individuals to become more adaptable, dynamic and knowledgeable in order to gain a strategic advantage in the new world of work (Baruch, 2006; Uy, Chan, Sam, Ho, & Chernyshenko, 2015; Coetzee & Stoltz, 2015). The propensity in the modern workplace is that employees need to become more self-concerned (Baruch, 2006) since personal development and professional growth are currently the responsibility of employees and not organisations (Grant & Ashford, 2008); for example, training or advancement opportunities (Grant & Parker, 2009; Segers & Inceoglu, 2012). In addition, advances in technology expose employees to new work interfaces such as teleworking where employees work from home with less face-to-face interactions (Golden, Veiga, & Dino, 2008; Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2013), which result in lower social interactions and lower social resources (Tims et al., 2013).
Moreover, in the new world of work employees are globally more mobile (Cappellen & Janssens, 2005; Masibigiri & Nienaber, 2011). A new boundaryless career concept exists between employers and employees where the emphasis of individual career paths has changed to knowledge development and employability (Becker & Haunschild, 2003; Masibigiri & Nienaber, 2011). Employees are increasingly searching for new opportunities and may prefer working for various organisations as opposed to one single employer (Verbruggen, 2012).
Hence, shorter work relationships exist between employees and organisations, because individuals are no longer loyal to stay with a single organisation through their life span (Baruch, 2004; Lyons et al., 2015). A new psychological contract exists between companies and employees, which entails different expectations (Lent, 2013). In the past, employees offered loyalty to gain a sense of job security. However, individuals currently seem to favour growth and development opportunities by offering work performance in return (Baruch, 2006; Clarke, 2008; Verbruggen, 2012).
Knowledge workers require ambiguity, teamwork and relationship-building as opposed to the traditional commanding and controlling leadership styles (D’Art & Turner 2006). The traditional work environment is represented by job security and vertical career advancements whereas the new world of work is represented by employability and horisontal career movement (Lamb & Sutherland, 2010). Conversely, Lyons et al. (2015) found that most employees continue to move upwards as opposed to lateral or downwards. However, younger generations tend to make career moves in all directions (upward, lateral, downwards) as opposed to older individuals, although the upward career path pattern continues to remain the norm (Lyons et al., 2015). Employees can accomplish employability by increasing their variety of skills, knowledge and qualities to assist them in obtaining better jobs and ensure career advancements (Akkermans, Schaufeli, Brenninkmeijer & Blonk, 2013). Thus, individuals can become more employable by obtaining various competencies, which can further result in continuous career progression (Chudzikowski, 2012; Pool & Sewell, 2007).
Talent shortages may get worse which can limit organisational growth and the ultimate survival of companies (Gordon, 2009). Organisations are progressively forced to compete in a global diverse market (DeSimone & Werner, 2012). Furthermore, the workforce may decline since the Baby Boomer generation is retiring and the birth rate is declining due to infertility (Athey, 2008; World Health Organisation, 2014). These two factors may further result in a global decline of younger employees (Majeed, Forder, Mishra, Kendig, & Byles, 2015). Similarly, Hayutin (2010) argues that many developed countries may experience a workforce reduction and that the European working population will decrease by 50 million. On the other hand, older employees are often required to remain with the organisation well beyond their retirement age to offer their expertise and valuable skills (De Lange, Bal, Van der Heijden, De Jong, & Schaufeli, 2011; Majeed et al., 2015).
South Africa suffers from a high unemployment rate (Statistics South Africa, 2015) and over recent years have lost critical skills in various industries, for instance in the financial, telecommunications and technology sectors (DHET, 2014; Grobler & De Bruyn, 2011; Van Schalkwyk et al., 2010). This has had a negative influence on the availability of proficient employees in the country (Van Schalkwyk et al., 2010). In addition, there is a scarcity of talented employees among the previously disadvantaged groups, especially within the chemical industry (Peralta & Stark, 2006; Van Schalkwyk et al., 2010).
Furthermore, changes in the workforce are increasing; for example, economic and labour market changes, diversity and generational differences (Scott-Ladd, Travaglione, Perryer, & Pick, 2010). Individuals within a specific generation share certain life experiences (Smith & Clurman, 1998), which can include natural disasters, cultural events, and economic and technology changes (Schullery, 2013). Tapscott (2009) argues that Generation X individuals cannot occupy all available jobs, since they are 15% less than the Baby Boomer generation. On the other hand, Generation Y is the fastest growing fragment of the workforce that seems to exceed the Baby Boomer generation (Spiro, 2006; Tapscott, 2009), and occasionally they are inaccurately perceived as less hard-working and not highly committed to their organisations (Jovic, Wallace, & Lemaire, 2006). Since Generation Y individuals tend to look for new challenges when they are not satisfied with their employers (Alsop, 2008; Hartman & McCambridge, 2011). Generation Y employees seem to have different work expectations; anticipates a balance between career and family (Bu & McKeen, 2000), prefer a life with meaning, independence, and a job where they can use their own judgement (Budhwar & Varma, 2011).
Research studies also indicate significant differences in career values across generations (Schullery, 2013; Twenge, Campbell, Hoffman, & Lance, 2010). In addition, the Baby Boomer generation is starting to leave (retire) organisations, while the generation Y’ers are growing in the workplace. Therefore, it is imperative that organisations develop and adjust their engagement and talent retention strategies to take generational differences into consideration (Gilbert, 2011).
Scott-Ladd et al. (2010) argue there is also a concern for employees’ psychological wellbeing, since activities and situations in the workplace tend to cause physical and mental exhaustion, which can result in stress and burnout over the long-term. Employees who are exposed to technology in the workplace can be more vulnerable to stress, emotional fatigue and may experience lower psychological wellbeing (Knani, 2013). The reason can be that employees experience anxiety when they view technology as a threat, challenging to use or as something they have less control over. Therefore, individuals may experience feelings of fear due to an inability to cope with technology (Knani, 2013; Wang, Shu, & Tu, 2008).
Thus, there seems to be various factors that may influence talent retention in the new world of work. Below a summary is provided in Table 2.1.

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CHAPTER 1: SCIENTIFIC OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH
1.1 BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION FOR THE RESEARCH
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
1.4 STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
1.5 THE RESEARCH MODEL
1.6 PARADIGM PERSPECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
1.7 RESEARCH DESIGN
1.8 RESEARCH METHOD
1.9 CHAPTER DIVISION
1.10 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 2: META-THEORETICAL CONTEXT OF THE STUDY: EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND TALENT RETENTION
2.1 TALENT RETENTION IN THE 21st CENTURY WORKPLACE
2.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING AND BULLYING AS ANTECEDENTS OF TURNOVER INTENTION
2.3 ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF TURNOVER INTENTION
2.4 CONCLUSION
2.5 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3: PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING
3.1 CONCEPTUALISATION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING ATTRIBUTES
3.2 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
3.3 EVALUATION OF THE RESEARCH LITERATURE
3.4 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 4: WORKPLACE BULLYING AND TURNOVER INTENTION
4.1 WORKPLACE BULLYING
4.2 TURNOVER INTENTION
4.3 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
4.4 EVALUATION OF RESEARCH LITERATURE
4.5 THEORETICAL INTEGRATION TOWARDS A PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING PROFILE
4.6 EVALUATION
4.7 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5: EMPIRICAL STUDY
5.1 DETERMINATION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE SAMPLE
5.2 CHOOSING AND MOTIVATING THE PSYCHOMETRIC BATTERY
5.3 ETHICAL CONSIDERATION OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE PSYCHOMETRIC BATTERY
5.4 CAPTURING OF CRITERION DATA
5.5 FORMULATION OF THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
5.6 STATISTICAL PROCESSING OF THE DATA
5.7 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 6: RESEARCH RESULTS
6.1 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
6.2 CORRELATIONAL STATISTICS
6.3 INFERENTIAL (MULTIVARIATE) STATISTICS
6.4 INTEGRATION AND DISCUSSION
CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
7.1 CONCLUSIONS
7.2 LIMITATIONS
7.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
7.4 EVALUATION OF THE STUDY
7.5 CHAPTER SUMMARY
REFERENCES
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