N. Sylvia Naris and I. Wilfred Ukpere*
Tertiary educational institutions depend on their employees’ skills, knowledge, and abilities for efficient and effective delivery of services in order to stay abreast with new changes and to achieve the vision of the institution. Therefore, attracting and retaining skilled, employees have become an important aspect for institutions. Where there are no clear retention strategies to retain employees the ultimate goals of the institution might not be achieved. The main objective of the study was to find out reasons why staff members resign after attending development programmes, which would assist the institution to developed retention strategies, as it prepares itself to become a university of science and technology that requires more and better qualified staff. The enquiry employed a case study approach because it dealt with a specific institution in Windhoek, Namibia. A triangulation method was utilised to solicit information from academics, administrative and support staff by conducting semistructured interviews with Head of Departments (HODs) and sectional heads. A closed-ended questionnaire was distributed to 230 staff members of which 130 responded, which gave a considerable satisfactorily response rate of 65%. Research proved convincingly that there are no retention strategies in place and also no good reward systems to retain staff that attended development programmes. A total of fifty-six (56) staff members resigned from the institution after obtaining their qualification. It was evident from the interviews conducted with top management that there were no retention strategies. Employees that obtain a vertical higher degree qualify for a notch increase. However, ex-staff members noted that the notch increase was not sufficient therefore, the researcher recommended that the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) should develop a proper innovative retention strategy. The research focus is on Namibians and permanent resident staff that have been employed at the institution until July 2008 and hence excluded non- Namibians, who are appointed on contract. It will be in the best interest of PoN to conduct a study that focuses on quantifying the cost of recruitment and the cost of labour turnover. An investigation should be conducted to assess the roles that supervisors and senior management plays in employee retention. This paper offers PoN management an insight into the views of current and ex-staff members regarding employee retention. Retention is an ongoing issue that affects most tertiary educational institutions, therefore finding out the retention strategies and reasons why employees resign after obtaining their qualifications will benefit the PoN. This will ensure that an innovative retention strategy be develop in order to retain qualified employees that are in short supply for the growth and continuation of the institution.
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