Globally, employee turnover has always been a big challenge to many organizations. In the teaching profession, the global annual turnover intention stands at 45% which is high above the 10-15% recognized by Human Resource Management (HRM) researchers. In 2015, Kenya had a total of 288, 000 teachers and a deficit of 144,708 teachers however, the situation has not changed much since current data indicates that Kenya has a total of 301,560 teachers and requires more than 155,605 teachers. Despite such scenario, the latest research showed that more than 129,600 out of the 288,000 teachers employed by the TSC wished to quit the teaching profession. Previous researches on turnover have produced mixed results on the influence of HRM practices and employee turnover thus creating two schools of thought. Previous research on the Job embeddeness (JE) construct and turnover intentions were done in developed countries and in industries like banking, hospitality, Universities among others. In order to bridge this gap, the current study sought to establish the influence of HRM practices on tutor turnover intentions in Public Primary Teacher Training Colleges (PTTCs) in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region (NMR) in Kenya with JE construct as the mediating variable. The objectives of the study were to establish the influence of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices namely; Training, Compensation, Career development and Performance management on tutor turnover intentions in PTTCs in NMR in Kenya and to assess the mediating influence of JE on the relationship between HRM practices and tutor turnover intentions in PTTCs in NMR in Kenya. The study was anchored on the unfolding model of voluntary turnover, the Universalistic theory and Job embeddedness model among others. The study employed the descriptive and explanatory research designs. The scope of the study was the Nairobi Metropolitan region with a population of 258 tutors where multi stage sampling technique was used to obtain a sample size of 152 tutors. Quantitative primary data was collected using a closed ended questionnaire. Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (multiple linear regression) were used to analyze data where statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) computer package tool was used. The research was anchored on positivism research philosophy and used descriptive and exploratory research designs. Data was presented using tables and charts. The findings of the study showed that the HRM practices namely; employee training, employee compensation, career development and performance management were poorly practiced in PTTCs in NMR. Further, the study showed that training, compensation, career development and performance management have a significantly negative influence on tutor turnover intentions in PTTCs in NMR. The JE construct partially mediated the relationship between HRM practices and tutor turnover intentions in PTTCs in NMR. The study recommends that the Government and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should make an effort to improve on the HRM practices in PTTCs in NMR. Second, since JE construct was found to partially mediate the HRM practices-Turnover intentions relationship, TSC and the Government could try and post tutors in areas where they can experience some form of belonging. The research recommends that a national study can be carried out mediated by other variables across all teacher training colleges in Kenya. Since turnover intentions translate to turnover in the long run, a longitudinal study can be done to examine the evolutionary effect of HRM practices on tutor turnover intentions in PTCCs in Kenya
Background of the Study
Employee turnover has become a challenge to many organizations in the management of employees (Foon, Chee-Leong, & Osman, 2010). Price and Mueller (1981) grouped turnover in to two; voluntary turnover and involuntary turnover. They posit that voluntary turnover occurs when an employee makes a personal decision to leave an organization willingly, while involuntary turnover occurs when an employer decides to dismiss an employee from the organization. Kaur, Mohindru and Pankaj (2013) state that involuntary turnover has been argued to be generally good for an organizational interest while voluntary turnover is seen as destructive to for organizational stability. They further argue that employees voluntarily leave organizations due to a number of reasons such as lack of job satisfaction, low satisfaction with an employer, low levels of promotion and growth opportunities, greener pastures in other organizations, resistance to organizational changes or restructuring among others.
According to Rundle (1997) the most important factor that determines how firms adapt and respond to their competitive environment is the people factor, as the survival of any business is strongly determined by its human capital. Human resource management (HRM) practices are important pillars when it comes to building and maintaining employee trust in any organization. Skinner (2004) argues that the choice of strategies and policies that an organization makes and the way they implement them is an assurance to the employees that the organization can be trusted in its operations.
Raigama (2010) believes that employee satisfaction, employee commitment, employee retention, employee presence, social climate between workers and management, employee involvement, employee trust, employee loyalty, organizational fairness and employee turnover are all as a result of good HRM practices .Therefore when HRM practices are properly designed they can help to reduce employee turnover in organizations.
Johnsrud and Rosser (2002) hold the opinion that it may be practically difficult to study actual turnover behavior. This is because it is hard to track the whereabouts of the employees who have left; in addition their response rate to survey is usually low. It is for this reason that Fang (2001) argued that turnover intention can be safely used as a good measure of employee turnover. As cited in Mohd, Mohmad and Kawsar (2011), many studies have used turnover intention as the best predictor of actual turnover.
Based on attitude-behavior theory by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) that one’s intention to perform a specific behavior is a closer predictor of that behavior, turnover intent rather than actual turnover should be seen as the best predictor of turnover . Employee turnover is posing problems to all organizations today both public and the private organization due to the negative consequences on organizations (Shamsuzzoha & Shumon, 2007). Abdali (2011) states that, the operations and performance of an organization are significantly and negatively affected when employees leave that organization.
Even though the problem of turnover cuts across all types of organizations, the factors responsible for employee turnover are different for every organization and change over time. Shasuzzoha and Shumon (2012) point out that when employees are not managed well by an organization, then they are bound to look for greener pastures in other organizations. The decision by an employee to leave an organization can be attributed to very many factors therefore managers are finding it a challenge in understanding the different factors that have an impact on an individual’s turnover decision (Davies, 2001).