Relationship between succession planning practices and employee retention in large media houses in Kenya
The objective of the study was to establish the relationship between succession planning practices and employee retention in large media houses in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. This design was suitable for the study since it involved collecting data from several respondents. Primary data was obtained using selfadministered semi structured questionnaire which was the main data collection instrument. The study targeted 3,000 permanent employees working in the media houses. The researcher used Mugenda and Mugenda (1999) percentage formula and employed a stratified proportionate sampling design to select the sample size. Data was then analyzed using descriptive statistics and analysis of variances. Tables, pie charts and graphs were used to present the findings. From the study, the findings reveal that there is a positive relationship between succession planning practices and employee retention. Additionally, the findings suggest that succession planning practices are evidently implemented in the media houses though only for key positions and not all positions. The findings also suggest that career management is critical as majority of the employees feel that there are no clear career paths and if they exist, they are too narrow. This is evident in that though it has been implied that employees leave in search of better benefits and pay the strong reason why they leave is mostly for career progression. Recommendations that were drawn from the study were that; clear career paths need to be put in place and promotions should always not only be on merit but consider seniority and experience. Pay should always be benchmarked with the market rate and also be based on performance. The current succession planning policy should clearly be known to all employees from the day of induction and be reviewed after two years for it to be practical. It is not enough for managers to have good management skills but time should be allocated for training and grooming of employees who have potential for leadership. Head-hunting and networking has contributed to retention of key talent but has also brought about demotivation of other employees who play a key role in increasing the productivity of the organizations. In this regard, management should exhaust all internal talent before considering external talent. The conclusion of this study is that there exists a positive relationship between succession planning practices and employee retention as confirmed by the correlation analysis where (R = 0.274). In this regards, all managers need to identify their own successors in every position and manage the career progress of their team members so as to avoid career stagnation and losing key talent.