Assessing the impact of labour turnover on organisational performance

Assessing the impact of labour turnover on organisational performance. Case of Colcom Foods Limited Harare (2009-2013)
Background of the Study…
This research focused on the impact of Labour-turnover on the performance of Colcom Foods limited from 2009-2013. The company is located at 1/3 Coventry street in the Workington area in Harare. Colcom registered under Meat, Fish, Poultry and Abattoir Industry and is part of the Colcom Holdings group. The company is owned by Innscor Africa and is involved in the production of quality pork products like sausages, polony, pies, hams among others.
The company was formed in 1943 when the National pig breeders cooperative was formed. After that the Cold Storage Commission acted as their agent until 1961 when the Cooperative built its first processing factory at the present site in Harare at 1/3 Coventry Road. The firm is principally a pork company but in 2003 it established Associated Meat Packers (AMP) which subsequently became a venture, principally to process market beef. The venture caters for their customers as they do not only act as suppliers but actually own their own retail shop. Colcom Foods entered into an associate venture in Zimbabwe the Freddy Hirsch group. This venture manufactures and supplies natural and synthetic sausage casings.
In 2004 the company became majoritly owned by Innscor Africa group and has become a subsidiary since. The case of labour turnover was a minor issue during this period. However the organisation faced challenges in its performance due to inflation between 2004-2008. The company had problems in remunerating employees thus began the increase in labour turnover.

In 2009 labour turnover challenges increased at Colcom foods limited with 20 employees being retrenched, 26 dismissals and 30 resignations. The company had to recruit more contract employees to cover up workload but there was a decline in performance due to increased costs and loss of skills. Between 2010 and 2012 things were no better.

In 2013 and statistics recorded for this year predict that this year the percentage has increased. This complicated situation at Colcom Foods Limited provoked the researcher into thinking that if it is left unchecked loss of skills would continue and lead to the closure of the firm and result in a shortage of meat products in the country.
Therefore it is against this background that the researcher was motivated to carry out his investigations and recommend possible ways of dealing with problems associated with labour turnover and how to improve employee retention.

In the years under investigation the organisation Colcom Foods limited seen a decline in performance in relation to previous years. There has been an increasing rate in the loss of essential skills, most of which are hard to replace. As a result the organisation has experienced a decrease in productivity, increased costs, a decrease in efficiency, poor service delivery and loss of skills thus the profitability of the firm has declined. The researcher is strongly convienced that poor performance at Colcom Foods Limited is mainly due to high labour turnover which the company has conveniently ignored for a while. Carrying out this research is one way of informing management of the importance of preventing labour turnover so as to restore future fortunes for the company again. Workers at Colcom Foods limited work with fear and discomfort leading to poor performance due to labour turnover. Records show a rise in dismissal, resignations, retrenchment and contracts workers. On the other hand workers openly complained of poor working conditions.
Research Objectives
• To determine the existence of labour turnover at Colcom Foods Limited.
• To find out causes of labour turnover at Colcom Foods Limited.
• To determine the impact of labour turnover at Colcom Foods Limited.
• To determine solutions to problems created by labour turnover at Colcom Foods Limited.
• To assess the strategies that Colcom Foods Limited Zimbabwe Human resources management use to control and prevent labour turnover.

Research Questions/Sub-problems
In carrying out the research, the researcher seeks to answer the following questions;
• What evidence shows the existence of labour turnover at Colcom Foods Limited Zimbabwe?
• What are the causes of labour turnover which are affecting Colcom Foods Limited?
• What is the impact of labour turnover on the performance of Colcom Foods Limited Zimbabwe?
• What are the possible strategies and solutions to problems created by labour turnover on Colcom Foods Limited?
• What are the possible strategies used to control and prevent labour turnover?

H0: Labour turnover has an impact on the performance of Colcom Foods Limited Zimbabwe.

H1: Labour Turnover has no impact on the performance of Colcom Foods Limited Zimbabwe

Importance of the Study
The study will be worth to students, policy makers, management and the government
• Students – The research can be used by the academia and other students in their studies as reference work
• Policy makers – The research can be used to provide recommendation for policy makers and change agents to improve management practices based on the research findings as well as recommendations for further research
• Management – The study helps the organisation to realise the effects of labour turnover on performance and strategies that can be put in place to control and minimize the effects of thereof.
• Government – The study will help the government to assess the how to best retain staff in organisations including parastatals.
• The Customers – The results of the study can be also of more beneficial to the customers as the organisation will be able to have efficient well motivated staff which is aware of its roles and is committed to the best service delivery


Labour Turnover – it is the ratio of employees who leave an organisation through attrition, dismissal, or resignation during a period to the number of employees on payroll during the same period.
Organisational Culture – is the behaviour of humans who are part of an organization and the meaning that people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organisation’s values, visions norms, systems and procedures.
Socialisation – is the process whereby an organization teaches an individual the knowledge and skills necessary to assume his or her organizational role. It involves teaching new comers the values, behaviors, social knowledge and necessary workplace skills needed to successfully assume such roles and participate as committed organizational member.
Organisational Performance – the actual output or results of an organisation as measured against intended results/output.
Commitment – the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause i.e. organizational goals
Impact – a marked effect or influence of certain events on people or organisations. This may be either negative or positive.
Multi-Skilling- The training of a single employee in multiple skill-sets.
Exit interview- this is a survey conducted with an individual who is separating from or leaving the organisation.
Delimitation of the study
• The period of data collection will be confined to 2009 to 2013.
• The research will be limited to Colcom Foods Limited employees only ( both management and employees)
• Labour turnover exists at Colcom Foods Limited.
• Poor performance of the organisation is a result of Labour turnover.
• Labour turnover is negatively affecting the performance of Colcom Foods limited.
• Problems created by labour turnover can be controlled and managed.
• Labour turnover is not affecting Colcom Foods only but many other organisations in Zimbabwe.
Limitations of the Study
The researcher encountered the following challenges:
• Time constraints: the researcher was expected to be completed this study during the course of his academic period; and research was run concurrently with learning hours. It was also be run during working hours for the Colcom Foods Limited Staff.
• Financial constraints: due to telephone and travelling expenses the researcher found it very difficult to carry out the research,
• Non-disclosure of Information: Some respondents were not willing to disclose the information for fear of victimisation.
• Sample: The researcher used a small sample which led to generalisations of results.

The study will remain guided by historical and recent data obtained from research sources in order to avoid duplication of work.
• It helps the researcher to evaluate his own efforts by comparing with similar efforts of others who monopolized similar situations before.
• Gives insight on the issues of methodology used in data collection of a particular subject
• It shows how others who did similar studies handled the situation
• Can review sources of data that may have been known by the researcher to have existed.
• Helps in the formation of a research hypothesis
• Acts as guidance to the research process.
Sources to include the following:
• Textbooks
• Journals
• Newspapers
• Internet
• Other publications
Research Methods
The research was qualitative .However the researcher also made use of quantitative methods in data presentation. Kumar (2011:104) points out that, ‘the main focus in qualitative research is to understand ,explain ,explore ,discover and clarify situations ,feelings ,perceptions ,attitudes, values, beliefs and experiences of a group.’ The author used qualitative research as the elements in study were qualitative in nature and the need to explore the topic also inductively generating hypotheses and theories. In addition qualitative research can also be used for testing hypotheses and theory. Furthermore with qualitative research there is in depth examination of phenomena. Kumar (2011) highlights that explanatory research attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship between two aspects of a situation or phenomenon.

Case Study (PAUL D. LEEDY)
A type of descriptive research study in which data is gathered directly from individuals (individual cases) or social or community groups in their natural environment for the purpose of studying interactions, attributes, or characteristics of individual groups.
Sources of Data
Primary Data is going to be collected from respondents through questionnaires while secondary data is going to be collected from documentary analysis which includes textbook, journal and newspapers.
Collection Technique
The researcher is going to use questionnaires and interviews.
Sampling Technique
According to Kumar (2011:193) sampling ‘is the process of selecting a few from a bigger group (the sampling population) to become the basis for estimating or predicting the prevalence of an unknown piece of information, situation or outcome regarding the bigger group.’ Bhattacharyya (2003:355) postulates that a sample is, ‘a subset of a population from which data is collected and then used to estimate parameters of the total population.’ The researcher is therefore going to use random sampling which gives all employees a chance of being selected and also convenience sampling since the research is being carried out during working hours.
Kumar (2004:126) has defined a questionnaire as a written list of questions, the answers to which are recorded by respondents. It involves a list of questions which will be answered by the respondents. The technique is especially effective where there exist large samples as in this case. More so work activities would not be interrupted as the respondents fill up the questionnaires at their own free time. Questionnaires are advantageous in that they can accommodate many questions and in the process exhausting the phenomena under review.
Semi-structured Interviews
This technique allows the conversation to flow naturally. Thomas (2009) suggests that a semi structured interview provides the best of both worlds as far as interviewing is concerned, combining the structure of a list of issues to be covered together with freedom to follow up on points deemed necessary. With semi-structured interviews the conversation can digress into more