Employees are considered to be the source ofstrength and competitive advantage for anorganization. Successful organizationsrealize employee retention and talentmanagement are integral to sustaining theirleadership and growth in the market place.
In India, despite salary increases averagingmore than 15% annually in some industries,annual turnover rates among youngprofessionals are in an average to 15% to 30%and go as high as 50%. The explosive combination of ballooningsalaries and rising attrition signals a tightmarket for talent that could constrain India‟sgrowth in the future.
Many factors that affect turnover rates arebeyond an employer‟s control. But of thefactors that an employer can control, fouremerged as most important: namely:1. Performance management practices2. Professional development practices3. Quality of supervision4. Company‟s brand name
In turn, these four factors drive two key employeeattitudes – an employee‟s satisfaction with , andpride in the organization. When satisfaction and pride are at high levels,employees are likely to stay. The best companies drive employee satisfactionand pride by providing management support,training and professional opportunities early on. Employers should target high-potential employeesextremely early in their tenure and createaccelerated development plans for them.
Employee development plans alone are insufficient.Young, high potential employees demand activemanagement support. No matter what the environment, employees careabout nonmonetary rewards – pride, satisfaction,the support of the management team. Any company interested in accessing the laborforce needs to pay attention to these factors.
To counterfeit attrition, most companiesusually turn to increasing the compensationfor employees to retain them and become thebest paymasters. Even the big paymasters fail to understandthat higher salaries can only “delay” theattrition.
Employees seek opportunities that allow them touse and develop their skills and together with theireducational knowledge, yearn for converting theminto competencies. Leaving employees want more meaning in theirwork . They often indicate that they want to usetheir qualities and skills in challenging teamworkled by capable leaders
The Mentor plays a very vital role of handholding inthe initial stage of an enterprise. He is the guardian angel to whom an employee canturn to when in distress. The Mentor provides business guidance and shareshis/her experience and skills with the employee. The Mentor and the Mentee have to mutually agreeon the time the Mentor will spend with the Mentee.
1. Management policies2. Job role3. Compensation4. Boss5. Career growth6. Working conditions7. Work timings8. Communication
Key employee retention is critical to the longterm health and success of business. In sucha situation “workforce engagement” or“employee engagement” is the new mantra tocut down attrition or retain talent in theorganization. Businesses with highly engaged workforcesenjoy a tremendous advantage over theircompetitors.
To prosper in this new world, high prioritymust be given to increased productivity,through enlightened and effective peoplemanagement. Smart companies are proactively addressingthis crisis by changing their own jobenvironment and doing more to engage theiremployees.
An engaged employee is one who is willingand able to contribute to company success. Put another way, engagement is the extent towhich employees put discretionary effort intotheir work, beyond the required minimum toget the job done, in the form of extra time,brainpower or energy.
Employee engagement is the level ofcommitment and involvement an employeehas towards their organization and its values. An engaged employee is aware of businesscontext and works with colleagues to improveperformance within the job for the benefit ofthe organization.
The organization must work to develop andnurture engagement, which requires a twoway relationship between the employer andthe employee. Employee engagement is a barometer thatdetermines the association of a person withthe organization.
In these days of intensive focus on customersatisfaction, Employee Engagement programsand offering are designed as a key elementon their journey to “Customer Service throughOperational Excellence”.
As engagement rises, we see two importantoutcomes: 1. a decline in the likelihood of leaving thecompany. 2. a stronger orientation around meetingcustomer needs.
1. Committed employees perform better.2. Corporate culture characterized teamwork,pleasant working conditions.3. Considerate treatment of employees.4. Growth opportunities.5. Skill enhancement and abundant trainingopportunities.6. Flexible working opportunities.
Besides all these, a considerable shift inleaders‟ and managers‟ approach toemployees is required. Leadership and management practices appearto be critical to a psychologically healthyworkplace and directly lead to measurableand meaningful outcomes in terms ofretention, satisfaction, perceptions ofstress/workload and employee engagement.
Having a „fully engaged‟ employee is a win-win situation. Those employees stay longerand contribute in a more meaningful way. A highly engaged workforce will be a healthysign for the organizations at micro level andfor the country at macro level.
After Industrial Revolution people started working infactories. Information Revolution and 24 x 7 work in the wake of globalcompetition and global production networks are increasinglyblurring the distinction between home and work. Modern technologies facilitated women to join the workforcein large proportion. Rise of feminism apart, with dual earner families, nuclearfamilies and single parents becoming virtually the normespecially in metros, concerns of WLB assumed urgency andnew impetus from all quarters- governments, employers andindividuals.
Work provides meaning to life. It also provideslivelihood. However, life is not just meant for workalone. Its purpose and functionalities are muchwider in scope. People work for life but they donot live for work alone. The relationship between work and life hasacquired an important place in the modern societywhere people give equal importance to their workand life values.
The issue can be addressed at the macro levelthrough legislation, at the national level by thegovernment, by policy at the employer level andalso through communication and facilitation by theimmediate supervisors and making choices anddecisions at individual level and creatingcommon/shared/pooled services at the communitylevel by civil society institutions.
The demographic shifts and increasing tendencyfor greater participation of women, who comprisealmost half the workforce have resulted in aparadigm shift in redesign of workplace. Government policies seek to protect the workersfrom overwork and abuse, ban women workersfrom night work in certain occupations, at least tillrecently, reduce the weights to be handled bywomen, provide maternity and paternity leave andother facilities for child and elder care.
More and more companies have started regardingthemselves as a great place to work if they tookcare of some of the responsibilities of workers withfamily responsibilities and created family friendlypolicies and practices. Ranking of best places to work and best HRpractices is contingent also upon how sensitive theemployers are towards work, life and familyconcerns. Paying attention to WLB, most employers nowrealize, makes business sense and fundamental tooverall competitiveness.
WLBPs are those institutionalized structural and proceduralarrangements as well as formal and informal practices thatenable individuals to easily manage the conflicting worlds ofwork and family lives. Some common statutory policies are maternity benefits, anddiscretionary policies are flexi-time, telecommuting and jobsharing. Employee assistance programs like counseling and stressmanagement also fall under WLBPs. All these can be classified under policies, benefits andservices.
Policies cover the formal and informal ways thatemployees‟ work and leave schedules are handled,including part-time work, job sharing, flexi timeand parental/family leave. Benefits cover forms of compensation that protectagainst loss of earnings, payment of medicalexpenses and vacation or all of these. Services include on-site or near-site childcarecenters, counseling and eldercare programs
Toll of the person‟s health both physiologically andpsychologically leading to :Heart ailments, cardiovascularproblems, sleep disorders, depression, irritability, insecurity,poor concentration and even nervous breakdowns. Lack of concentration leading to low productivity, lesserquality of work, conflicts at workplace. Disrupted family life. Strained social life Financial problems due to ill health, poor management ofpersonal finance issues.
Need to manage increased expectations of employees withoutcompromising on business needs. Face problems like : Absenteeism, less productivity, lowquality of work, employee turnover, failure to attract andretain best talent. Management time increasingly spent on :counseling,motivation, conflict management, etc. More investment on additional resources.
Time management through task prioritization and activityplanning. Negotiate and use facilities like : work-sharing, job rotation,delegation, flexi timing, telecommuting, work from home,childcare and eldercare assistance. Indulging in some creative hobby, voluntary service whichhelps in de-stress. Seeking information and help required from managementfrom time to time.
Regular and direct communication with workers to makethem understand business priorities and encourage them tobe equally clear about their personal priorities. Help employees in their pursuit of balancing personalcommitments and organizational duties by providing themnecessary support and resources as far as feasible. Proper training/education on topics like Time Management,Stress Management, Health and Hygiene etc.
Today, WLBPs have become an integral part of highcommitment work systems and not merely aresponse to address increasing problems includingstress, absenteeism and turnover which haveemerged due to increased percentage of women inthe workforce. The trend shows growing recognition for the needto support not only those with visible family needsand responsibilities (working mothers) but allemployees at different stages of life, whoexperience work-life stress regardless of theirfamily status.
Flexible work arrangements Stress management programs Part – time arrangements Work from home (telecommuting) Maternity/paternity leaves Life insurance coverages Reimbursement of medical expenses Child care facilities Forced family vacation
Organizations need to identify WLB as a major constituent ofHR Policy. They have to clearly state their WLB philosophy,policy and practices. Work –life and personal-life are two sides of the same coin.Striking a balance between work and life is critical for anemployee to achieve his personal and professional goals. At the same time its impact is very significant for theorganizations since the employee‟s attitude, loyalty to theorganization and productivity are directly dependent on howwell he balances his time between these two lives.