Manager relations, psychological need satisfaction and intention to leave in the agricultural sector

29 September 2014

Orientation: If South African organisations are to retain talented and skilled staff, they need to consider the psychological needs of employees and their predictors. Research purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between manager relations, the satisfaction of the psychological needs of employees and their intentions to leave. Motivation for the study: The effective retention of skilled employees is necessary in organisations in South Africa. However, studies on the psychological processes (and specifically the satisfaction of psychological needs), through which manager relations could promote the retention of staff, are necessary. Research design, approach and method: The authors used a cross-sectional survey design. They drew convenience samples of managers in agricultural organisations (N = 507) in South Africa. They administered the Manager Relations Scale, the Work-related Basic Need Satisfaction Scale and the Turnover Intention Scale. Main findings: The results confirmed a model in which manager relations affected the satisfaction of psychological needs and intentions to leave. Autonomy satisfaction mediated the relationship between manager relations and the intentions of employees to leave. Practical/managerial implications: Managers should participate in training on applying self determination theory to support the autonomy and the relatedness satisfaction of employees. Contribution/value add: This study contributes to the literature by exploring the processes through which manager relations influence the intentions of employees to leave.