Employee Mass Exodus

I left my work because I was not recognised


Every year, the public service institutions and private sector companies lose hundreds – if not thousands – employees due to certain factors. In Namibia, a huge number of employees exit the public sector in search of greener pastures in the private sectors. A newspaper article “Over 3 800 leave govt. jobs: brain drain has hit hard since last April” by Elvis Muraranganda of the Namibian Sun stated that “government offices, ministries and agencies are experiencing a massive staff turnover due to resignation, job dissatisfaction and dismissal, among other reasons” (2013, p.1). The question is, perhaps, ‘how can an organisation return and attract employees?’

English: diagram showing the process of brain ...

English: diagram showing the process of brain drain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Story Behind the Story

In a certain organisation, years ago, was a crisis that almost ruined this organisation. It did not seem like the crisis could cause damage when it began, but as years went by the pain could be felt in the entire organisation. The manager favored others and disregarded others. The ones who were favored were people who are known as the “yes people” because anything the manager said, they would follow; but the ones not  favored were people who questioned some decisions taken and did not agree with him.

Now it happened that disregarded and less favored employees so injustices of the manager who would not complement even the good works of employees except the ones he favored. Because this was a leading organisation, employees did not want leave but the situation forced them to look for better working conditions and opportunities elsewhere. Employee after employee made their exit every year and replacements were hard and positions took long times to be filled. When positions were filled, the employee would not take time before leaving as well. Most were not sent to refresher courses or training.

As time went-by, activities of the organisation were affected and productivity was very low, competitors employed people from this organisation. They were now regarded as crucial asserts elsewhere when they were regarded as lazy people before. In the mean time, the organisation suffered as employees continued to leave. The organization suffered a great deal because it lost employees with experience and a massive knowledge to its competitors.

Essence of the story

Questions to consider: Can your organisation manage without knowledgeable manpower? Can you, as a manager, be able to live with so many bad decisions and manage to get through all your mess?

The work of librarians is stressful sometimes, and may lead employees to pursue other professions rather than librarianship. Depending on situations and perceptions, employees will seek for better opportunities with other organisations which they perceive well. Organisations should, therefore, recognize the contributions which their employees make. Non-financial rewards such as genuine social recognition have a big impact on employee productivity and quality service behaviors (Luthans: 2011, p.101). Some people cannot see themselves working anywhere else, so they remain regardless of how dissatisfied they feel. In essence, employees become dissatisfied because of several reasons such as the attitude of managers towards employees, lack of appreciation and recognition by the supervisor, and available opportunities at the current organisation such as the possibility for promotion.


Just as some organisations in Namibia may be overlooking after the well-being of their employees, the country’s public service may also be at fault with their employees. Despite the fact that education levels of citizens are low, nothing is being done to improve and equip employees with new skills through training and development programmes. In Suppression of Talent and Innovation, Henny Seibeb (2013: p. 10) underlines the fact the “Despite high unemployment, low levels of education and a suppressive financial regime, there is no strategic plan to identify and support talent in Namibia” as other countries like China have done.

Lack of training may therefore lead employees to perceive that they are being sidelined, and may in the end tend to find greener pastures where opportunities are available. Greenberg (2011, p. 68) states that “Workers consider their job performance ratings to be fair to the extent that certain procedures are followed, such as when raters are believed to be familiar with their work and when they believe that the standards used to judge them are applied to everyone equally and consistently.” Unfortunately, this is not often the case in public institutions. Sometimes superiors do not even consider the line of duty a person is into, but they only consider the positions, e.g. the superior may not look at the type of work a reference librarian and a bibliographic librarian does, but evaluate both of them as simply librarians. This is wrong, and superiors should try to separate the differences involved in work schedules of their inferiors.


1. Luthans, Fred (2011). Organizational behavior: an evidence-based approach. 12th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

2. Seibeb, H. (2013 Nov 8). Suppression of talent and innovation. Vol. 28, No.51. Windhoek: The Namibian  http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=5853&page_type=story_detail

3. Muraranganda, E. (2013 Oct 31). Over 3 800 leave govt. jobs: brain drain has hit hard since last April. Windhoek: Namibian Sun

4. Greenberg, J. (2011). Behavior in organizations. 10th ed. Boston: Pearson


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