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Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2016, 4, 261-268Published Online May 2016 in SciRes. 10.4236/jss.2016.45029Study on Determining Factors ofEmployee RetentionBodjrenou Kossivi1, Ming Xu1, Bomboma Kalgora212Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, ChinaSchool of Economics and Management, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, ChinaReceived 24 March 2016; accepted 27 May 2016; published 30 May 2016Copyright 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC tractEmployees are the most valuable assets of an organization. Their significance to organizationscalls for not only the need to attract the best talents but also the necessity to retain them for a longterm. This paper focuses on reviewing the findings of previous studies conducted by various researchers with the aim to identify determinants factors of employee retention. This researchclosely looked at the following broad factors: development opportunities, compensation, work-lifebalance, management/leadership, work environment, social support, autonomy, training and development. The study reached the conclusion that further investigations need to be conducted regarding employee retention to better comprehend this complex field of human resource management.KeywordsHuman Resource, Employee Retention, Determining Factors1. IntroductionEmployees have been important resources to any organization. Based on their critical character, they can betermed the life-blood of an organization. Advancement in technology has caused most organizations to be moreand more technology driven. However, this situation does not reduce the value of employees in an organizationbecause technology requires human resources to operate. With issues such as globalization, competition is becoming keener and keener in most industries. This situation also affects the job market in the sense that organization demand in human resources to remain competition in their respective industries is higher. To remain morecompetitive, organizations need therefore not to only attract the best talents but also to retain them on the job fora long term. The toughest challenge that organizations encounter nowadays is not only how to manage theHow to cite this paper: Kossivi, B., Xu, M. and Kalgora, B. (2016) Study on Determining Factors of Employee Retention.Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4, 261-268. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jss.2016.45029

B. Kossivi et al.people but also how to keep them on the job as long as possible and how to maintain them vigorous and ambitious. This study focuses on employee retention.Employee retention is concerned with keeping or encouraging employees to remain in an organization for amaximum period of time [1]. Mita (2014) defined employee retention as “a technique adopted by businesses tomaintain an effective workforce and at the same time meet operational requirements” [2]. Bidisha (2013) described it as “a process in which the employees are encouraged to remain with the organization for the maximum period of time or until the completion of the project” [1]. According to Workforce Planning for WisconsinState Government (2015), employee retention is “a systematic effort to create and foster an environment thatencourages employees to remain employed by having policies and practices in place that address their diverseneeds” [3].The objective of this literature review study is to analyze researches previous carried out in the field of employee retention to identify determining factors that are commonly identified by various researchers as the basisof their decision to stay in the organization.In the course of this research which is descriptive in nature, secondary source has been used. The types ofsecondary data used are research journals and books. Many researchers approached employee retention using agroup of individual factors such as employee motivation [4], job satisfaction [1], and organizational culture [5].However, the study analyzed retention on the basis of individual factors basis.2. Determinants of Employee Retention2.1. OverviewBack in the 1990s, Fitz-enz (1990) observed that employee commitment and retention is not determined by asingle issue but by a cluster of factors [6]. In previous researches a number of factors associated with employeeretention have been identified. Factors that are commonly cited are developmental opportunities and quality supervision, job stress and colleague stress [7]; compensation and appreciation of work done, provision of challenging work, promotion and development chances, attractive atmosphere within the organization, relationshipswith colleagues, work-life balance, communication [8] and supervision [9].According to Ghapanchi and Aurum (2011) retention factors include remuneration and benefits, training opportunities, fair and equal treatment, organizational culture [10]. While Allen and Shanock (2013) stressed onrelationship with colleague socialization [11], Andrews and Wan (2009) emphasized on management style andleadership to increase an organization retention capability [12]. A group of researchers led by Loan-Clarke(2010) noted autonomy, work-schedule flexibility and social support help organization to keep their employeesfor a longer period of time [13]. Christeen (2014) identified eight retention factors: management, conducive environment, social support and development opportunities, autonomy, compensation, crafted workload, andwork-life balance [14]. Our analysis of individual factors is mainly based on the work Christeen. In our opinion,the “crafted-sculpted workload” falls under management and leadership because it is the responsibility of management to allocate work according to the abilities of the job holder and few studies identified it as a determining factor. However, “training and development” was added on the basis of the papers we studied.2.2. Development OpportunitiesProfessional development is not a least retention cause. Hiltrop (1999) related perceived careers success and organization ability to make employees stay in their jobs [15]. Personal and professional growth is a determiningfactor of retention and promotion opportunities increases employee commitment to stay [16]. Rolfe (2005) discovered a direct correlation between job resignation and issues related to career development [17]. Arnold(2005), Herman (2005) also observed direct relationship between development opportunities and retention [18][19]. Prince (2005) also identified promotion and opportunities for growth as a significant reason for which employees decide to leave or stay in an organization and went further by identifying influential factors pertaining tocareer growth opportunities, which are: advancement plans, internal promotion and accurate career previews[20]. Retention is high where continued learning is not encouraged [21]. Daniels and his research colleagues asserted that promotion positively influences retention [22]. In organizations where the proper training is given toemployees, retention rates are high [23]. Tymon and his co-researcher, and Pitts and his research team linkedperceived career success and retention [24] [25]. Cardy and Lengnick-Hall (2011) on the one hand and Kroon262

B. Kossivi et al.and Freese (2013) on the other hand discovered that developmental opportunities can positively increase an employee’s commitment to stay in an organization [26] [27].2.3. CompensationThe relation between pay and retention has been the subject of many studies. Researchers are not unanimousabout the impact of pay on retention. For some, satisfaction with pay strongly correlates with the employee decision to stay in the organization. For others, pay does not have a direct influence on retention. In 1997 Trevorand his research team established that rise in pay increases retention capabilities of organizations [28]. Davies,Taylor, Savery (2001) are of the same viewpoint and observed that organizations, particularly those in the accommodation industry in Western Australia, do not make use of salary and benefits policies to increase retention[29]. Lambert, Lynne and Barton also reached the same conclusion in a latter research they conducted [30].Transparency of pay decisions have been cited as a booster of retention [16] [31]. Gardner, Van Dyne, andPierce (2004) did not see pay as only a motivator but also a retention technique [32]. Hytter (2007) reached theconclusion that there is correlation between retention and reward [33]. Milkovich & Newman (2004) were morespecific. They viewed monetary pay among all kinds of compensation as the most relevant factor in maintainemployee [34]. Performance related pay has been identified as retention facilitator [35]. In 2006, team of researchers led by Tremblay also observed that performance related-pay is a retention facilitator [36]. Accordingto Hausknecht, Rodda and Howard (2009) extrinsic rewards (amount of pay and other benefits) are contributorsof employee retention [37]. Pitts, Marvel and Fernandez (2011) observed that compensation is predictor of employee turnover [25]. Moncraz, Zhao and Kay (2009) were specific about the category of the workforce that reward affects most. They noted that pay reduces turnover and increases commitment among managers [23].Shields & Ward (2001), Gifford, Zammuto and Goodman (2002), and Hayes et al. (2006) noted that rewardon its own does not constitute an important retention factor. Improved compensation can only increase retentioncapability in a short-term. For organizations to be more efficient in their attempt to make more employees stayin the organization for a long period improved compensation should be coupled with quality of work life whichthis group of researchers identified as a long-term factor [38]-[40]. Ellenbecker (2004) demonstrated that wagerates, especially among nurses, only have remote impact on retention [41].2.4. Work-Life BalanceWork-life balance is becoming gradually more central for employees and tends to affect employees’ decision tostay in organization. Nowadays employees long for flexible work schedules which allow them to take care ofboth their personal and professional life [41]. The balance between personal and professional lives is determinedby the amount of sacrifice the individual is ready to make at the expense of other areas of life. Loan-Clarke, Arnold, Coombs, Hartley, and Bosley (2010) observed that a job that gives the holder the possibility to fulfillhis/her family responsibilities increases employee retention [13]. Some employees first focus on the professionalcareer and subsequently devote more time to other areas of their lives which was named the phenomenon of“downshifting” [42]. Kyndt, Dochy, Michielsen, and Moeyaert (2009) laid emphasis on the significance of a“healthy balance” [43]. As far as relationship between retention and work-life balance is concerned, Lener,Roehrs, and Piccone (2006) are of the view that employers should implement a “harmonious” balance to improve retention [44]. Osman (2013) found that offering emotional support to employees through work-life balance reduces their intention to quit their job [45]. Mita, Aarti & Ravneeta (2014) observed a direct relation between employees’ decision to stay and work-life balance [2].2.5. Management/LeadershipVarious studies noted that the way people are managed and the leadership style have direct influence on an organization ability to maintain its workforce. Eisenberger, Fasolo, Davis-LaMastro (1990) argued that the wayemployees view an organization is particularly dependent on their relationship with their supervisor [46]. McNeese-Smith (1995) found that the attitude of a hospital manager increase employee commitment to the organization [47]. The research of Kaye and Jordan-Evans (2002) laid emphasis on the fact a manager should be “agood boss” to impact retention positively [48]. Duffield and O’Brien-Pallas (2003) were more specific in theway leadership and retention correlate and viewed participative leadership style as a contributing factor of263

B. Kossivi et al.employee retention [49]. Kroon and Freese (2013) are also of the view that participative leadership style plays asignificant role in employee retention [27]. Andrews and Wan (2009) were less specific about the particularstyle of leadership that positively impacts the capability of an organization to make its employees stay. However,they noted that management plays a determinant role in employee retention and established that there is a directcorrelation between employee retention and manager behavior. The impact of management on employee retention can be viewed from two perspectives: leadership style and management support [14]. Involvement of employee in decision making motivates them to stay in an organization [36]. Noah (2008) observed that participation in decision-making process makes employees feel they are part of the organization and this increases loyalty and retention [50].As far as support is concerned, Eisenberger, Stinglhamber, Vandenberghe, Sucharski and Rhoades (2002),and Paillé (2013) observed that management support is even more important than the organizational one [51][52]. According to Ellett, Ellis, Westbrook and Dews (2007) “supportive, quality supervision” and “leadershipthat values employees” has a positive impact on retention [53]. Joo (2010) mentioned the fact of being supervised in a supportive manner is a contributor to retention [54]. Tymon, Stumpf, and Smith (2011) as well asMignonac and Richebé (2013) identified supportive supervision from managers as a contributing factor to employee retention [24] [55]. Other researchers who observe the same relationship between perceived managementsupport and retention [9] [16] [25] [56].2.6. Work EnvironmentA conducive