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A model of employee satisfaction amongst health-related professionals in South Africa : the case of Western Cape
This study's main aim was to develop a model of employee satisfaction for health-related professions in South Africa. Health-related professions refer to a variety of practitioners who work in the healthcare sector mostly in support capacity to the clinical or medical practitioner. They include laboratory technologists, pharmacists, radiographers, emergency medical services (paramedics), nurses, and optometrists. These practitioners comprise a diverse group who deliver high quality care to patients across a wide range of care pathways and in a variety of settings. This band of professionals was chosen as the focus of the study because most studies, which relate to health workers' satisfaction and motivation in South Africa, have concentrated on medical doctors and nurses without a commensurate interest in other health-related professionals. The study is a multi-faceted one, and incorporates both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The study is also exploratory because no model of this kind exists amongst health-related professions of South Africa. Permission to access selected institutions for the study was granted before the researcher approached the population for the study. The researcher decided not to use a sample, but to include all members of this population in the participating institutions in order to get as many participants as possible. From a total population of 987, only 117 usable questionnaires were returned. Data that was collected was coded for Statistical Program for Social Science (SPSS) suitability. SPSS was utilized to generate the frequency and descriptive statistics. The data collection instrument was the Plus Delta Organizational Climate Questionnaire, which was modified on the basis of a preliminary study. The data instrument achieved a coefficient alpha (Cronbach) of 0.8, which extended its reliability. With the use of factor analysis, this study was able to identify seven (7) factors which influence employee satisfaction within the health-related professions in South Africa. These factors include Role Clarification and Job Design, Equitable Performance Management, Integrated Leadership and Knowledge Sharing and Self-efficacy, while the other factors include Family-friendly Work Environments, Leader Credibility and Innovation, and Excellent Customer Relations and Technology. These factors make up the model of employee satisfaction for health-related professions considered in this research. While the researcher suggests that further studies should be conducted in order to establish the validity of the model, the researcher also makes a call for a data collection instrument to be distilled from the model. However, this study will undoubtedly add to the sparse literature on health-related practitioners. This position is assumed because most literature on health professions' job satisfaction/dissatisfaction favours doctors and nurses. The study will also assist in understanding some of the reasons for the often reported sense of job insecurity among practitioners in South Africa. The study has produced a model, which health-related professions can utilise to manage themselves better. It is hoped that the model will serve health-related professions with better gains, such as reduction in health-related professional attrition, elimination of low levels of trust between management and staff and reduction in high incidences of absenteeism, which constituted research problems of this study.