As the co-founder of AceNgage, Krish Hanumanthu covers a wide arc of people operations and Human Resources and Process consulting. He accomplishes a major role in sales and marketing as well. He helps HR heads, improve employee engagement & retention by providing valuable insights across the various stages of the employee lifecycle.
By now all of you must have heard of the #GreatResignation when employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs en-masse, beginning in early 2021. While this was primarily seen in the US, organisations across the world witnessed an increase in overall attrition numbers. To be fair, most employees who left were disgruntled at how Organisations responded, reacted & handled the pandemic.
Employee attrition has a huge impact on employee morale and most often (ironically) employees who choose to be loyal, end up facing the brunt of the additional workload and pressure caused due to attrition, leading them to finally quit too. A vicious circle.
It’s now our collective responsibility to look at how to turn things around and perhaps make 2022 the year of the #GreatRetention
Don’t we wish that we had a magic wand which we could wave and lo & behold attrition would dramatically reduce J Unfortunately it’s not easy as that . It requires consistent effort over sustained periods of time. Having said that it is possible and is not a lost cause as many would like to (unfortunately) believe.
For starters let’s look at why employees leave:
Close to 60% of employees leave due to Controllable factors and the first step to retention is knowing the real reasons why employees leave. Generic, one size fits all kind of action plans won’t do the trick. Plans and strategies have to be customised to specific cohorts of employees for best results.
If I were to list out my favourite retention strategies they would be :
Be upfront and honest with candidates.
Spend time with candidates and share complete information about the role, the kind of work they’d be doing, the kind of people they’ll be working with, benefits they can avail of and the growth opportunities that exist.
Be as transparent as you can and let the candidate join in full knowledge of what to expect. Not sharing entire information is short sighted as sooner or later, the candidate will be unhappy and many will leave within the first 6 months.
“You’d rather have the Candidate not join, than join and leave in the first 6 months”
Take really good care of them during the first 3 months.
With an increase in employees joining Organisations from home, the need to imbibe new hires to the culture of the Organisation has become that much more critical.
Communication is key and Organisations should make sure there are adequate two-way communication channels to reach out to all new hires and for new hires to reach out if they are facing any challenges. Once an employee has spent over 3 months they tend to navigate their way around the system
“It’s the small little annoying things that snowball into larger reasons for leaving if not dealt with, in a timely manner”
Ensure there is complete clarity around Growth opportunities.
There should be absolutely no ambiguity around what each individuals career opportunities are.
Conduct workshops, open house discussions and leadership connects to let employees know all the possible opportunities that exist. Growth doesn’t have to necessarily mean upward and not necessarily have a monetary increase, there could be lateral opportunities with new learnings.
Communicate with employees on what skills they need to acquire to grow and as leaders we also need to equip them with these skills. Don’t just tell them, show them how.
“As an employee I need to know what my options are and what I need to do, to get there”
Acknowledge performance, Provide feedback, Recognise & Reward.
The only way we will improve is when we receive constant feedback about our performance, It is important to provide timely feedback to employees to help them improve and to also recognise their efforts. This ensures employees are motivated and have a clear direction of what they need to do.
The idea is for the entire Org to imbibe a culture of appreciation and this will happen if it’s done consistently and is being measured too. There are enough tools in the market that will assist managers in doing this, with the discipline that’s required to make it effective.
“A pat on the back will always go a long way.”
Retention is a continuous and a long term activity and not something that we do when an employee puts down a paper. It’s about being proactive and not reactive, Like my Co-founder Ashana, would always say, “Retention starts from Day 1 of joining”
While these are strategies and slightly long term there are some fun stuff that we can do too. These are to be seen quick wins and without long term retention strategies these efforts will be fall short
My favourite ideas include:
- Family Days
Having their families see the workplace and meeting colleagues always instils an enormous amount of pride among employees
- Handwritten notes
Personalised birthday/ anniversary notes or even one just to say that it was a job well done, always brings a smile and will go a long way. Some organisations go the extra mile by also giving the employee a half-day off on special occasions.
Online games once every month can be a great way to rejuvenate and bond. I personally like Scribbl, an absolutely fun game
- Deals & tie-ups
Everyone likes a good deal and some companies have tie-ups with restaurants & gyms and gaming sites. You could also tie-up with lifestyle apps like Wotzof that offer discounts to their users.
- CSR initiatives
Getting the team together to participate towards a common cause as part of the Corporate Social responsibility can be quite effective and there is a feel good factor that cannot be ignored
There’s something about Retention that you must know. It’s not Rocket science nor are there any shortcuts. It’s pretty basic stuff when you think about it, but what’s important is that, we do what we do with enthusiasm & sincerity. The first step is to start, and then we must aim to be consistent. It’s the little things, that if we do religiously, will go a long way to strengthening engagement and improving overall retention.