The effects of training on Staff retention in the Zambian Public Service: A case study of the Ministry of Education headquarters and office of the Vice President

Thumbnail Image
Mvula, Mbuwa Taonga
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zambia
Employees are the most important asset of any organisation. These words are some of the most commonly used in the field of human resource management in particular. Since employees are the most important asset, it is important that they are well vested in their roles and responsibilities in order for the organisation to forge ahead and stand out among other organizations. In order to achieve that, the human resource requires training and skills enhancement. The need to build capacity in the human resource is not exclusive to public servants. It is understood that most people join the public service with the possibility of being trained for it is regarded as the best training ground. It is from this understanding that the researcher took up the task of carrying out this research in order to find out why public servants were said to be non performers when they were assumed to be well trained. Further, what would be the underlying factors to the said poor performance? A case study research design was undertaken in two Institutions, namely, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Vice President. The Institutions were selected due to their accessibility by the researcher. Further, their selection and use of a case study was intended to provide a deeper insight and better understanding of the problem. The main objective of the research was to examine the effects of training on staff retention in the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Vice President. The specific objectives were: to examine the retention mechanisms and their effectiveness; to describe the levels of staff motivation following training; to determine the levels of attrition in the two institutions. The value expectancy theory was pivotal in the interpretation of the data obtained as the aspects of retention were attuned to motivation. In this study the findings were that staff in both institutions were aware of the government retention mechanisms. Those that had undergone training indicated that they had benefited from one or more of the retention mechanisms. It was evidenced that Motivation of staff was generally high following training. However officers returned to their old positions and it took long to be considered for promotion and this eventually reduced their levels of motivation. With regard to staff attrition, the levels of attrition were very low. Apart from these findings, this study also brings to light the practice of training and development in the public service, the poor use of its guidelines and tools. It highlights the factors that drive training and its consequences, that is, negative and positive ones. From the study it was evident that there were conflicts of interest with regard to training. The findings indicated that most training was individual driven rather than institutional driven. This was also a major factor for the poor performance of employees. The findings further revealed that training committees were semi operational and in some cases non-existent and therefore there was lack of policy direction as regards to training in the institutions. It is therefore recommended that institutions institutionalise proper performance management systems in order to bring out performance gaps that will warrant training needs. With a good performance management package in place there would be proper planning for staff in the area of training and staff motivation by way of promotions and proper placements. In conclusion, the poor performance of officers in the civil service could be attributed to a number of factors ranging from a poor reward system to the poor monitoring and placement of trained staff following their training.
Master of Arts in Public Administration
Employee retention-Zambia , Civil Service-Zambia-Personnel Management