Florence Muindi, Caroline Awour Odandi


In order to survive, organizations need a pool of excellent, talented and productive
human capital to work in organizations. Retaining good employees has become the chief
concerns of nearly every organization The objective of the study was to investigate the factors
that influence retention of rural health workers in hospitals in Kenya. The study used descriptive
research design. The population comprised of all the medical staff working in hospitals in Siaya
County The study used stratified sampling to ensure all segment of population were represented..
The study used primary data that was collected through self-administered questionnaires. Data
was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found out that training and development, and
career development opportunities are adequate and positively influence retention in the
hospitals. Training and development was being used by the hospitals to retain its health workers
through proper orientation, releasing employees to attend training and monitoring training and
development plans for all employees. Career development in the hospitals gives the health
workers opportunities grow in their careers and achieve career goals.. Compensation does not
help in retention of health workers as they were not adequately compensated. This de-motivates
the health workers as the rewards offered to employees were not commensurate with market
offers in larger towns and therefore they are constantly looking for a new job that will
remunerate them according to their work. The management style adopted by the hospital
leadership did not encourage retention of staff. This is especially in terms of fairness,
appreciation because of lack involvement in decision making. The rural environment does not
help in retention either. The nature of work has little room for flexibility in scheduling and that
the workload is high due to low staffing levels. The findings imply that Governments should
enhance the compensation of rural health workers if they want to retain them. Hospitals need
also to reduce workload of health workers which was seen to be high and does not
commensurate with reward. Additionally, the hospitals should invest in training the health
facilities managers on leadership and management to enhance retention of staff.

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