An investigation into the retention strategies of two large banks towards affirmative action employees in Kwazulu-Natal.
Ferreira, George Michael.
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Affirmative Action has been around in South Africa for about two decades. Recently, the government decided to impose Affirmative Action through the Employment Equity Act. Organisations are anxious to transform their demographical composition across job categories, particularly into management. One of the problems organisations faced in the past and may continue to face in the future is the perceived short tenure ('Job hopping") of black employees. The impression has been created that black employees are taking advantage of the favourable employment market and constantly keep moving on to jobs that offer better packages. The aim of this study is to investigate how organisations are trying to manage this problem . Five Human Resources systems/criteria i.e. selection, training and development, career management, pay and socialisation were identified in the theory as instruments with which employees could be retained. in-depth case studies were conducted at two large banks (A and B) in Kwazulu Natal to establish and compare the relationships that these human resources criteria might have with the retention of black employees. To obtain this information, a structured interview schedule with open-ended as well as closed-ended questions was used. Face to face interviews with a senior Human Resources Practitioner from each bank as well as two current and two exemployees from each bank were conducted. The resulting data was captured onto a computer and analysed statistically. The results of the research showed that the bank that scored the best (bank A) on the implementation of these five retention-related criteria also had the highest turnover of black employees. This was contrary to what was anticipated. The research also found that there was little uniformity in practice between the two banks regarding which criteria they were emphasising within their respective organisations. Furthermore, current and ex-employees bad different perceptions to management regarding how well these criteria were being implemented. The findings suggest that when employees are developing they are content and tend to stay longer. They further indicate that in order to reduce black employee turnover, management should recruit individuals with potential and develop them, rather than purchasing skills from the outside. The findings also show that whilst management might have good Human Resources systems at it's disposal, the implementation thereof needs to be of a high standard and well-controlled in order to optimise retention.