Original Research

Employee retention within the Information Technology Division of a South African Bank

Joy Mohlala, Geoff A. Goldman, Xenia Goosen
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 2 | a438 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i2.438 | © 2012 Joy Mohlala, Geoff A. Goldman, Xenia Goosen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2011 | Published: 17 May 2012

About the author(s)

Joy Mohlala, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Geoff A. Goldman, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Xenia Goosen, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The information technology industry is faced with a shrinking pool of skilled employees causing demand to increase for these employees. This places organisations under pressure to devise retention strategies to retain these employees. This study was conducted in the Information Technology Division of a South African Bank.

Research purpose: To understand the challenges faced by the bank’s information technology leadership team to retain employees.

Motivation for the study: To understand the challenges faced in attracting and retaining information technology professionals, and how this can serve as input for reducing skills shortages in Information Technology Divisions.

Research design, approach and method: An interpretive approach employing a case study strategy and qualitative methods was employed. Semi structured interviews were conducted with thirteen senior managers and four directors of the bank’s Information Technology Division, who were selected on a purposive basis. Data were subjected to Creswell’s four stage data analysis process.

Main findings: Findings indicate that employee turnover is the main contributor of skills shortages within the studied division. The lack of a retention strategy is making it difficult for leadership to identify crucial skills that must be retained.

Practical/managerial implications: Evidence suggests that this bank, although they would like to retain information technology professionals, is not creating an environment conducive to do this, as little attention is paid to the unique demands of this group of employees.

Contribution/value-add: This study investigates a specific group of employees for which a unique retention strategy does not exist. In understanding the challenges that impact on attracting and retaining information technology professionals, this study can contribute to the development of a retention strategy for these employees.


Keywords

Staff retention; IT Professionals; skills shortage; technological change; job-for-life; reward and recognition; management style; qualitative research

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