Understanding Management Practices for Engaging and Retaining Professional Workers in War and Conflict Environments: A Literature Review
This research aims to identify management practices for engaging and retaining professional workers in war and conflict environments and discuss their research and practical implications. International NGOs and Multinational Enterprises (MNES) find engaging and retaining workers in conflict environments challenging for a number of reasons. The work environments is often difficult and in many cases pose a threat to personal safety, although the remuneration and job security is not as bad as found in other sectors. Unlike in other sectors, the turnover of staff presents costs to these organizations. In other sectors, management has sought to address attrition through a range of employee engagement and retention practices. These practices included those identified by the literature such as satisfying working conditions, higher salary and better benefits. It is not clear what practices are adopted by International NGOs and Multinational Enterprises (MNES) operating in war and conflict environments and how successful they are. This research explores these questions by considering management practices for retaining and engaging professional workers in war and politically unstable environments. While little formal research has been conducted in this field, evidences found in the conflict-affected countries highlighted that there is a problem of staff retention for professional workers in war and conflict environments. In addition, personal experience and anecdotal evidence has suggested that staff turnover is present and presents significant challenges for organizations operating in such contexts. Data was collected using sources such as review of relevant literature and government reports, newspaper reports and departmental and organizational reports. Findings revealed that while it is extremely difficult to operate in war and conflict environments, organizations working there still manage to engage and retain staff through employee empowerment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewards as the variables for influencing employee engagement and retention in such contexts.
Keywords: Management Practices, Staff Engagement, Staff Retention in war and conflict settings