Employee Management: Retention and Performance

Introduction

This paper reviews the procedures and results of research conducted to investigate the influence of employee management on retention and performance. The first part of the paper presents the background to the case and provides a basis for the research question, while the subsequent sections describe the research procedures, implications, and results.

Background to the Case

The case study of the research was on ABC Oil & Gas Company, a private corporation in Bad Axe, Michigan, which records USD10-20million in annual returns. Although the research aimed to investigate the role of employee management in retention and performance, the case study focused on managers of the company. ABC Oil & Gas Company has used employee development to eliminate flaws, such as ineffectiveness via its staff/management assessment program. Training in the company is customized for the specific tasks an individual does. The managers of the company encounter various problems in their daily, thus the company exposes them to trends in their field via continuous employee development, during which applied skill is taught.

Reports suggest that ABC Oil & Gas Company’s development program has a positive influence on the performance of the organization. For example, Sawitri and Muis (2014) suggest that the management program exposes employees to their precise tasks and their subsequent improvement informs the evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. So far, ABC Oil & Gas Company has recorded progress in its development program, evident in the company’s performance in the oil and gas industry (Zwick, 2015). Although these reports suggest the success of the program, it is important to investigate the effectiveness of ABC Oil & Gas Company’s human resource development.

Other factors may be responsible for ABC Oil & Gas Company’s success and market leadership. This makes it necessary to investigate how the management program directly influences employee retention, development, and performance. Hence, the next section of this paper describes the steps taken to investigate the effect of ABC Oil & Gas Company’s program on employee retention and organizational performance.

Steps Taken to Address the Problem

The steps taken to solve the problem were based on the grounded theory. In the grounded, a researcher performs systematic research to systematically generate a theory. By combining analyzable secondary and primary data, the researcher developed a theory regarding the relationship between staff development programs and employee retention.

The first step during the research involved secondary research of employee management and retention. Secondary research comprises the assessment of data and information from readily available sources. This research form concludes different accessible primary research. The researcher took advantage of the easily accessible information to develop a literature review that formed the basis for the primary research methods. Online databases, scientific journals, books, and other publications, served as the sources for the secondary data. The researcher performed an electronic search to source for online sources using a combination of keywords including “employee management,” “organizational performance,” and “retention.” Physical publications related to the research were derived using library catalogs. Although the findings of the secondary research did not conclude, (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson, 2012), they informed the development of the survey tool for primary data collection. The results of the secondary research are summarized in the literature review section of this report.

The researcher informed the participants of the confidentiality of the research. A survey containing sixteen questions was distributed to managers of ABC Oil & Gas Company across four geographic regions. The questions investigated the managers’ perception of their company’s management development program. To facilitate qualitative analysis, the questions were open-ended and enabled the participants to analyze the questions and provide responses based on experiences and knowledge. The research captured the perceptions of the individuals in different situations.

The combination of primary and secondary research methods enabled the establishment of the original and relevant information through the primary research method. Secondary data provided an understanding of the current assessment of the employee development programs and their impacts on performance. An integration of both methods enabled the generation of analyzable data and a basis for analysis.

Action Learning Research

Action learning research is a method of solving research problems by reflecting on the research method. The method used for the study was a combination of the secondary and primary research methods. Applying either of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages. Hence, the study integrated the primary and secondary research to salvage the disadvantages presented by each approach. The results from the combination of both methods exposed contributed to the success of the research. The secondary research helped the identification of factors that determine the effectiveness of an employee management program. Examples of factors identified through the literature review include ease of use, length of the program, and intensity of the tasks. With these factors in mind, the researcher developed a survey capable of assessing the employee management program implemented in ABC Oil & Gas Company.

The process used during the study was effective for the research problem. Although the research aimed to investigate the influence of employee management programs on employee retention and organizational performance, the survey did not focus on all employees. Managers communicate with executives and subordinates of an organization therefore their perspectives represent much of the workforce. The primary research collected data from ABC Oil & Gas Company’s managers, which means the results of the survey represented the perception of most employees of the company.

Literature Review

The paper explained how modern organizations offer employees the opportunities to choose organizations that provide incentives for their continuous services (Kasmi, 2011). However, it was observed that workers’ ability to maintain productivity was influenced by how satisfied they were with their growth track (Coff, 1997). The literature review explained that even though many workers remain in companies that offer financial motivational tools such as bonuses, employees are not singly motivated by money (Masaiti & Naluyele, 2011). Furthermore, the literature highlighted the sign indicates that nonfinancial factors provide better motivation for employees (Balbuena, Ahmad & Som, 2012). A survey of 660 American employees to investigate factors that influenced their decisions to remain in BridgeGate LLC was reviewed (Balbuena, Ahmad & Som, 2012). According to the literature review, more than 50% of the participants reported that their decision to remain in BridgeGate LLC was because of the company’s nonmonetary motivational policies. Employee development is the principal factor in enticing and retaining workers. Exposing employees to development programs positively affect their perception of a company and improves their commitment to affairs in their workplace.

The findings from the literature review show that retention can be improved by developing people-focused methods. Staff development programs expose employees to the practices and principles of the organization and make them feel more contented. Notwithstanding the approach used, the human resource management team of a company must ensure that the employee development programs align with the organization’s key performance indicators. While most organizations include staff development among their corporate social responsibilities, few organizations actively pursue strategies for employee growth. Therefore, to effectively motivate its workers, an organization must implement its promised employee development programs.

The literature review highlights the importance of employee management on job satisfaction (Ijigu 2015). Reviewed literature indicated that satisfied managers or employees showed more commitment to their jobs. The research highlighted the views of Shaheen, Ghayyur, and Yasmeen (2014), which explained the difficulty of managing dissatisfied employees. The researchers suggested including training and development ensured that human resources were well oriented to their job requirements (Shaheen, Ghayyur & Yasmeen, 2014). According to the literature review, ABC Oil & Gas Company’s employee development program improved communication within and without the organization and hence the reason the organization has achieved its goals (Ijigu, 2015). The company also adopted rewards and recognition tactics to ensure all-around job satisfaction. Ijigu (2015) explained that ABC Oil & Gas Company’s employee development program improved the company’s rewarding system and made the workers feel valued by the organization.

The effect of employee development on management and succession was reviewed. Khanfar’s (2014) research showed that employee development facilitates improved management and succession. The review of this subject was based on the need for budding leaders who can succeed in senior management positions when the current bunch of leaders retires or resigns. The literature review explained that human resource development programs indirectly improved management and succession by equipping employees and managers at junior levels with the knowledge and skills required at the senior levels. Khoreva and Vaiman’s (2015) explained the vacuum left in organizations whenever a senior manager dies or resigns. According to the literature review, such situations made training and development important since organizations with well-equipped juniors were naturally prepared for such emergencies (Khanfar, 2014).

An analysis of the data gathered during secondary research was the basis for the literature review. The literature review defined employee management programs as peculiar to different organizations. The significance of organizational management in the oil and gas industry was emphasized in the literature review (Gill & Johnson, 2010). Hence, effective human resource management was necessary for better performance and employee retention. The results of the literature review showed that issues of employee training and development were common to oil and gas companies globally (Ji et al., 2012; Sawitri & Muis, 2014). This was related to the dynamics of the oil and sector, which prevented companies from developing programs suitable for the changing needs of employees. However, ABC Oil & Gas Company’s employee development program was described as an effective method for improving employee retention and performance.

Sawitri and Muis (2014) explained that trainees were educated about their specific jobs and prospective responsibilities. The evaluation was based on employees’ abilities to perform the assigned roles. For example, ABC Oil & Gas Company educated its managers on the kind of individuals they were likely to supervise. The literature suggested that subsequent evaluations were based on the managers’ abilities to supervise assigned employees. The results from the secondary research suggested that the development program at ABC Oil & Gas Company was successful, which was evident in the company’s leadership position in the oil and gas sector (Zwick, 2015).

Research Analysis and Results

Despite the findings of the literature review, it was necessary to conduct a primary survey of ABC Oil & Gas Company’s employee management program. The survey investigated the managers’ perceptions of the program’s effectiveness on employee retention and performance. The sixteen research questions were summarized to two and coded to enable quantitative analysis. Participants’ responses were measured on a five-scale Likert and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Statistical analysis such as analysis of variances, measures of central tendencies, and regression analysis was used for the analysis and provision of findings.

Results and Analysis

The research was conducted to analyze an issue that contributes to employee retention. An investigative approach was used to examine how ABC Oil & Gas Company’s management development program affects management retention and performance. The result of the research sums up the role of management development on motivation, retention, and performance. This report provides statistical tests and interpretation for the data collected through the survey.

Statement of question and stance

Secondary and primary research activities were directed at the research questions. The secondary data were derived through a comprehensive literature review of the effect employee development program. Hence, the research question inquired about the core skills managers gained after they participated in the employee management development program (Sawitri, & Muis, 2014). The research question challenged the impact of ABC Oil & Gas Company’s employee development program on the management retention rate and performance. ABC Oil & Gas Company argues that the employee development program has benefited the company, improved employee turnover, and helped the company achieve its organizational goals. Therefore, it is hypothesized that exposing ABC Oil & Gas Company managers to the employee development program will increase their satisfaction level and promote management retention and performance. While secondary data were collected through a literature review, primary data were computed using sixteen questions. Likert scales running from 1 to 5 were assigned to the questions, where 1 represented “strongly disagree” and 5 represented “strongly agree”.

Analysis of arguments, assumptions, and evidence

This section of the paper summarizes the results of the research. The sample size and response rate that affected the validity of the research are examined during the research. The sample was selected using three categories. The primary factor used for sampling was the participants’ managerial position because the perception of managers differed from that of employees. Fifty managers of ABC Oil & Gas from four geographical zones participated in the research. The participants answered all the questions yielding a response rate of 100%.

Analysis of Results

Demography

The only demography presented in the results was the location. ABC Oil & Gas operates in four geographic zones. Questionnaires were sent to managers of ABC Oil & Gas stations in these regions. The chart below illustrates participants’ distribution by location. Table 1 summarizes the results of the demographic distribution. The location of the managers may affect their perceptions and reactions to the program due to the influence of sociocultural features on regional operation policies. As a result, the questionnaire was distributed to managers in different locations. Although the numbers of participants from the locations differ, the result of the research represents managers’ perceptions across ABC Oil & Gas Company.

Table 1: Frequency Distribution of Location Demography

Frequency Percentage Valid Percentage Cumulative Percentage
Valid Asia Caspian 13 26.0 26.0 26.0
America 18 36.0 36.0 62.0
EAF 11 22.0 22.0 84.0
Middle East 8 16.0 16.0 100.0
Total 50 100.0 100.0

Most participants (36%) were managers based in America and the least respondents (16%) were based in the Middle East during the survey. Participants based in EAF and Asia/Caspian represented 22% and 26% percentage of the sample respectively. The location demography was chosen as an independent variable.

Pie Chart Showing Distribution Segment of the Location Demography
Figure 1: Pie Chart Showing Distribution Segment of the Location Demography

Relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance

The questions in the questionnaire were grouped into two broad categories. The first question group investigates the effect of the development program on employee performance while the second question group investigated the effect of employee development on retention and performance. The table below summarizes the mean for the two questions.

Comparing Statistical Values

Using the mean, the results of the general sample show that most participants gave positive answers to the questions (Zwick, 2015). Table 2 shows that the mean scores for the general population were 4.02 and 4.38 for the first and second questions respectively. The table below summarizes the results of the analysis.

Table 2: Mean Comparison of the two Dependent Variables

The development programs improved employee performance. There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rates and performance.
N Valid 50 50
Missing 0 0
Mean 4.02 4.38
Std. Error of Mean .199 .171
Median 4.50 5.00
Mode 5 5
Std. Deviation 1.407 1.210
Variance 1.979 1.465
Range 4 4
Minimum 1 1
Maximum 5 5

The literature review suggests that employee development significantly affects retention and performance. Both questions investigated the effect of employee management on ABC Oil & Gas Company’s ability to retain its employees and optimize their performance. Mean scores of 4.02 and 4.38 place the managers’ responses to both questions within the same band on the Likert scale. The average manager of ABC Oil & Gas Company agrees that the management program improves employee retention and performance.

Compared Means

Although the results of the frequency analysis show that the majority of the participants agreed that the development program has a positive effect on employee satisfaction and retention, it was necessary to analyze the effect of geographical location on the responses. The managers operate in different regions and the perceptions of these questions may be related to the cultural peculiarities of the location. The results of the analysis show that all the participants across different regions consider that ABC Oil & Gas Company has an employee development program, which promotes retention and employee performance.

Table 3: Mean comparison for the three variables

Location The development program improved employee performance. There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance.
Asia Caspian Mean 3.62 4.08
N 13 13
Std. Deviation 1.557 1.441
America Mean 4.00 4.39
N 18 18
Std. Deviation 1.455 1.290
EAF Mean 4.55 4.91
N 11 11
Std. Deviation 1.214 .302
Middle East Mean 4.00 4.13
N 8 8
Std. Deviation 1.309 1.356
Total Mean 4.02 4.38
N 50 50
Std. Deviation 1.407 1.210

With a mean score of approximately 4 points, all participants agree that the employee development program improves employee performance. Managers of ABC Oil & Gas from the Asia/Caspian region reported an average of 3.62 points when asked to relate the employee development program with employee performance. The lower score reported by participants in the Asian region may be related to the sociocultural features of Asia. The presence of skilled technologists in Asia makes the Oil & Gas working environment highly competitive. Exposing managers to a development program may have less effect on their performance since they must be technically and professionally qualified to fit into a management position. Since Asia has the most participants, it may provide a balanced representation of the investigation.

Participants from the four regions agreed that the management program contributes to employee performance and retention. The mean score for each region was greater than 4 points on the Likert scale however the reaction of the participants from the EAF region is interesting. With an average of 4.91 points, managers of ABC Oil & Gas from the EAF region are confident of the importance of the management program on employee retention and performance. The responses of managers from Africa may be responsible for this positive reaction. Competition for management positions in the EAF region is less intense than in other locations. Providing training for managers in the EAF region will have a significantly higher effect on their performance and their retention since they are less qualified than managers in other regions.

The participants’ responses to both questions may differ. An analysis of variance investigates the differences in the average means of both questions. The level of significance represents the strength of the similarity between managers’ responses to both questions. A significance score greater than 0.05 shows that the managers’ responses to the questions are similar. Significance levels of 0.466 and 0.360 show a similarity in the participants’ responses to both questions. Both questions investigate the effect of the employee development program on ABC Oil & Gas Company’s managers and a similarity in the participants’ responses shows the validity of the survey.

Table 4: Analysis of Variance

Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
The development program improved employee performance. Between Groups 5.176 3 1.725 .864 .466
Within Groups 91.804 46 1.996
Total 96.980 49
There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance. Between Groups 4.795 3 1.598 1.098 .360
Within Groups 66.985 46 1.456
Total 71.780 49

Test for Correlation

A bivariate analysis was conducted to test the relationship between the three variables (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe, & Jackson, 2012). The correlation was calculated using Pearson’s test for correlation and a significance level of p<0.05 (single-tailed). The table below summarizes the results.

Table 5: Pearson’s Test for Correlation

The development program improved employee performance There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance. Location
The development program improved employee performance. Pearson Correlation 1 .007 .151
Sig. (1-tailed) .480 .148
N 50 50 50
There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance. Pearson Correlation .007 1 .093
Sig. (1-tailed) .480 .261
N 50 50 50
Location Pearson Correlation .151 .093 1
Sig. (1-tailed) .148 .261
N 50 50 50

Pearson’s test for correlation investigates the differences between the average means for each location. The level of significance represents the strength of the relationship between managers’ locations and their perceptions. When the level of significance is greater than 0.05, the relationship between the dependent factor and the independent variable is insignificant. Table 4 shows that the three variables are related. Pearson’s test for correlation analyzes the significance of these relationships. The correlation between location and the program effect on employee performance was 0.151 which is statistically insignificant (p<0.05). The correlation between the effect of the program on employee performance and employee retention is 0.007 and which is statistically insignificant (p<0.05). The relationship between location and participants’ perception of the program’s effect on retention was 0.93, which is statistically insignificant (p<0.05).

Table 6: First regression

Variables Entered/Removed a
Model Variables Entered Variables Removed Method
1 There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance., Location b . Enter
a. Dependent Variable: The development program improved employee performance
b. All requested variables entered.
Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .151a .023 -.019 1.420
a. Predictors: (Constant), There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance., Location
ANOVA a
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 2.211 2 1.105 .548 .582b
Residual 94.769 47 2.016
Total 96.980 49
a. Dependent Variable: The development program improved employee performance
b. Predictors: (Constant), There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance., Location
Coefficients a
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. 95.0% Confidence Interval for B
B Std. Error Beta Lower Bound Upper Bound
1 (Constant) 3.583 .852 4.207 .000 1.869 5.296
Location .207 .198 .151 1.046 .301 -.191 .604
There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance. -.008 .168 -.007 -.046 .964 -.346 .331
a. Dependent Variable: The development program improved employee performance

Table 6: Second regression

Variables Entered/Removed a
Model Variables Entered Variables Removed Method
1 The development program improved employee performance, Location b . Enter
a. Dependent Variable: There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance.
b. All requested variables entered.
Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .093a .009 -.034 1.230
a. Predictors: (Constant), The development program improved employee performance, Location
ANOVA a
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression .623 2 .311 .206 .815b
Residual 71.157 47 1.514
Total 71.780 49
a. Dependent Variable: There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance.
b. Predictors: (Constant), The development program improved employee performance, Location
Coefficients a
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. 95.0% Confidence Interval for B
B Std. Error Beta Lower Bound Upper Bound
1 (Constant) 4.152 .619 6.711 .000 2.907 5.397
Location .110 .172 .094 .639 .526 -.237 .457
The development program improved employee performance -.006 .126 -.007 -.046 .964 -.260 .248
a. Dependent Variable: There is a significant relationship between employee development program and retention rate and performance.

Tables 6 and 7 represent the results of the linear regression to test the predictability of the results of the two questions respectively. Table 6 shows the R and R2 values of.151 and.023, while Table 7 yields R and R2 values of.093 and.009 respectively. These values show that the responses to the questions are not predictable and cannot be predicted from the other variables. The insignificance of the relationship between the variables is proved by the significance levels under the ANOVA section of the linear regression tables. The significance levels of 0.582 and 0.815 are both greater than the P-value (0.005), which shows that the outcome of one factor does not affect other variables.

Conclusion

The research results can be directly compared to the literature on the subject of study. The literature review section offers secondary evidence that suggests the positive role of employee development programs on management retention and performance. The majority of the participants willingly took part and promptly send their results. Staff development is an important element of sustainable human resources. Many companies create and change their development activities to suit the general employees’ needs.

An investigative approach was used to study how ABC Oil & Gas Company’s management development program influences management retention and performance. The research analyzed employee management and development as well as where the ABC Oil & Gas Company needed to improve training, despite the manager’s skill and experience. The research investigated the influence of geographical location on the perception of managers. The results prove that location contributes to the satisfaction or perception of specific development programs. The findings of the paper show the role and significance of training programs for members of the management team in employee development programs. The purpose of the employee development program is to transfer knowledge from one expert to another. The program acknowledges the importance of knowledge transfers and has a positive effect on employee retention and performance.

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