Generation Y employees perception of the role of leadership in retention a survey of commercial banks in Kenya
Job hopping is apparent in Kenya's banking industry (Njuguna, 2009). A higher turnover is experienced among generation Y employees compared to the previous generations and has been partly attributed to their differences in communication styles, technological aptitude and work-life balance. These differences present organisation leaders with unique opportunities and obstacles that shape the retention strategies, including the leadership styles, which they adopt. Employers who fail to invest in this group are likely to see less loyalty than those who do (Armour, 2005; Kreitner, 2009; PwC, 2011; Spectrum Knowledge, 2010). The main objective of this study was to determine generation Y employees' perception of the role of leadership in retention. The research was conducted at the big four commercial banks in Kenya namely; Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Barclays Bank of Kenya and Standard Chartered Bank and targeted generation Y (aged 30 and below) skilled staff. From each of the four banks, fifty generation Y employees were selected. The sample was obtained through random selection. In total, the sample was therefore composed of two hundred subjects. The research data was gathered exclusively through questionnaires as the primary research instrument. SPSS was used to analyse the data and derive descriptive statistics which included frequency tallies, percentage scores, means and standard deviations. After the data was analysed, the research findings were presented using frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. Key findings revealed that job hopping is rife in the commercial banks among generation Y as shown by the fact that 83.2% of the respondents indicated that they would continue working for their current employers for less than five years. The findings also revealed that remuneration package was the main reason why the generation Y employees move from one bank to another. This, in the researcher's opinion, can be attributed to the rising cost of living that Kenya has experienced over the years. In addition, the findings indicated that most (43.5%) of the generation Y employees at the commercial banks prefer a coach/mentor relationship between them and their leaders. The key conclusion of this study was that leaders should consider adopting participative, democratic, flat-line management and collaborative leadership styles which involve not only leading but also allowing generation Y employees to lead.