Small businesses have a high failure rate in South Africa, mainly due to lack of skills,
resources and inexperience of owners. There is a lack of research into skills retention
in small business. Understanding how established small businesses manage to retain
employees with critical skills would equip small owners with some tools that could
assist them in achieving success.
Owners of twelve established companies were interviewed in this study. The questions
posed to these individuals aimed to i) establish which skills are most critical to their
business, ii) what they, as leaders, perceive to be the motivation that employees seek
in order to remain with the businesses, and iii) actions that employers would take to
ensure retention of skilled employees. Through a process of thematic analysis, the data
collected was assessed and concluded upon.
The results indicate that small business owners, or employers, value skills as much as
other employee attributes when considering retention. For them, the most preferred
skills and attributes for retention include people skills and organisational fit. On the
other hand, the most important motivators for employees include financial reward and
communication. Ultimately, the top influencers include employers taking personal
interest in employees and demonstrating flexibility.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.