ORIENTATION : This research evaluates the remuneration preferences of knowledge workers as
a retention strategy in an integrated international energy and chemical company, using the
WorldatWork Total Rewards Model.
RESEARCH PURPOSE : Organisations may benefit from understanding their employees’
preferential remuneration benefits, in particular, knowledge workers as a scare skill requiring
specific retention strategies.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY : To understand the remuneration preferences for the retention of
a group of knowledge workers within a large organisation based in South Africa. The
research is necessary within organisations in South Africa impacted by scarce skills and a
need to attract and retain knowledge workers. If remuneration preferences are not
considered as part of retention, there is a risk knowledge workers may leave for preferential
RESEARCH APPROACH/DESIGN AND METHOD : A total of 199 employees from a group of 1229
voluntarily participated in the survey. An electronic-based questionnaire was developed from
the WorldatWork rewards model. The results from the surveys were analysed with descriptive
statistics and inferential statistics.
MAIN FINDINGS : No significance in reward strategies was found for age, level of performance
or number of years of service. There was also no significant difference between the
knowledge workers number of years of service and their intention to remain with the
organisation. There was a significance in gender for benefits, flexibility and performance development preferences.
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : The development of retention strategies should consider
reward preferences of male and female employees.