Vocations and Learning vol:2 issue:3 pages:195-215
In this continuously changing contemporary economy, companies have to be able to anticipate technological innovations and to compete with other companies worldwide. This need makes important a company’s ability to evolve through its employees’ learning and through continuous development. Securing and retaining skilled employees plays an important role in this process, because employees’ knowledge and skills are central to companies’ ability to be economically competitive. Given that employee retention is very important for the functioning and competitiveness of a company, this study focuses on the organisational and personal factors that influence employee retention. A special interest is taken in employees’ learning, because this is seen as a retention supporting activity. A questionnaire was administered to 349 employees, and 11 employees were interviewed. The interviews are used to illustrate and contextualise the quantitative results. The results show a large positive contribution of appreciation and stimulation of the employee to employee retention. This result is consistent with findings of earlier research. However, the retention benefits arising from personal development offer new possibilities when attempting to enhance employee retention. This study also showed that individual differences influence employee retention. Leadership skills and seniority have a positive relationship with employee retention and the level of readiness and initiative regarding learning are negatively related to retention.