Retention of Black skills at an electronic engineering company in KwaZulu-Natal.
The responsibility of companies to address racial demographic workforce imbalances, created by the past Apartheid government, coupled with changes in legislation, have encouraged businesses need for transformation. However, a major shortage of black skills, especially at technical and management levels in the engineering sector, has seen organisations facing the challenge to fulfil government requirements, or risk being penalised. With skilled black employees in high demand, companies are now faced with exigent challenges to attract and retain suitable candidates in order to be competitive within their industries. Objectives of this study was to identify and assess the impact that key retention factors have on retention of black managers and technically skilled black employees, at an electronic engineering company in the Kwazulu-Natal, and to measure the perception of these employees with regard to employment opportunities external to the company. In order to achieve these objectives, a research strategy was put in place. A quantitative research approach was chosen and a sample of a total of 59 black employees, comprising of managers and technically skilled staff were invited to participate in the survey. Statistical analysis of the data collated revealed that while there were many facets of employee retention that were lacking, the most important factor, which was identified as remuneration, together with employee perception of external job opportunities, acted very positively towards staff retention. This study concluded that the company was well positioned when it came to employee retention, however, it identified risk that should conditions in the external job market change, this could rapidly transition the company negatively regarding its employee retention efforts. Finally the study makes suggestions of factors within the organisation that negatively impact on employee retention, highlighting that these factors may also be contributing to poor organisational performance.
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