A structured model of talent management for nurses in the North West Province Hospitals
Molefi, Molefakgotla Alex
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South Africa is currently facing a significant problem in attracting and retaining quality professional nurses in provincial hospitals. Some research in South Africa has showed that nurses leave for a variety of reasons such as an inadequate salary, staff shortages, and insufficient personnel to handle the workload, frequent interruptions, fellow workers not doing their jobs and poorly motivated coworkers. Insufficient work support has negative consequences for the well-being of nurses and their subsequent ability to deliver a quality service for the public. The main objective of this research was to develop a structured model for the talent management of professional nurses in North-West Provincial hospitals. A cross-sectional research design was followed with questionnaires distributed to a purpos1ve convenience sample of professional nurses in the North-West Province. An adapted version of the Talent Management Measure, Psychological contract inventory, the Maslach-Burnout Inventory, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, General Health Questionnaire and Dispositional Employability Measure were administered. Statistical analyses were done with the aid of SPSS and included descriptive statistics (i.e. frequencies, means, skewness and kurtosis), exploratory factor analyses, reliability analyses, Pearson correlation analyses, linear and multiple regression analyses and Manova analyses. From the results it is clear that the respondents perceived that talent management practices are applied poorly in public hospitals. Some of the most problematic issues include lack of talent commitment, proper staffing levels and retention strategies. The results also indicate poor performance management systems and workforce planning. The results of the Manova analyses showed that nurses working for more than 51 hours a work week experienced poorer performance management and talent retention practices compared to those working between 21 to 30 hours and 31 to 40 hours in a work week From the mean scores it was evident that nurses felt that they had a11 average level of psychological obligation towards their workplace. From the scores, however, one could deduce that nurses do not have a short-term orientation towards their employment and felt they have an obligation to remain within the hospital. From the average scores it is was further evident that nurses do not have high expectations of their employers. As regards work wellness of nurses, the mean scores showed an average to high level of burnout, work engagement and levels of work engagement and ill-health. The exhaustion. and mental distance components of burnout were significant positive predictors of the physical and psychological ill-health of nurses. Work engagement was a significant positive predictor of physical ill-health of nurses. The results further showed that nurses experience average levels of dispositional employability relating to openness to change, resilience and career proactivity. The results of the Manova analyses showed that employees working between 41 to 50 hours a week were more proactive in their work compared to those working 11 to 20 hours in a week. Furthermore, nurses with fewer opportunities for promotion were less open to change compared to those with more chances for promotion The final results showed that a structured model of talent management for nurses can be developed based on the mediation and cause effects between talent management, dispositional employability and ill-health, talent management, work wellness and ill-health and talent management, psychological contract and ill-health. In this study dispositional employability, work wellness and psychological contract mediated the interactive relationship between talent management and ill-health. The results of this study highlight the problematic nature of the application of talent management practices for nurses in public sector hospitals. Public sector managers should take cognizance of these results as poor talent management practices can increase turnover intentions of nurses. A psychological contract of nurses between them and the employer amplifies the extent to which their relationship has become formalized. However, formal procedures are often deficient and ineffective in explaining this relationship of employments. The findings furthermore provide a valuable insight into the current status of burnout and engagement of nurses in the public sector and what interventions can be used in dealing with the problem. Recommendations were that employees and employers should be more aware of the implications of poor management of talent that may lead to psychological contract breach, low dispositional employability, and poor work wellness conditions and might lead to both psychological and physical ill-health outcomes when left unchecked.