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resaerch image 10Research Abstract
Retaining professional workers: What makes them stay?

Purpose
The purpose of this study was to investigate why professional workers actually remain in their organisations.

Design/methodology/approach
The design of the study was cross sectional. A number of factors important for the retention of professional workers were identified from the literature. A 19 item ‘Retention scale’ was developed based on the identified retention factors and their characteristics. It was proposed that the retention factors could be divided into two levels: organisational and job. The retention scale was completed by 138 workers form the UK site of a multinational Marketing company. The reliability of the scale was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha and was found to be 0.80.

Findings
Factor analysis supported the division of the retention factors into organisational and job levels with a two factor structure in which organisational levels loaded strongly on component 1 and job level items loaded strongly on component 2. Scores on these two sub-scales predicted individual workers’ intention to remain within their organisation using both MANOVA and logistic regression analysis.

Research limitations/implications
This is a preliminary look at factors important for the retention of professional workers and as such has several limitations. A more comprehensive review of the literature on retention is required and further testing of the model is required with a larger sample size. Links with the literature on the psychological contract also need to be more fully explored.

Practical implications
This research has practical implications for practitioners due to the importance of retaining top talent for increased competitive advantage. The factors that have been found here to be important for retaining professional workers have also been observed in high performing companies.

Originality/value
Most previous studies and many HR managers concerned with the retention of professional and other workers tend to concentrate on those aspects of the job or of the organisation that make them leave. This study is concerned with why people stay with their employers.

Reference
Christeen George , (2014) “Retaining professional workers: What makes them stay?: “, Employee Relations: The International Journal , Vol. 37 Iss: 1,

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