Staff retention strategies in a humanitarian context : the challenge of the Generation Y

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Dadie, Synzi
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MA of Business Administration
Dublin Business School
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The last decade, has seen an increase in the number of humanitarian crisis in a context of ongoing economic crisis. This has also increased the demand for humanitarian workers in a labour market that is progressively dominated by the Generation Y. At the same time high staff turnover has become a concern for humanitarian organisations as it reduces the effectiveness of their work and puts additional pressure on remaining staff. In this study the issue of staff retention is explored and the external and internal factors affecting staff working in a humanitarian context are analysed. The objective of the study is to identify the most appropriate approach NGOs can adopt to improve retention of Gen Y staff working in a humanitarian context. NGOs will then be in a position to design a HR strategy that takes into consideration the specific needs and expectations of Gen Y staff. This is turn will allow for a more sustainable humanitarian workforce and more effective humanitarian action. For the purpose of this research, primary data was collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with Gen Y expatriate staff in the Central African Republic and in Rwanda. Publication and studies on the subject were reviewed as a source of secondary data.