Attrition, Retention & Engagement:-The BUZZ words
Three industrial buzz “Attrition, Retention & Engagement” is sensitive and abstruse to all industrial world. Few misconceptions about these words are:
- Attrition and Retention are directly proportional to each other.
- Retention strategy is based on attrition analysis.
- Retention strategy is based on comparison of same & similar job grade/pay band in comparable industries.
- Engagement activities lead to increase in productivity & retention of employees.
- Attrition and Retention are directly proportional to each other:- In some cases, attrition is purely related to personal reason/preferences. In many cases, there are multiple reasons for attrition which are reflected during exit interview ex. Lack of feedback, lack of proper transparency, Job not interesting, better pay & career e.tc. We need to find out the main reason which triggered employees to switch over. Many organizations have changed their approach from exit interview to stay interview. Stay Interview is one of the effective & proactive tools to know the reason and possibility of talent to “stay” or “switch” any organization. Thus true retention strategies could be based on stay interviews. Effectiveness lies in becoming not only a “listening” organization but also a “responsive” organization.
- Retention strategy is based on attrition analysis:-Retention strategy based upon attrition analysis may not be sufficient. Pharmaceutical companies have witnessed on an average 21% attrition in India and the major reasons are better career opportunities & pay packages. Majority of the companies in this industry build their retention strategies on above stated findings. Hence the retention strategies are similar and not effective. Thus we see shift from traditional retention strategies to innovative retention strategies. Innovative retention strategies include policies & tools like spouse job, deferred compensation scheme, long term leave & bonus plan, Stock options, Plan for higher study, high power development program, Graduate trainee program for children of employees etc.
- Retention strategy is based on comparison of same & similar job grade/pay band in comparable industries :- It is necessary for a company to have such data to revisit its pay band, but having retention strategies based on these data points is not the right connotation to address this issue. After making up his/her mind to leave company, employees usually apply for higher grade jobs seeking a better career progression and here is the rule of game. Most of the consulting agencies & companies across globe do this mistake to formulate retention plan based upon these type of surveys. Employees usually get higher grade job, associated benefits and challenging job better than what company provides during internal promotion/career progression. Thus, need arises to introspect the sync between our own career progression policy & Compensation policies. So High potential employees should be given challenging job rather than increase in job.
- Engagement activities lead to increase in productivity & retention of employees:- It is great to have robust employee engagement plan & calendar, but question here is whether too many get togethers, town halls & communication plans lead to desired engagement. I want to recapitulate article wrote by Mr. Haresh Chaturvedi where he mentioned three pillars of engagement viz; “Feeling of Identity”, “Feeling of Importance” & “ Opportunity for Growth”. Thus we should move to 3M pillars which are Meaning to the job, Money & Measurement of engagement level. Many Fortune 500 companies have moved from traditional Engagement surveys ( Gallup ,IBM Kenexa, Perceptyx, Qualtrics, Sirota) to Theme based surveys. New Industrial era has moved from “Digitalization” to “Robotics”. In 2017, China is planning to purchase 26 lac robots for their manufacturing sites. The real future issue is to make job “More Human” –redesigning job, work & organization, bringing more meaning to the job, so that “People Side” of the work has more importance and focus than ever.