African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4193

Full Length Research Paper

Engaging employees for improved retention at a higher education institution in South Africa

Elizabeth Kedibone Ngobeni1* and Adelé Bezuidenhout2
  1Directorate Human Resources Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve Campus, Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa. 2Department of People Management and Development, Tshwane University of Technology Pretoria West Campus, Staatsartillerie Road, Pretoria West, City of Tshwane, Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 August 2011
  •  Published: 07 October 2011



Engaging and retaining valuable and skilled employees is a major challenge faced by South African universities. The main aim of this study was to measure the levels of engagement of staff at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and to determine whether labour turnover can be contained through effective engagement strategies. The methodology followed included a quantitative-descriptive survey distributed to 200 employees representing both academic and administrative departments at TUT. A 58% response rate was obtained. The main findings in terms of engagement levels were that the majority of the staff knew what was expected from them, felt their jobs were important and believed that they had the opportunity to employ their skills daily. A lack of feedback regarding progress and an absence of recognition of excellence, manifested as a concern for employees. The study contributes to the body of knowledge on employee engagement and turnover by providing line managers and human resources practitioners with insight into the specific workplace practices that will have a positive effect on the engagement levels of the entire staff component at TUT. Interventions that will address the existing shortcomings can be designed based on the findings of this study.


Key words: Employee engagement, turnover, higher education, university of technology.