Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Retention is an issue that haunts HR folks!

Agility Mission Consulting
Thinking of retention risks: Focus on people finding their “sense of worth” before “sense of growth”
Retention is an issue that haunts HR folks much more than any other evil. Reasons are galore, that makes people think of moving out..one is "urge to get out of here" and the other could be "to get in there". Though it is just a trigger.


Someone's loss is someone's gain. The devil emerges, many a times, when a team becomes dysfunctional for any reason out of few given here; from losing a juicy project to a dictatorial manager to the poor review, etc. Much of the reasons for people choosing to move out are sectoral technology change, seasonal recessionary trends, making business sick and people have no clue on when company returns to pink. Let others participate and not leve it just to people in HR functions to do the loud and clear thinking and build a robust plan to retain the stars and others, respectfully called the 'B' players, as they hold the organization with their consistent performance and lesser threatening demands than the 'A' players.

Retention is a strategic game as it aims at averting the crisis due to the "War for talents" scenario. Skill building takes much longer time than buying it. Money makes the bull move. Titles, ESOPs, On-site opportunity, 7 star training, exposure and hefty sign-on bonus play a deal-maker trick. Here we have a capitalist mind-set, who says, 'WHO PAYS WINS' and rest of the lot say in chorus, 'let's re-build our long-term strategic retention rod-map'. The war has begun.

Surprisingly, while building war strategy to protect business, we often ignore what we are made of is just not people, who can be bought and sold, we have intelligent people, who keep searching for their 'sense of worth', much more valuable than the "market-rate".

Let's start talking to people heart-to-heart and you will find them having all the solutions that can make you think beyond the hell-imposed "survival strategy". People are there to grow with a sense of achievement, sense of belongingness, recognised, consulted, rewarded & respected. Share your concern if any, with them. "When in doubt, disclose" is what NRN says. What does not work is, "when in doubt, cut it out". Solutions are in-sight and easy.

Many a times, we have done statistical regression to the mean modeling of all employee exit data in an attempt to figure out what might have gone wrong in managing people and you get so very different reasons that you start doubting the authenticity of exit interview and people's diplomacy.

Retention actually starts from the date of hiring. You need to be aware of the personal reason as well beyond professional reasons for which one joins your organization and those have to mapped to ensure that they are taken care of, or fulfilled or else, disillusionment starts building. And mostly churn is not due to one-morning, one thought of quitting.

Remember, people look for their 'sense of worth' to the organization much before they start thinking of sense of growth. Ensure that a new employee finds her sense of worth very quickly and settles very well.

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