Retention and the psychological contract : the case of financial practitioners within the Limpopo Provincial Treasury

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    The retention of scarce skilled employees is one of the major challenges affecting public service delivery. Retaining scarce skilled employees in organisations is not always strategically prioritised, despite the cost of turnover to the employer. The article is the product of research which describes the nature of the psychological contract and analyses the extent to which the Limpopo Provincial Treasury (LPT) is able to retain financial practitioners (scarce skilled employees) by focusing upon issues such as career development, motivation and attachment. The LPT faces serious staff turnover rates in scarce skilled employees, specifically pertaining to young internal auditors, which has resulted in unmet targets over the past 10 years. In this research, a questionnaire survey was used to collect data. The questionnaire comprised both closed- and open-ended questions designed to determine employee perceptions regarding the retention of scarce skilled employees. The questionnaire was distributed to 60 core employees in the LPT. The target population included internal auditors, risk management practitioners, internal control practitioners, financial management practitioners, information technology specialists, revenue management practitioners, accountants and economists. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics in the SPSS software packages, while qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The results revealed that the employee morale, the lack of promotion opportunities and inadequate resource allocations were the main causes for retention failure. The research resulted in recommendations put forward for the development of an integrated human resource management policy aligned to retention through an intensive resource allocation strategy.