The retention of scarce skilled employees is one of the major challenges affecting
public service delivery. Retaining scarce skilled employees in organisations is not
always strategically prioritised, despite the cost of turnover to the employer. The
article is the product of research which describes the nature of the psychological
contract and analyses the extent to which the Limpopo Provincial Treasury (LPT) is
able to retain financial practitioners (scarce skilled employees) by focusing upon
issues such as career development, motivation and attachment. The LPT faces
serious staff turnover rates in scarce skilled employees, specifically pertaining to
young internal auditors, which has resulted in unmet targets over the past 10 years.
In this research, a questionnaire survey was used to collect data. The questionnaire
comprised both closed- and open-ended questions designed to determine employee
perceptions regarding the retention of scarce skilled employees. The questionnaire
was distributed to 60 core employees in the LPT. The target population included
internal auditors, risk management practitioners, internal control practitioners,
financial management practitioners, information technology specialists, revenue
management practitioners, accountants and economists. Quantitative data was
analysed using descriptive statistics in the SPSS software packages, while qualitative
data was analysed using thematic analysis.
The results revealed that the employee morale, the lack of promotion opportunities
and inadequate resource allocations were the main causes for retention failure.
The research resulted in recommendations put forward for the development of an
integrated human resource management policy aligned to retention through an
intensive resource allocation strategy.