Factors influencing employee turnover and engagement of staff within branch network in Absa (central region)
Ntsane, Matshediso Maureen
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The banking industry is dynamic and has developed considerably over the years. In South Africa, the competition is mainly amongst the big four banks, namely, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank. These banks not only compete for clients but also employees as well. Branch managers, sales consultants and frontline staff (tellers and customer service clerks) are very critical roles in the banks. Losing these staff members to competition results in loss of productivity during the period when no one occupies the vacant position. Over and above that, high replacement costs have to be incurred as the job has to be advertised, interviews have to be conducted and training costs of new employees have to be borne. It also takes a long time for newly appointed employees to become fully productive. The banks therefore have to gauge against the high rate of employee turnover. The realisation of the financial implication of employee turnover has forced the banks to look for other strategies to deal with these challenges. As banks are in a service-oriented industry, people are regarded as the main asset in the industry. Leveraging on people brings about the competitive advantage and assists the banks to survive the turmoil of the global economy. Research indicates that employees leave the organisations (i.e. banks) because they feel disengaged. The research objective in this study was to investigate the high turnover rate and engagement factors in the Central Region, with specific focus on Branch Network. In order to achieve this objective, a literature review was conducted to understand employee turnover and the causes thereof. Secondly, the fundamental drivers of employee engagement were construed. Thirdly, based on the causes of employee turnover and fundamental drivers/factors of engagement, quantitative questionnaires were developed that established the extent to which employees agreed with the literature review. The questionnaires used were two-fold: self-administered questionnaires and human resource-administered exit interviews questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered using non-probability sampling of employees in the Central Region (Branch Network), which comprises the Free State, North West and Northern Cape provinces. The foremost findings from the study indicated that the respondents concurred with the theoretical causes of turnover. These include heavy workload, working on unnecessary things, and insufficient time to get everything done at work. They also include doing things that should be done differently, incompatible requests from two or more people, salary packages (compensation), working conditions, not feeling secure in the current job, and lack of career advancement and growth. Although the respondents indicated that overall they were happy working at Absa, the above factors are symptoms of a workforce that is at the disengaged state. Because of that, they might leave the Branch Network for other business units within Absa or even to competitors if drastic intervention is not taken.
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