Hewu and Bisho Hospitals are two of the public hospitals in the region, with the former situated in Whittlesea in the Chris Hani District Municipality and the latter situated in the Amathole region. These are community hospitals. Hewu Hospital was built in Whittlesea because it was viewed as central to all villages in the district and the same applies to Bisho Hospital which services the community of Bisho and surrounding villages. Whittlesea is also the central business area in the district while Bisho used to be the capital town of the former Ciskei during the pre-1994 political dispensation.
At the time of writing there were 134 registered nurses and 10 registered doctors employed at Hewu Hospital. The hospital consisted of eight clinical wards, one intensive care unit and a maternity ward. Bisho had 250 registered nurses and seven doctors who were permanently employed. Even though both hospitals were well developed in terms of number of beds and services provided, they did experience problems.
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One of the main problems experienced is that of staff turnover. Hewu Hospital had 60 vacancies for nurses and 15 for doctors, and Bisho had 59 vacancies for nurses and 16 for doctors.
Both hospitals were operating at a ratio of one nurse to 18 patients. Since 2003. at Hewu Hospital, a total of 73 nurses and doctors have resigned which was indicative of the stressful situation that exists. The vacancies have increased the workload of the remaining doctors and nurses (Mgudlwa, 2006). Kreitner and Kinicki (2001, p. 28) state that staff turnover is costly and decreases the job satisfaction of the remaining staff. Turnover also disrupts organisational continuity and is very costly in terms of rehiring and training new employees (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001, p. 28).
It is therefore necessary to investigate staff turnover and find ways to control it. 2 To retain and maintain employees is not just about providing money and titles. It is also a matter of creating an environment or culture with which employees can identify (Bruce & Pepitone, 1999, p. 106). The goal of truly successful managers is to get employees to work energetically, enthusiastically and to the best of their ability. Davis (1997, p. 261) relates higher job satisfaction to lower employee turnover. The more satisfied employees tend to stay in their jobs for longer. The above discussion leads to the main problem of this study. . 2 THE MAIN PROBLEM What factors contribute to staff turnover at Hewu Hospital and Bisho Hospital? 1. 2. 1 Sub-problems The following sub-problems have been developed from the main problem: Sub-problem 1 What individual, job, organisational, and environmental factors impact on staff turnover? This sub-problem was addressed by a thorough literature study to compare and integrate the various theoretical approaches that highlight the factors that contribute to staff turnover. Interviews were conducted with the chief executive officer of Hewu Hospital and five senior nurses get their views on the abovementioned factors. Sub-problem 2 What strategies can organisations use to reduce staff turnover? This sub- problem was addressed by a theoretical study of strategies that organisations could use to reduce staff turnover. These strategies are covered in Chapter three. Sub-problem 3 What individual, job, organisational, and environmental factors, identified in the resolution of sub-problem one, contribute to high staff turnover among doctors and nurses at Hewu and Bisho Hospitals? This sub-problem was addressed by means of an empirical study, in the format of a survey with a questionnaire as data collecting tool.
The questionnaire was administered to doctors and nurses at both Hewu and Bisho Hospitals. Sub-problem 4 What strategies are used at Hewu and Bisho Hospitals to reduce staff turnover? This sub-problem was addressed by means of an empirical study in the format of a survey with a questionnaire as data collecting tool. 1. 2. 2 Objectives of the study The study aimed at achieving the following objectives: To conduct a theoretical study to define what staff turnover is, and investigate how staff turnover is measured, as well as to give an overview of the causes and consequences of staff turnover. 4
To conduct a literature study to identify factors relating to the individual, the job, organisation (including organisational culture) and environment that contribute to staff turnover. To conduct an interview with the chief executive officer and five senior nurses to get their views on staff turnover at Hewu Hospital. To use the information gained from the interview and from the literature study, to develop a questionnaire. This would be used in the empirical study to determine the extent to which doctors and nurses at both hospitals agreed that the identified factors were evident in their work situation.
To conduct a literature study to identify strategies that organisations can use to retain staff. To conduct an empirical study to determine what strategies were being used at Hewu and Bisho Hospitals to retain doctors and nurses. To provide recommendations for the reduction of staff turnover at these hospitals.