The impact of specific human resource management (HRM) practices on employee turnover in public organisations of the State of Qatar as a rapidly developing country has been selected as the topic for this detailed research. The appearance of semi-private organisations in the labour market of Qatar had led to the increased competitiveness among these sectors. To retain employees in public organisations, the authorities implemented Qatar’s HRM policy in 2009. The key findings of the study on the impact of HRM practices on employee turnover or retention in public organisations of Qatar are presented in this executive summary.
The rapid economic growth of Qatar during the 2000s that was associated with external investment attracted numbers of foreign workers, stimulated the growth of the private sector, and led to the appearance of semi-private organisations partially owned by the government and private owners, for example, multinational companies. Professionals became interested in finding positions in the semi-private sector of Qatar because it combines the benefits of public and private sectors. This situation led to increasing the competition between the sectors in terms of retaining employees.
Law No. (8) on the Promulgation of the Human Resources was adopted in April 2009 to revise the approach to managing and retaining employees working in public organisations. The goal of this policy was to modernise the approaches to implementing HRM practices in public organisations. The focus was on introducing HRM practices as bundles according to the principles of the configurational perspective of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Research Aims and Methodology
The purpose of this study was to examine how employees’ turnover intentions and their job satisfaction could be impacted by Qatar’s 2009 HRM policy implemented in the public sector with the focus on the configurational SHRM perspective. To address this aim, the relationship between employees’ perceptions of such HRM practices as performance management, rewards and promotion, and training and development, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions in public organisations has been examined in contrast to the situation in the semi-private sector. Consequently, it has been analysed how the adoption of the HRM policy and associated HRM practices in Qatar could influence employee retention in the public sector.
The study has used the descriptive quantitative research design based on the application of the questionnaire with a 5-point Likert scale to collect and analyse the data related to three public organisations (the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs) and four semi-private organisations (Qatar Chemical Company Ltd (Q-Chem), RasGas Qatar Company, the Qatar Foundation, and the Barwa Company) located in Qatar. The final version of the questionnaire included six parts and covered five measured constructs (performance management, rewards and promotion, training and development, job satisfaction, and retention), as well as the demographic information. The collected data were analysed with the help of correlation and multiple regression statistical tests using the SPSS tool.
Findings and Conclusion
The analysis of the collected data revealed the following findings:
- The bundle of such HRM practices as performance management, rewards and promotion, and training and development can predict changes in employee retention in the public sector, but only to some extent, as the role of performance management is not revealed as statistically significant in this case.
- The selected HRM practices cannot predict changes in employees’ job satisfaction or then predict their turnover intentions in the public sector.
- The impact of the selected HRM practices in the semi-private sector does not have a more positive effect on employee retention than it is in the public sector, and the adoption of the training and development practice can lead to a negative impact on employee retention.
- There are no statistically significant differences between correlations of HRM practices and employees’ retention in public and semi-private organisations.
It has been concluded that the HRM practices adopted in the context of Qatar’s 2009 HRM Policy cannot be discussed as influencing employees’ retention significantly while affecting their satisfaction in the public sector. There are also no significant differences regarding the impact of the HRM practices on employees’ turnover intentions between public and semi-private sectors. Moreover, the configurational perspective applied in public organisations of Qatar according to the 2009 HRM Policy seems to have no obvious effects on retention.
Implications for Practice
The study has demonstrated that the assumptions regarding the higher levels of job satisfaction and lower turnover intentions for employees in the semi-private sector in comparison to employees from the public sector were not supported. Furthermore, employees’ perceptions of bundles of HRM practices in Qatar’s public sector are not correlated with turnover intentions or with the mediating factor of job satisfaction. The possible reason is a specific national environment. HR policymakers and managers in Qatar’s public organisations can use this study results to develop their strategy regarding the implementation of practices to stimulate retention. Still, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the analysed practices do not work effectively as bundles in Qatar because of specifics of the national culture.
The study findings can be used by HR managers working in the context of a rapidly developing economy of the Middle East. HR specialists should realise that perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours of employees in public organisations of Qatar can be influenced by a variety of psychological factors, rather than by such practices and factors as performance management, rewards, opportunities for promotion, and training. Referring to the study results, HR specialists can conclude that, in the public sector of Qatar, the focus only on specific HRM practices cannot potentially lead to positive changes in retention.