Leadership expectations, engagement and intention to leave
Khwela, Nonjabulo Pruttia Amanda
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Due to globalisation and resulting work mobility, organisations are forced to compete for talented people. As a result organisations are starting to realise the importance of their human capital, human capital is viewed as the greatest contributor to organisational success. This is evident through the war for talent throughout the world. All organisations are fighting to have the best people as it is believed that talented people add value to the bottom line of the business and give the business a competitive edge. In an attempt to retain talented people, the needs and expectations of these people must be taken seriously. The main research objective of the study was to investigate leadership expectations (what employees expect from their leaders), to what extent their expectations are met and the impact of these leadership expectations on work engagement and intention to leave. In the study, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were utilised to achieve the objectives. Focus groups in each department of the factory were utilised to gather information on what employees expect from their leaders. Employees were interviewed and open ended questions were utilised to give employees an opportunity to express themselves. The information gathered from the focus groups was utilised to design a new leadership expectations checklist. The aim of this checklist is to measure leadership expectations and the extent to which those expectations are met. A total sample of 156 (n =156) employees took part in the research. The result of the study indicated that employees consider the following expectations as important: Relationship with supervisor (ranked as first); Appreciation of good work and Regular feedback (both ranked second); Support from supervisor (ranked third); 2 Communication (ranked fourth) ; Studying further (ranked fifth) ; Independence (ranked sixth); and Coaching (ranked seventh). Results further indicate that leadership expectation met does predict engagement, the more the leadership expectations are met the more the engaged the employees become. Regarding turnover there was a negative relationship between leadership expectation and turnover. Recommendation to the organisation and for future research were made.