oa Journal of Management & Administration - Factors causing employee turnover in the public service, South Africa

Volume 2018 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1728-9157



Employee turnover is harmful to the running of organisations because it affects efficiency, productivity, profitability, and innovativeness, when it occurs in the workplace. Public service departments in South Africa have been struggling with the issue of holding skilled employees, as they have been moving to better paying corporate organisations in the private sector. When employees depart from an organisation, the remaining employees tend to perform additional work until another employee is recruited. The study aims to identify factors causing employee turnover in the public service, using the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture as a reference point. It provides recommendations on how to reduce employee turnover. This was a quantitative study which adopted a descriptive survey research design. For data collection, a structured questionnaire was used that comprised closedended questions. 127 KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture (KZNDAC) employees participated in the study. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse data. The findings show that the causes of employee turnover at the KZNDAC are a lack of career advancement, lack of promotion, unsatisfactory salary, unsatisfactory working conditions, and work stress. The study concluded with establishing a number of recommendations to the KZNDAC top management, so that appropriate measures can be taken to curb employee turnover at the department and other South African public service departments.

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