Investigation on labour retention strategies adopted by Parastatals in Kenya (a case study of Kenya ports authority)
Oketch, Ezekiel Omondi
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The increasing massive exodus of employees in Kenyan parastatals either to private limited Companies or other avenues of employment has of recent raised a major concern to many organizations. This movement in and out the organizations is what is referred to as labour turnover. It is worth stating that human resources are the most valuable resources in an organization. Obtaining and maintaining productive manpower is critical to the success of every organization. One of the most fundamental functions of the human resource department is to retain employees whose performance meets the goals of the organization and to improve on the employees whose performance is unsatisfactory. Controlling the rate at which employees leave organizations is a major strategic challenge for practically many employers in Kenya. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the labour retention strategies adopted by parastatals in Kenya, specifically covering Kenya Ports Authority. In respect to this, key factor influencing labour movement trends such as training, compensation (remuneration), employee engagement, quality leadership and management and work life balance were looked in to. The study had both policy and academic significance. The research findings are expected to assist human resource practitioners, policy makers and other relevant decision makers to establish mechanisms which helped control labour turnover. Scholars may also benefit from the study since they are in a position to use the findings to expand other areas of research. The target population comprised of both the management officials and subordinate officials totaling to 500. To accurately represent the entire population in KPA, probability sampling technique and specifically stratified random sampling was adopted. Furthermore the selection of the sample from each category was done using simple random sampling. A descriptive research design was used. The researcher used questionnaires as the main data collection instrument with which he personally administered. Completed instruments were assembled, edited, coded and interpreted in relation to the research objectives. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics for quantitative data. On the other hand tables, charts and graphs were used to analyze qualitative data. With the study targeting 150 respondents, 105 questionnaires were returned amounting to a satisfactory 70% of whom a slight majority (58.095%) were male with the other 41.905% being female respondents. The study also found out that KPA had employed a relatively younger and mature labour force with majority being between 3] -35 years old. The findings also indicated that majority of the employees had worked between 11-15 years an indication that the company had adopted excellent strategies of keeping employees. Out of the investigated labour retention strategies remuneration was considered the most influential factor. However other factors were considered vital too. Despite the company having adopted a clear Training policy, training was not considered a primary motivator. On the other hand the response rate indicated that the employees were satisfied with the leadership and management of KPA. Furthermore, it was observed that the company did not fully engage the employees in decision making processes though they did allow the employees to attend to their immediate family responsibilities (work-life balance). All in all remuneration remained the most vital labour retention strategy.