This is a study based on a research project which took place in one health care organisation. It examines the issue of staff retention and attempts to identify the significant factors which affect it. Staff retention has been the subject of many studies; in Ireland research has focused mainly on the issue of retention of nursing staff in health services (McCarthy, 2002:, D.A.T.H.s and St. Luke's Hospital, 2000). This context has been driven by a shortage of nurses and their perceived dissatisfaction with opportunities for professional development and with working conditions. Other sectors of the health service also have suffered from retention difficulties some of which have been driven by market conditions.
Health Services were expanded in the late 1990s and in 2000 - 2002 period and many new posts created a very different labour market where employees were able to look at a number of options. This contrasted dramatically with the late 1980s and early 1990s when achieving permanency and job security was a priority in the workforce (Donnellan, 2003). This study will focus on retention than turnover and will try to discover what encourages a staff member to stay in a job and an organisation rather than the factors which drive them to leave (Mitchell, 2001).