Variables influencing the retention of designated employees in a platinum mine
Retention of key employees is becoming an increasingly important challenge faced by many organisations. With every employee that leaves the company, cost of recruitment and appointment, as well as training and development cost subsequent to that, are lost. The situation is aggravated by the fact that it is usually the higher performing employee who is more mobile from a career point of view, or the employee who has completed his/her training and who is more marketable, that is lost to the organisation. To effectively retain workers, employers must know which factors motivate their employees to stay on and which factors cause them to leave. The general research objective was to determine variables that influence the retention of designated employees within a platinum mine. A qualitative research design was used. Twenty four designated employees were selected randomly from the following occupations in the mining career path, namely Crew Captain in training, Crew Captain, Learner Official and Shift Supervisor. A qualitative measuring instrument, based on the phenomenological paradigm, was used to determine employees' perceptions of retention of designated employees. Content analysis was used to analyse, quantify, and interpret the research data. The results indicated that designated employees are poached by competitor companies; that designated employees leave for better payment or benefits; that they value opportunities for growth and development; that the Crew Captain title, job content and job category cause employees to be unhappy; that designated employees leave after receiving training and development; that they do not feel valued or listened to; that they are unhappy with accommodation benefits and the bonus system; that they are managed by fear; that job security makes designated employees to stay; that they leave due to poor benefits; that they are in general dissatisfied with the company; that work and safety conditions are good; that designated employees experience a lot of work pressure; that they value family responsibility; that designated employees with limited education stay; and that they experience racial discrimination. Recommendations for future research are also made.