Retain your staff
Retain your staff

Retain your staff

Indian industry is facing the great challenge of high attrition of employees, affecting profitability & growth, says N K Sharma

We work; the majority of our adult lives. So, it´s important to find an environment where we feel valued and have meaningful work to do. Employees want to learn and grow and work for a manager who encourages and supports excellence in all they do. And in return, they want to be treated with dignity and respect, have some influence over their future and feel appreciated for their contributions. People thrive when they are part of a winning organisation. They have pride in the products and services being offered, they know they can satisfy customer needs and are confident they can positively impact the success of the organisation.

Conceptually, following are the imperative impacts and some of the reasons to be tackled by HR to take appropriate decision to stop attrition:

  • High attrition rate is always disruptive and costly as every placement is always costlier. Identifying the reasons why people leave an organisation should be continuously measured.
  • HR should take the plan to attack problems causing unnecessary turnover and to reduce employee cost.
  • A promising and industry comparable growth plan is always a great deal of help for better retention; successful organisations are able to create good environment besides meeting basic needs of employees.
  • Employee satisfaction: To assess employees´ satisfaction level, continuous satisfaction survey should be regularly conducted.
  • Companies should create a conducive working environment. In this way they become an ´employer of choice´. People will want to work there because their individual needs are met - for a good job with prospect linked to training, appraisal and working with a good boss, who listens and gives some autonomy and helps with coaching and guidance.
  • Non-financial factors are equally important to retain good employees who are valuable assets of the organisation.

Reasons for Attrition
Attrition can be encouraged when it is part of a strategic business manoeuvre to reduce cost. It can also manifest itself when employees voluntary leave their job. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

1.Employees may move or retire.
2.Take another job.
3.Be ill-suited to the position they were hired to fill.
4.Want more equitable work.
5.Others may experience a lack of freedom or autonomy.

Factor Affecting Retention
1.For early career employees (30 years and under), career advancement (growth prospect) is significant.
2.For mid-career employees (age 31 - 50), ability to manage their career and job satisfaction is important.
3.Late career employees (age over 50 years) will be interested in security and autonomy.

Other factors
1.Company image.
2.Recruitment, selection and deployment.
3.Leadership - employees join companies and leave managers.
4.Learning opportunities - training facilities (national and international) for career advancement.
5.Performance recognition and rewards.

It´s crucial for business is when key people leave and vacate a key position they leave behind tremendous loss. Risk assessment should be done in advance and policy to retain such employees should be reviewed periodically. There should be continuous interaction with such key employees for knowing irritants, genuine requirements, autonomy for decision making, business output, appreciations for their effort and results.

Possible reasons for leaving
1.More pay
2.Better prospects (career move).
3.More job security.
4.More opportunity to develop skills.
5.Unable to cope with job.
6.Better working conditions.
7.Poor relationship with leader.
8.Poor relationship with colleagues.
9.Bullying or harassment.
10.Personal problems, illness, moving from native place.

Dealing with employee turnover
1.Deal with uncompetitive, inequitable or unfair pay system.
2.Design job to maximise skill variety, task significance and autonomy. Control over work and feedback.
3.Opportunity for learning and growth (Training and career path).
4.Encourage the development of social lives within the company (Relationship with boss & colleagues).
5.Ensure selection and promotion of capable people only as per demand of the job in which they have to work.
6.Appreciating employees.
7.Keep morale high: Keep employees in the loop about business issues and don´t let the office rumour mill get out of control.
8.Employees who feel you respect and value them tend to be loyal, which can diminish attrition.
9.Offer executive mentors and create challenging new opportunities for your top performer.

Conduct exit interviews:
1.You can learn a lot about why employees leave the company by conducting exit interviews. Ask resigning employees what they liked and didn´t like about their job and what would have made them want to stay. This information can help you reduce attrition in the future.
2.Take corrective steps to improve work-life balance, by developing policies including flexible working hours.
3.Eliminate as far as possible unpleasant working conditions or imposition of too much stress on employees.
4.Train managers and team leaders so that they can appreciate the positive contribution they can make to improve retention.
5.Bear in mind that people often leave their managers rather than organisations. Find out you are not that manager, if so, take corrective steps before it is too late for the company.
6.Make sure loyalty is made sustainable, averting a sense of insecurity in the mind of employees.
7.Bullying & harassment culture should be converted into handholding, guiding & enjoyable working culture.

Human resources in an organisation is as essential as business itself. With great efforts and cost, employees are developed and trained to be an integral part of business. Organisations always plan long-term associations and place their role in overall business roadmap to achieve objectives. Once a few employees plan to leave an organisation, this always leave behind a gap of relationship as it takes time to build it with a new joinee. High attrition is always loss of talent, and if attrition frequency is high, it adversely affects business prospects and profitability and stability. An organisation´s image building process also gets affected and talent acquisition becomes a difficult job for HR. In fact, the work environment of the organisation gets a jolt. Employee satisfaction and continued motivation with good appraisal system and reward mechanism can avert high attrition.

N K Sharma Vice - President (HR - P&A), KJS Cement Ltd, Rajnagar, Maihar.

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