Original Research

Retention preferences and the relationship between total rewards, perceived organisational support and perceived supervisor support

Wilmien Smit, Karel Stanz, Mark Bussin
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 13, No 1 | a665 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v13i1.665 | © 2015 Wilmien Smit, Karel Stanz, Mark Bussin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 2014 | Published: 06 August 2015

About the author(s)

Wilmien Smit, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Karel Stanz, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Mark Bussin, Department of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Currently there is much debate whether modifying traditional reward packages to focus on the preferences of multi-generations would be essential in attracting, motivating and retaining talent. Total reward factors, perceived organisational support and perceived supervisor support are distinct but related concepts, all of which appear to influence an employee’s decision to stay at an organisation.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to identify the different total reward components that multi-generations prefer as most important for retention. In essence, the study aims to establish possible relationships between multi-generations’ total reward components, perceived organisational support, and perceived supervisor support.

Motivation for the study: This study is useful as it conducts a contemporary retention exploration that considers both the emerging demographic workforce shift and the new paradigm shift towards talent management.

Research methodology: A quantitative, cross-sectional research design was applied to gather data from employees (N = 303) from different industry sectors in South African organisations.

Main findings: The results showed that performance management and remuneration are considered to be the most important retention factors amongst multi-generation groups. Differences between total reward preferences and demographical variables, which include age, gender, race, industry and job level, were found.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations should design their reward packages by taking employees preferences into account. More specifically, organisations should focus on remuneration, performance management and development opportunities in order to retain scarce skills.

Contribution/value additions: The results of the study can assist managers to design effective retention strategies, whilst also providing crucial information for the retention and motivation of employees.


compensation, multi-generations; perceived organisational support; perceived supervisor support; remuneration; retention preferences; talent; total rewards model


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Crossref Citations

1. Effectiveness of employer branding on staff retention and compensation expectations
Mark Bussin, Hugo Mouton
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences  vol: 22  issue: 1  year: 2019  
doi: 10.4102/sajems.v22i1.2412