About the Author(s)


Motlokoe P. Mampuru Email symbol
Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Bakae A. Mokoena symbol
Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Anthony K. Isabirye symbol
Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Citation


Mampuru, M.P., Mokoena, B.A., & Isabirye, A.K. (2024). Training and development impact on job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academics. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 22(0), a2420. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2420

Research Project Registration:

Project Number: 04122019

Original Research

Training and development impact on job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academics

Motlokoe P. Mampuru, Bakae A. Mokoena, Anthony K. Isabirye

Received: 24 Aug. 2023; Accepted: 12 Oct. 2023; Published: 24 Jan. 2024

Copyright: © 2024. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Orientation: Extreme competition among institutions of higher learning was one of the difficulties that universities of technology (UoTs) had to overcome in order to enter the higher education system. This study examined the influence of training and development on job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academic staff at a selected university of technology.

Research purpose: The study investigated how training and development impact job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academics.

Motivation for the study: The competitive nature of the academic sector inspired universities to strive to attract and retain talented faculty members. Training and development programmes are considered potential tools to enhance job satisfaction, loyalty and retention, but empirical evidence is needed to support this relationship.

Research approach/design and method: This study used a quantitative research methodology with a non-probability convenience sample (n = 270) of academics within the selected university utilising self-administered structured questionnaires to collect data.

Main findings: The regression analysis revealed positive significant predictive relationships between training and development programmes and job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academic staff.

Practical/managerial implications: Findings imply that universities should prioritise the development of tailored training initiatives that address the specific needs and aspirations of their academic staff. Training interventions can foster a positive work environment and enhance staff members’ commitment and long-term engagement, ultimately improving the overall quality and reputation of the institution.

Contribution/value-add: The study provided evidence-based insights to inform policies related to training and development programmes for both academics and institutions of higher education administrators.

Keywords: academics; higher education institutions; job satisfaction; loyalty; retention; training and development.

Introductory background

Although training and development are such an essential aspect of higher education, little is known about its impact on academics’ teaching practices. When considering the impact training and development has on academics, it must be meaningful to take academics’ job satisfaction, loyalty and retention into account. As Machado-Taylor (2014) suggests, academics must be efficient and pleased when providing teaching and conducting research and when they help both students and the institutions (Moloantoa, 2015). For this reason, it is critical that higher education institutions (HEIs) strive to keep satisfied academics to realise effective performance. This study was created to determine the impact of training and development on job satisfaction, loyalty and retention among academics at a university of technology in light of the aforementioned observation.

This study makes the case that academics who are content with their work perform better when it comes to carrying out their responsibilities (Tizikara & Mugizi, 2017). Indeed, Moloantoa and Dorasamy (2017) note that one element required to foster inspiration, responsibility and lower staff turnover is job satisfaction. On the other hand, institutions are likely to experience greater employee turnover and unanticipated costs associated with hiring and training new personnel in situations where employees, in this case academics, are not satisfied (Theron et al., 2014).

Tizikara and Mugizi (2017) emphasise the need to eradicate employee unhappiness at work in light of the aforementioned circumstances. This study makes the case that employee training and development could be a useful strategy in reducing workplace dissatisfaction. Employees trained to acquire the required skills and abilities, not only become effective performers but are also satisfied with their effective performance and are inspired to stay with their employer (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Terera and Ngirande (2014) accentuates that workplace without training and development programmes for the employees renders employees unable to cope in their work. This might force early retirement for workers.

Hanaysha (2016) postulates that research on the effects of education, training and development on academics’ job satisfaction, loyalty and retention is minimal. Meanwhile, Agyei (2014) acknowledges that trained and developed employees are inspired to work effectively, with improved job satisfaction and intentions to keep their occupations. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to ascertain how training and development might affect academic employees’ job happiness, loyalty and retention at a university of technology. The study will clarify how retention and loyalty relate to one another.

Literature review

The social identity theory (SIT), the social exchange theory (SET) and Herzberg’s two-factor theory were all used as the foundation for this study. Herzberg’s two-factor theory examines human psychological needs, indicating what motivates employees and what provides hygiene as well as employees’ well-being at work (Radhakrishnan et al., 2016). It was developed to identify the causes of both job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among employees in their various occupations (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). According to the hypothesis, cleanliness and motivational elements play a role in both job happiness and discontent. While ‘hygiene factors’ refer to elements that, when absent, lead to dissatisfaction, motivational elements are inherent to the nature of the task. Hygiene elements are extrinsic and include things like money, status, security, business policy and administration, working environment, supervision and interpersonal interactions (Franek et al., 2014). On the other hand, intrinsic motivational factors are those that are inherent to the task and include success, reward for success, accountability, the work itself and growth or advancement (Radhakrishnan et al., 2016). In the context of this study, developing and training staff would act as a motivational element. Regarding the SIT, it is stated that individuals seek to categorise other people based on qualities such as educational level as a form of self-comparison. The fundamental tenet of the social identity perspective is that individuals, in this case academics, tend to pursue educational goals in order to strengthen their sense of self and assimilate into social groups that they share characteristics with. This develops a person’s social identity, which is his or her understanding of belonging to a specific social group and the significance of that membership. Wilkins et al. (2015) say that it is likely that identification with an organisation or a group of employees promotes preservation for and commitment to that organisation, in addition to boosting job satisfaction. Meanwhile, Radhakrishnan et al. (2016) agree that job satisfaction has a favourable and significant effect on work loyalty. In addition to putting in a lot of effort to earn their pay, loyal employees are dedicated to the growth of the business and are prepared to work there for many years. These workers frequently put the needs of the firm before their own while working to advance both personally and professionally. The SET was frequently cited by the academics in order to explain the notion of employee retention. In accordance with the social exchange hypothesis, a person will assess the benefits of a social engagement against its costs (positive outcomes). These expenses and benefits may be tangible things like cash, time or services. As a result, SET suggests that employees value employment rewards that reflect the employer’s choices rather than those that are the result of outside processes (Birtch et al., 2016). Additionally, an employer motivates staff to remain in the position by demonstrating concern for their physical and psychological well-being by fostering a tranquil social atmosphere and a supportive work environment (Nunkoo, 2016). As a result, employees are less likely to leave their jobs the more they believe their employers are enhancing their career-related development initiatives (Kashyap & Rangnekar, 2014). This idea also affirms that the employer’s policies and procedures continue to be the cornerstone of any employer’s help to employees. Organisational policies and practices that assist employees also motivate them to be loyal to the employer (Nunkoo, 2016). The employee is urged to stay with the organisation once they are happy with the employer’s policies and practices (Kashyap & Rangnekar, 2014).

It is obvious that there is a relationship between the four different conceptions as indicated in the conceptual model in Figure 1 based on the relationships as captured in the three investigated models.

FIGURE 1: Conceptual model: The relationship between training and development, job satisfaction, employee loyalty and retention.

Based on the relationships as captured in the three explored models, it is evident that there is a relationship between the four different constructs as reflected in the conceptual model in Figure 1.

Figure 1 indicates the relationships between training and development, job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. These relationships will further be explored in the sections that ensue.

Training and development

While training and development relate to recognised education and support activities of improvements aimed at preparing and developing people (Hanaysha, 2016), the two terms are separate activities in terms of their structures and aims (Nischithaa & Rao, 2014). According to Yamoah (2014:142), training refers to any educational duty intended to enhance knowledge and skills for occupational purposes. It represents the process of learning used to support workers in acquiring work-related skills, knowledge and attitudes (Terera & Ngirande, 2014). On the other hand, development refers to a process in which employees participate in improvement activities that facilitate the realisation of advanced competence for individual progress (Agyei, 2014:13). This process entails systematic determinations that have a positive impact on people’s knowledge and abilities for individual progress in the current and future occupations (Nischithaa & Rao, 2014). In the context of this study, the two constructs denote to any activities related to performance appraisal, workshop training, on-the-job training, in-service training (IST), job shadowing, career management, mentoring and coaching.

Through performance appraisal, the efficacy of workers’ performance is assessed periodically to establish whether the performance meets the institutions’ overall objectives and aims. Indeed, Khan et al. (2017) note that through performance appraisal employees are directed and influenced to develop their job-related efforts that assist organisations in attaining their designed purposes. Regarding workshop training, employees are trained through practical involvements (Ldama & Bazza, 2015) so that they can realise organisational effectiveness (Asiyai, 2016). Higher education institutions make use of workshop training to help staff to improve their job-related performance. Through workshop training, big numbers of staff can be trained at once, enabling the institution to offer training to a sizeable number of academics. Unlike workshop training, the general aim of on-the-job training (OJT) is to improve competencies and behaviour of the workers to encourage effective overall performance. According to De Chavez et al. (2016:54), workers’ morals and confidence can also be developed through OJT interventions, ensuring functional, advanced and competitive professionalism within organisations.

As a genre of training, IST entails systematic attempts to arrange the organisational training needs in relation to the expectations of the workers (Nayeri et al., 2017). It was noted (Asiyai, 2016) that IST guarantees continuous learning of academics. In addition, Nwokeiwu (2013) describes that IST programmes inculcate competent attitudes, effectiveness, confidence and acceptable behaviours among academics; constructively ensuring academics’ individual skills, loyalty and organisational reliability. Regarding job shadowing programmes, novice academics are paired with experienced ones to gain knowledge of work procedures in a particular job (Agyei, 2014). Thus, job shadowing programmes enable new employees to quickly get used to their new occupations. As for coaching and mentoring, employees are exposed to short-term performance improvement programme for a particular competence level, whereas mentoring involves a long-term relationship to identify and support an individual with potential for development (Milgo et al., 2014).

Apart from the fore going interventions, academics could also be trained through career management programmes (Nischithaa & Rao, 2014). Through career management, human capital should be nurtured and stimulated. According to Armstrong and Taylor (2014:270), career management as a process must be linked to the organisational career planning to offer organisations an influx of needed competencies. This would further inspire individuals to strive for self-development, advancement and success (Agyei, 2014).

Moreover, existing literature explores various observations regarding the benefits of training and development. A study by Oosthuizen et al. (2016) indicates that training and development programmes stimulate workers’ job-related satisfaction. Meanwhile, Moloantoa and Dorasamy (2017) note that job satisfaction remains the basic element to inspire motivation, accountability and loyalty among employees. Loyalty outlines one’s preparedness to willingly become committed towards organisational obligations. Further literature review exposed (Terera & Ngirande, 2014) that employees who are not loyal to their employer are prone to leave their occupations.

Against the above exploration of the constructs associated with training and development, the researchers in this case argue that training and development influences academic’s job satisfaction, loyalty to their institutions and retentions.

Based on the foregoing discussion, it can be maintained that training and development can have a positive impact on job satisfaction by providing employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently, increasing their self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment and offering opportunities for career growth and development. In this regard, the following hypotheses can be captured as:

Hypothesis 1: The more training an employee receives, the higher their job satisfaction will be.

This hypothesis suggests that there is appositive relationship between the amount of training an employee receives and their level of job satisfaction.

Employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction remains a vital aspect in contributing towards the understanding of an employee’s emotional circumstance about both the work and the place of work (Kerdngern & Thanitbenjasith, 2017). Employee satisfaction represents a purpose of the degree to which an individual worker’s needs are fulfilled in the work (Jhajharia & Gupta, 2015). Once their needs are satisfied, Kuo (2015) discloses that workers become liable to create emotional commitment towards the employer and remain loyal to the employer’s policies. This means that job satisfaction can have a positive impact on employee loyalty as it increases their job commitment, reducing employee turnover and improving their overall performance. When employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are more likely to remain with the organisation for a longer period, be more engaged in their work and contribute positively to the organisation’s success. Based on this observation, the following hypothesis can be stated:

Hypothesis 2: Employees who are more satisfied with their jobs will demonstrate higher levels of loyalty to the organisation.

The hypothesis suggests that there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and employee loyalty.

Employee loyalty

Based on its influence towards the employee–organisation relationship, employee loyalty remains the centre of attention for the analysis of human resource applications (Murali et al., 2017). In substantiating the above view, Milgo et al. (2014) sanction that employee loyalty is necessary to simplify mutual benefit between the employer and the employee. BinBakr and Ahmed (2015) put forward a guidance that organisations should not merely rely on the abilities of their workforce but also on how loyalty among the workforce is developed. According to Agyei (2014:11), training and development programmes develop workers’ contentment, improving their competences, making them more loyal, committed and supportive towards their organisation. On the same note, Radhakrishnan et al. (2016) admit that trained and developed employees have greater affective organisational commitment as opposed to those without training. In support of the above assertions, Hussain and Ishak (2017) are of the view that better production, enhanced job excellence, improved enthusiasm and loyalty, more determination and co-operation are achieved through well-designed training and development programmes.

There is need to note that employee loyalty and employee retention are closely related. While employee loyalty refers to the level of commitment and dedication an employee has towards their organisation, employee retention refers to the ability of the organisation to retain its employees over time. When employees are loyal to the organisation, they are more likely to remain with that organisation for a longer period, which in turn can lead to higher employee retention rates. Against the preceding explanation the following hypothesis is captured:

Hypothesis 3: Employees who demonstrates higher levels of loyalty to the organisation are more likely to be retained by the organisation.

The hypothesis suggests that there is a positive relationship between employee loyalty and employee retention.

Employee retention

Employee retention is a required organisational strategy to prevent untimely exits that result in additional amount of work and pressure on the remaining workforce, thus increasing job dissatisfaction and more intentions to leave (Terera & Ngirande, 2014). The ability to draw and keep excellent personnel is important for organisational functionality and achievement (Coetzee et al., 2016). However, losing experienced staff is a risky practice that will cripple any organisation’s existence. This is because every organisation deeply depends on its workers’ work knowledge and experience to be successful.

Organisations lose knowledgeable workers through dismissal, retirement, turnover, merger and acquisition (Belete, 2018). Therefore, it is essential for any employer to know the costs of losing knowledgeable employees and the importance of keeping them. As Bhattacharyya (2015) points out, the likelihood to lose expert staff has intensified the reputation among employers to retain their skilled workforce. Subsequently, by keeping valued personnel organisations’ existence becomes possible in the active job-related environment. However, it is only through a blameless employee retention strategy that organisations can assist in the development and keeping of skilful employees (Premalatha, 2017).

There is need to note that employees will decide to stay and continue working for the organisation if they are satisfied. This means that job satisfaction can have a positive impact on employee retention by reducing the likelihood of employees leaving the organisation. When employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are less likely to seek out other employment opportunities and are more likely to remain committed to the organisation. In this case, the following hypothesis is stated.

Hypothesis 4: Employees who are more satisfied with their jobs are more likely to stay with the organisation.

The hypotheses suggest that there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and employee retention.

Methodology

Research and sample design

A combination of a descriptive and causal research strategy was deemed necessary to achieve the goals of the empirical study. The causal design was intended to capture the causal or predictive link between the variables, whereas the descriptive design concentrated on capturing the traits or demographic profile of respondents (Kothari, 2004). Based on the research goals and objectives, a quantitative approach was used to direct the study to its real statistical estimations (Babbie, 2014).

Sample and population

The target audience was limited to professors at the chosen university who were both male and female, who had been employed there permanently for at least 3 years and were familiar with how the organisation operated. To quickly choose qualified participants for this study’s data collection, a non-probability selection technique was adopted. To satisfy the requirements of representativeness for the study, a sample size of 300 academics was deemed sufficient. This is in line with Pallant’s (2020) proposal that sufficient sample sizes for multivariate analyses like regression analysis be between 250 and 400.

Research tool

When compared to other data-collection tools, a close-ended, structured self-administered questionnaire was created as it was thought to be simple to handle, cost-effective and have a high response rate. In addition, scales from earlier studies that had been modified to match the current research’s objectives for measuring all of the constructs were included in the questionnaire. A, B, C, D and E were the five sections that made up the questionnaire. The questionnaire’s Section A, which had seven multiple-choice questions, was designed to elicit demographic data from respondents. Five items from Schmidt (2004) that were modified for Section B were used to evaluate training and development. To measure job satisfaction in Section C, five items from Spector (1985) were modified. Four items taken from Savareikiene and Daugirdas (2009) in Section D tested loyalty. To assess respondents’ intentions to stay in their current jobs, Section E used five items modified from Lambert and Hogan (2009); Nancarrow et al. (2014). In Sections B through E of the research constructs, multiple scales were used to examine issues of common technique bias in scale development, including Likert and semantic differential scales.

Methodology for gathering data

The study’s primary data came from a cross-sectional field survey. Data were gathered from the institution’s four academic faculties on various days and times of the week in order to randomise the data-gathering procedure. The majority of the time, participants answered the questionnaire at their convenience and the fieldworkers collected it at a scheduled time. The respondents were made aware of the study’s objectives, and their participation was voluntary because no incentives were provided. Between May and July 2022, the main survey was administered on campus, resulting in the distribution of 300 questionnaires altogether. However, a total of 280 completed questionnaires with 10 half-finished were returned. As a result, 270 of the 280 responses (response rate: 93%) were usable for the final analysis.

Statistical analysis

The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 27.0 was used to analyse the data. The profile of the academics was reported using descriptive analysis. To test the hypothesis, correlation and regression analyses were used to look at correlations and predictor relationships among the research constructs. A strong positive correlation was recorded between training and development and job satisfaction (r = 0.471, p < 0.01) refers to Table 1. Job satisfaction showed a positive relationship with retention (r = 0.584), and the association was significant (p = 0.000), indicating that an improvement in job satisfaction is directly related to an improvement in retention. Another significant positive relationship between job satisfaction and loyalty (r = 0.618, p < 0.01) proved that improved job satisfaction will result in improved loyalty. Lastly, the relationship between loyalty and retention (r = 0.666, p < 0.01) was found to be positive and significant, meaning that loyalty has a direct effect on retention.

TABLE 1: Correlational matrix.

Results

Sample compositions

The sample composition shows an equal representation of the sexes (n = 135; 50%). Most respondents (54.1%) were Africans, and the largest group of respondents (34.4%; n = 93) were between the ages of 40 and 49. The majority of responders (48.9%; n = 132) hold master’s or doctoral-level degrees, followed by postgraduate degrees in honours or business technology (21.5%; n = 58). The bulk of responders (75.6%, n = 204) verified having more than 10 years of job experience.

Reliability and validity

In this work, the internal consistency of the measurement tool was evaluated using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2013). Cronbach’s alpha values from the study ranged from 0.918 to 0.964, significantly over the threshold of 0.70 established by Heale and Twycross (2015).

All of the measurement items’ item-to-total values exceeded the threshold of 0.5, confirming the measurement items’ coherence (Pallant, 2016). To improve face and content validity, the questionnaire was pre-tested and piloted with 40 respondents, as recommended by Malhotra (2010). By calculating the scale items’ Cronbach alpha coefficients, construct validity was evaluated. All these values are above the acceptable threshold of 0.7. Examining the inter-construct correlation matrix allowed for the evaluation of discriminant validity. As shown in Table 2, the study components’ inter-correlation coefficients were all below the accepted threshold of 0.8 (Fraering & Minor, 2006), demonstrating the achievement of discriminant validity. Finally, the t-values and beta coefficients were examined to determine the predictive validity. Positive significant correlations between the study’s dependent and independent variables were found, as shown in Table 3, Table 4, Table 5 and Table 6 on regression analysis.

TABLE 2: Scale reliability and validity.
TABLE 3: Regression model 1.
TABLE 4: Regression model 2.
TABLE 5: Regression model 3.
TABLE 6: Regression model 4.
Test for association (direction and strength)

In order to examine whether two or more variables are in some way associated with one another, a correlation analysis procedure was employed (Babbie, 2014). In this study, Spearman correlation coefficient was chosen as the ideal statistical co-efficient because of the data that were not normally distributed; in other words, it tends to be non-parametric in nature (Iacobucci & Churchill, 2002). This test statistic is used to ascertain the existence of an association among the study constructs as well as the strength and direction of that association (Creswell, 2009). Table 1 presents the study’s results of the correlations analysis.

All correlation permutations show strong positive connections that are both practical and significant at the 0.01 level. The relationships between loyalty and retention and work satisfaction are correlated most highly (r = 0.666), followed by retention and training and development (r = 0.537) and loyalty and training and development (r = 0.471). Regarding the correlations between the research constructs, the study’s conclusions are consistent with those of earlier studies.

Following that, co-linearity diagnostics checks were made in an effort to validate the linear regression models’ conventions. In order to uncover issues of multicollinearity that were clearly visible in a correlation matrix, Field’s (2005) rules were first applied with correlations greater than 0.80 (Table 1). None of the correlations in the set were greater than 0.80. Secondly, tolerance statistics and the variance inflation factor (VIF) were looked at. According to Pallant (2016:152), a VIF of <10 and tolerance values of > 0.10 would suggest the potential of multicollinearity. The tolerance statistic and VIF values were both equal to 1.00 (see Table 3, Table 4, Table 5 and Table 6), indicating that the data set did not exhibit collinearity. These results indicate that multicollinearity does not appear to be an issue in the study; hence the data were deemed appropriate for linear regression analysis.

Regression analysis

The degree to which a single dependent variable is affected by a linear independent variable (explanatory or predictive variable) is measured by linear regression (Kumari & Yadav, 2018). Finding the strength of the link between the independent (represented by X in the equation) and dependent (represented by Y in the equation) variables is important for predicting the value of the dependent variable in particular research (Leedy & Ormrod, 2014).

Discussion

The regression model 1’s output showed that the adjusted R2 (coefficient of determination) was 0.219. This shows that training and development account for about 22% of the variation in work satisfaction. Furthermore, the regression model’s 76.402 big F statistic confirms the model’s suitability for determining the predictive association between the research constructs. On the one hand, a co-efficient of β = 0.471; t = 8.741; p < 0.05 on job satisfaction was found for training and development. On the other hand, the summated mean for the training and development construct was 4.24 out of 5, suggesting that most respondents thought training and development was helpful in boosting job satisfaction. The supply of motivational elements, like training and development, keeps people content in their jobs, in accordance with Hertzberg’s two-factor theory (Radhakrishnan et al., 2016). The empirical findings of the research are consistent with earlier studies like Dardar et al. (2012). Thus, the hypothesis (H1) that training and development have a favourable impact on job satisfaction is supported.

The regression model 2’s output showed that the adjusted R2 (coefficient of determination) was 0.379. This indicates that job happiness accounts for about 38% of the variation in loyalty. The high F statistic for the regression model 165.299 further supports the model’s suitability for determining the predictive link between the research constructs. Additionally, a co-efficient of β = 0.618; t = 12.857; p < 0.05 between job satisfaction and loyalty was found. Additionally, the summated mean for the work satisfaction construct was 4.39 out of 5, indicating that most respondents thought it was beneficial in boosting the loyalty construct. The findings of this study are consistent with those of earlier investigations conducted by Ineson et al. (2013); Uzair et al. (2017). H2 is supported by the SIT literature (Ineson et al., 2013), which contends that higher job satisfaction enhances a person’s loyalty to the organisation.

Job satisfaction appears to account for around 34% of the variance in retention, according to the regression model 3’s adjusted R2 (coefficient of determination) value of 0.339. Furthermore, the regression model’s large F statistic of 138.963 confirms the model’s suitability for determining the predictive association between the research constructs. A co-efficient of β = 0.584; t = 11.788; p < 0.05 on retention was found for job satisfaction. Additionally, the summated mean for the work satisfaction construct was 4.27 out of 5, indicating that most respondents thought it was successful in boosting the retention construct. The results support earlier research from Matlou et al. (2016). According to the social exchange hypothesis (Kashyap & Rangnekar, 2014), a person’s emotional attachment to remain with their employer is influenced by their level of job satisfaction. As a result, the hypothesis (H3) is accepted.

The adjusted R2 (coefficient of determination) for regression model 4 was 0.442, which means that loyalty may be responsible for about 44% of the variance in retention. In addition, the regression model’s high F statistic of 213.875 confirms the model’s suitability for determining the predictive link between the research constructs. Loyalty showed a co-efficient of retention of (β = 0.666; t = 14.624; p < 0.05). The loyalty construct also received a summated mean rating of 4.23 out of 5, indicating that most respondents thought loyalty improved the retention construct. These conclusions are in line with the earlier work by Lee and Chen (2013), which produced comparable results, based on the empirical data. The SIT states that loyalty creates a strong desire in organisational members to maintain and extend their participation (Savareikiene & Daugirdas, 2009). As a result, the (H4) hypothesis is accepted.

Typical method bias

Common method bias is a significant issue in survey research which can affect the reliability and validity of measures and result in inaccurate assessments of a scale’s reliability and convergent validity (Tehseen et al., 2017). A self-administered questionnaire was used in this study to gather data. The researchers implemented the following recommendations made by Jordan and Troth (2020) in order to lessen frequent method bias:

  • The survey was kept brief to reduce excess steps and enable respondents to provide more precise answers.
  • By identifying sources of item ambiguity, such as words with numerous meanings or multiple ideas, scale goods were enhanced.
  • Measures of both independent and dependent variables to measure different dimensions of interest were not obtained from the same source, and protection of the respondents’ anonymity and minimising evaluation anxiety was considered to reduce bias at the reporting or response editing stage.

Statistical tools such as correlation and regression analyses were used to examine the causal connections between the independent and dependent variables. As Tehseen et al. (2017) explains, the correlation and regression analyses were undertaken to reduce the risk of type I or type II errors during the hypothesis testing because of inflation or deflation of estimates of the link between the two constructs.

Limitations and future research possibilities

The survey only included a small number of characteristics, including training and development, work satisfaction, loyalty and retention. Additionally, there may be additional factors that affect academic careers as well, such as prospects for advancement and rewards, morale and lifestyle preferences. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were not included in the study because it solely used a quantitative research methodology, which left them with untapped potential. To produce results based on generalised triangulation methodology, future study should employ mixed methods. Self-administered surveys were used in this study to gather data from willing participants. As a result, some respondents may give biased responses with the potential for common method bias. Future study may take into account various methods of data collection, like focus group interviews and observations, to lessen these restrictions. Additionally, a non-probability convenience sample strategy was used in this investigation, increasing the risk of sampling error. Because of this, it is important to use caution when generalising from this study’s findings and drawing inferences about a larger population. Finally, because the study was based on a cross-sectional survey design, changes in the study construct over time were not taken into account. It is suggested that a long-term study be conducted in this area to solve this drawback.

A substantial positive association between training and development and job satisfaction was found to exist in the study of training and development and job satisfaction. In line with this, it is advised that the UoT executives gain lively knowledge and expertise on how to raise academics’ levels of job satisfaction through initiatives for training and development. To realise this, the administration of the UoTs must put training and development systems in place that can handle the difficulties associated with academics’ low job satisfaction. Given that the study demonstrated a link between training and development and job happiness, UoTs should further consider teaching and learning-related elements that may have an impact on academics’ levels of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. As the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted regular teaching and learning activities, HEIs should consistently support training and development programs designed to boost academics’ job satisfaction. Because of the present pandemic condition, HEIs should be aware of it and adopt blended learning and teaching as the new paradigm for education moving forward.

In terms of the relationship between job satisfaction and loyalty, the study’s findings showed a very strong positive relationship between the two. Therefore, higher education administrators should develop strategies to promote job happiness among academics because it favourably influences loyalty. The management of HEIs should create a new idea for the workplace where incentives are included as a vital element to motivate staff loyalty in addition to measures to promote job happiness. With regard to the relationship between job satisfaction and retention, the study’s findings supported the claim that increased job satisfaction improves retention. As a result, the UoTs’ management should offer academics opportunities for professional growth and advancement in their fields. In order to increase academic staff retention, HEIs should place a strong emphasis on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors of pleasure. The administration of higher education should focus on initiatives that would create a work climate that is friendly to healthy partnerships. In order to foster contentment, senior managers should also take the initiative to encourage effective communication between themselves and employees at lower levels of the institutions. To counteract and deter plans for turnover, cooperation among staff members should be promoted and maintained, regardless of position held.

Final thoughts and study ramifications

The conducted research revealed important and fascinating findings on the impact of training and development on job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. This empirical study focused on identifying the activities that encourage employee loyalty and help them work for their companies for a longer period. As a result, this study is important because its results may help determine how training and development impact job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The conclusions may also be used by HEIs as suggestions for creating programs and training materials that will better the job-related behaviour of academic staff. Additionally, based on the empirical results that it produced, the recommendations were discussed. The study’s limitations were discussed, along with predictions for and prospects for next research. The UoTs management, governing bodies and higher education administrators in South Africa may receive guidance from this study on how to create better academic workplace cultures. The results of this study are also expected to help higher education administrators create training and development programmes that are relevant to restoring academics’ levels of job satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

Higher education administrators are counselled to hone their ability to engender loyalty in order to attract and retain good academic staff. Administrators in higher education would be better able to comprehend the connection between training and the issues relating to academics’ work happiness, loyalty and retention. To do this, higher education administrators must make accommodations for and actively support learners as they convert their newly acquired knowledge into common understanding and performance in the business. Additionally, it is advised that higher education management think about motivating the academic staff to stick with them in order to keep them. According to Ldama and Bazza (2015:96), organisations are protected from losing their workers to rival organisations by empowering employees via training and development. Therefore, it is advised that higher educational institutions take into account empowering the academic staff in order to increase employee loyalty and job happiness. On the other hand, the management of HEIs should take unparalleled measures to remain appealing to a competent workforce and, as a result, retain them, in order to minimise job unhappiness and a lack of loyalty. Employee loyalty to an employer who is dedicated to and supportive of their long-term professional growth has been demonstrated. The success of professional training initiatives depends on managerial support.

The following suggestions are made for the management of HEIs in general and are in line with the findings of the empirical investigation and the relevant reviewed research materials used in this study.

Conclusion

This study’s main goal was to determine how training and development affected academics’ work happiness, loyalty and retention at a particular university of technology. The theoretical and empirical goals of the study supplied crucial knowledge about training and development initiatives in HEIs. To collect the necessary data, a questionnaire created using the study’s constructs was delivered to academics. In order to direct the researcher in creating questionnaire items, four hypotheses were proposed. Pilot testing revealed positive results for the links between the constructs proposed in the research model. Additionally, based on the empirical results that it produced, the recommendations were discussed. The study’s shortcomings were discussed, and future research prospects and possibilities were highlighted.

Acknowledgements

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

Authors’ contributions

M.P.M. is responsible for writing the original article, data collection and interpretation and project administration. A.B.M. is the supervisor, responsible for reviewing and editing and formal assessment of the article. A.K.I. is also the supervisor, responsible for data analysis, reviewing and editing the article and formally assessing it.

Ethical considerations

The permission was sought from the VUT ethical committee and the participating selected academics before the commencement of the study. The participants were informed about the nature of this research and the purpose thereof, as well as given the assurance of the confidentiality of their responses and anonymity of their identity. In addition, the participants were informed of their right to withdraw from participation should they feel uncomfortable during the course of the study. In terms of assurance purposes, participants were guaranteed that the data to be gathered will be purely for academic purposes:

The Vaal University of Technology Faculty Research Ethics Committee is the committee responsible for the approval of the study protocol. All the study procedures stipulated in the committee’s guidelines were observed and adhered to. These include the undermentioned statements:

  • Inform the Faculty Research Ethics Committee of any significant deviations that may occur in the research project, which directly influences what has been approved.
  • Report any adverse events that might occur, within 14 days of the event, to the FREC.
  • Submit a progress report every year for the duration of the study, to the Ethics committee by June of each year.
  • Inform the FREC once the research project has reached completion and the findings have entered the public domain.

FRECMS-04122019-A013

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are the product of professional research. It does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated institution, funder, agency, or that of the publisher. The authors are responsible for this article’s results, findings, and content.

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