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AN INVESTIGATION ON THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE RETENTION OF EMPLOYEES IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY( CASE STUDY OF SOCOCAM SARL, DOUALA, CAMEROON)

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AN INVESTIGATION ON THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE RETENTION OF EMPLOYEES IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY( CASE STUDY OF SOCOCAM SARL, DOUALA, CAMEROON)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Employees are considered the human capital of organizations due to their possession of valuable skills, experience, abilities, and cumulative tacit knowledge that have economic value for companies. However, certain types of labour are more productive than others due to the higher level of investment in their training. This is similar to how a machine that has received more resources tends to be more productive. Employee retention is crucial for maximising return on investment. Beyond that, it is crucial for staying competitive in the ever evolving global economic landscape. Competition exerts pressure on organizations to sustain their competitive advantage. However, an industry or company with a poor retention rate, also known as high turnover, will not reap the rewards of their investments in recruitment, training, development, and management. As a result, the company will lose valuable internal knowledge, intelligence, and expertise. While, high turnover leads to a costly and detrimental cycle of recruiting, orienting, and training new employees, which can negatively impact both internal and external customer relationships (Ses & Nil, 2018). Retention is a complex concept and there is no singular formula for maintaining employees within a company, specifically construction company. Construction companies are the backbone of a nation, showcasing its development through the seamless execution of projects in various sectors such as hydropower, infrastructure, and building construction. The growth of these companies reflects the overall progress of the country (Wysocki, 2019). Furthermore, employees play a pivotal role in driving the operations of construction companies. However, retaining skilled and trained employees has become a pressing concern due to the persistent challenge of high turnover rates (Samuel & Chipunja, 2019). To retain talent, it is crucial for construction companies to offer competitive salaries and foster a conducive working environment. According to Wysocki (2019), regular evaluation of job performance and the implementation of ongoing training and development programs are also essential. Recognizing the importance of retaining the best talent, organizations invest in training and development initiatives to enhance employees' efficiency and effectiveness (Khadka, 2019). These efforts not only contribute to the retention of skilled personnel but also ensure the sustained growth and success of construction companies, thus bolstering the nation's development endeavors. Nevertheless, the success of any organizations relies on the quality of its employees. In order to address the difficulty of retaining skilled employees in the face of growing demand for high-quality products or services and tight deadlines, companies, especially their HR departments, need to devise strategies for recruiting, engaging, retaining, training, compensating, motivating, and planning for the future of their workforce. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate on the factors affecting the retention of employees in road construction industry ( case study of SOCOCAM SARL, Douala, Cameroon)

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Employers in Cameroon commonly cite better salary and compensation offers elsewhere as the primary reason for employee resignations. Particularly, emerging sectors like financial services tend to offer more competitive compensation packages, posing a significant challenge in retaining employees and effectively managing human resources today (Ses & Nil, 2018). However, one of the primary challenges faced by Human Resource Management (HRM) in construction industry is the retention of skilled, qualified, and motivated employees essential for organizational success(Akala & Harrison, 2018). High turnover rates not only reflect negatively on the organization but also result in increased recruitment and selection expenses. Therefore, reducing turnover rates is imperative. This challenge is not unique to any specific region but is a global issue, including in Cameroon. According to Alshamrani et al. (2023), employee retention is contingent upon the employer's comprehension of the employee and the level of assistance provided to them in resolving issues. Also, the effectiveness of employees in an organization is affected by the availability of financial resources and time. Departing personnel who have received training result in a loss for the organization. Ramos (2019) emphasizes that the organization suffers from the difficulty to keep personnel, resulting in various costs such as hiring loss, productivity loss, and training loss. One issue is the loss of knowledge when an employee departs with vital information about the organization's current and historical history. This is a scenario in which a substantial amount of money is invested in employees with the expectation of future returns. Nevertheless, retaining employees is crucial for achieving organizational goals and ensuring sustained success. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to investigate on the factors affecting the retention of employees in road construction industry.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate on the factors affecting the retention of employees in road construction industry. Specifically, the study will;

Determine employee perceptions about the retention strategies of SOCOCAM SARL, Douala, Cameroon.

Identify the factors affecting retention of employees at SOCOCAM SARL, Douala, Cameroon

Determine the strategies currently being used to retain employees at SOCOCAM SARL, Douala, Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the employee perceptions regarding the retention strategies implemented at SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon?

What factors are influencing the retention of employees at SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon?

What strategies are currently being utilized by SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon to retain their employees?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant impact of employee retention strategies on performance of SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon.

Ha: Employee retention significantly impact the performance of SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

With the findings of this study construction companies will be able to develop strategies on how to keep their best employees. In doing so, the companies will lower their hiring costs, boost output and efficiency, and produce high-quality goods and services at a reasonable price, all of which will help them keep their competitive advantage or outperform their competitors. Additionally, the research will assist the managers and leaders of the organization in addressing the factors affecting the retention of employees and effectively improve the performance road construction industry.Furthermore,  subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the factors affecting the retention of employees in road construction industry.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the factors affecting the retention of employees in road construction industry. Empirically, this study will determine employee perceptions about the retention strategies, identify the factors affecting retention of employees and determine the strategies currently being used to retain employees .

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of SOCOCAM SARL in Douala, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Employee retention: is the ability of an organization to keep its employees engaged and committed to their jobs for an extended period. It involves implementing strategies and practices to retain talented and skilled employees within the organization, thus reducing turnover rates.

Employee turnover: the rate at which employees leave an organization and need to be replaced. 


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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  • Methodology: Yes available


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