Original Research

The relationship between talent management, job satisfaction and voluntary turnover intentions of employees in a selected government institution

Nicolene E. Barkhuizen, Bongekile Gumede
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1396 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1396 | © 2021 Nicolene E. Barkhuizen, Bongekile Gumede | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 May 2020 | Published: 25 February 2021

About the author(s)

Nicolene E. Barkhuizen, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Bongekile Gumede, Southern Business School, Krugersdorp, South Africa


Introduction: Talent management plays an essential role in the retention of competent employees in the workplace.

Research purpose: The main objective of this research was to determine the relationship between talent management, job satisfaction and voluntary turnover intentions of employees in a selected South African government institution.

Motivation for the study: Talent management research within the context of South African government institutions has yet to reach its full potential.

Research design, approach, and method: This study followed a quantitative research design. Data was collected from employees at the head office of the selected government institution (N = 208). A Talent management measure, job satisfaction questionnaire and a voluntary turnover intention questionnaire were distributed.

Findings: The results showed a weak leadership talent mindset. Talent management practices such as talent development, performance management, talent retention strategies and compensation practices were poorly applied. Almost half of the sample was dissatisfied with their jobs, whilst 68% considered quitting their jobs. Talent management practices were significantly related to job satisfaction and voluntary turnover intentions. Job satisfaction moderated the relationship between talent management and voluntary turnover intentions.

Management implications: Government leaders are encouraged to adopt a talent mindset that will instil a talent culture where talented individuals are allowed to add value and contribute to the success of the institution.

Value add: This research adds to the limited body of research done on talent management in the public sector context.

Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of talent management in contributing to critical individual outcomes required for sustainable government institutions.


government institutions; job satisfaction; leadership talent mindset; talent management; voluntary turnover intentions


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