Feedback and Rewards

Strategies to Retain Human Resources

Aleeswari & Jayanthi asked:



            The Indian economy has been going through a massive transition and transformation process. Restructuring and the process of mergers and acquisitions that had taken a toll of the employment are now giving way to expansion of employment. Finally companies are increasing their advertising budgets and there is a steady growth in employment. The appointment columns are now getting thick and the Internet sites are wooing people to put in their resumes to try their luck for new careers. While this is indeed a welcome development for the HR professionals, moving to different locations to interview prospective candidates, it has also brought in its sweep the problem of employee turnovers.

            In all industries, the problem of employee turnover has always been an issue.

            Human capital is one of the most critical components of strategic success for many companies.


            Employee turnover has been defined as, “the rate of change in the working staff of a concern during a definite period” in other word sit signifies the shifting of the workforce into and out of an organization.

            Employee turnover is the cause and effect of instability of employment, apart from being a measure of the morale and efficiency or otherwise of workers.  


            Employee turnover is the outcome of resignations and dismissals. Resignations may be due to such causes as dissatisfaction with working conditions, insufficient wages, bad health, sickens, old age, and family circumstances and so on. Dismissals on the other hand, may occur due to participation in strike or union activities, misconduct, insubordinate and inefficiency. But dismay is a lesser cause of employee turnover.


            A high rate of turnover is bad both for the workers and the industry. Hence efforts should be made to reduce it or to retain the present workforce. Employee retention plays a key role to prevent employee turnover.


            Employee retention is one of the primary measures of health of the organization. Exit interviews with departing employees provide valuable information, which can be used to retain remaining staff. Heed their results. The more significant source of data about the health of the organization is existing interviews.

A satisfied employee knows clearly what is expected from him every day at work. Changing expectations keep people or edge and create unhealthy stress. They rob the employee of internal security and make the employee feel unsuccessful. Its not advocated unchanging jobs just the need for a specific framework within which people clearly know what is expected from them.

The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention. People leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs. It is not enough that the supervisor is well liked or a nice person, starting with clear expectations of the employee, the supervisor has a critical role to play in retention. Anything the supervisor does to make an employee feel unvalued will contribute to turnover. Frequent employee complaints center on these areas.

·        lack of clarity about expectations,

·        lack of clarity about earning potential,

·        lack of feedback about performance,

·        failure to hold scheduled meetings, and

·        Failure to provide a framework within which the employee perceives he can succeed.   

The ability of the employee to speak his or her mind freely within the organization is another key factor in employee retention. Does your organization solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If so, employees offer ideas, feel free to criticize and commit to continuous improvement. If not, they bite their tongues or find themselves constantly “in trouble” – until they leave.

Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor for key employees seek in the workplace. A motivated employee wants to contribute to work areas outside of his specific job description. How many people could contribute far more than they currently do? You just need to know their skills, talent and experience, and take the time to tap into it. As an example, in a small company, a manager pursued a new marketing plan and logo with the help of external consultants. An internal sales rep, with seven years of ad agency and logo development experience, repeatedly offered to help. His offer was ignored and he cited this as one reason why he quit his job. In fact, the recognition that the company didn’t want to take advantage of his knowledge and capabilities helped precipitate his job search.

The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important in employee retention. In one company, a new sales rep was given the most potentially successful, commission-producing accounts. Current staff viewed these decisions as taking food off their tables. You can bet a number of them are looking for their next opportunity.

The easiest to solve, and the ones most affecting employee retention, are tools, time and training. The employee must have the tools, time and training necessary to do their job well – or they will move to an employer who provides them.

Without the opportunity to try new opportunities, sit on challenging committees, attend seminars and read and discuss books, they feel they will stagnate. A career-oriented, valued employee must experience growth opportunities within the organization.

Take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents, abilities and skills. Meet with each employee periodically. You’ll have more useful information and keep fingers on the pulse of organization. It’s a critical tool to help employees feel welcomed, acknowledged and loyal.

No matter the circumstances are, never and ever threaten an employee’s job or income. Even layoffs loom, fail to meet production or sales goals, it is a mistake to foreshadow this information with employees. It makes them nervous; no matter how phrased the information; no matter how explain a from the information, even if you’re absolutely correct, the best staff members will update their resumes. I’m not advocating\keeping solid information away from people, however, think before you say anything that makes people feel they need to search for another job.

Staff members must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. Frequently saying thank you goes a long way. Monetary rewards bonuses and gilts make the thank you even more appreciated. Understandable raises, tied to accomplishments and achievement, help retain staff. Commissions and bonuses that are easily calculated on a daily basis, and easily understood, raise motivation and help retain staff. Work is about the money and almost every individual wants more.


There must be certain non-conventional methods or systems whereby, cordial industrial relation in an organization can be secured and human resources can be managed better for attaining the retention objective of t
he organization. A few of the methods, which can be of Human Resource” may be as follows which will, establish the fact that the management really cares for their employees and are concerned.

Introduction of presenting memento

Sharing of information with the unions

Appreciation note

Discharging certain
7 social obligation

Meeting   with the Unions’


Award to the best worker

Birthday and marriage gifts



            The workers’ health and wealth are in the health and wealth of an organization. Only mutual health care activities would ensure the much-expected result. The sweet homes of employees should be a home of nutrition principles. Management’s investing heavily on the umpteen Number of HR strengthening activities can bring the agenda of “prevention is better than cure” in the first priority to safeguard health. They are the backbone of healthy organizational climate.

            All enterprises can adopt ac multifaceted health care strategies and build it up in their personnel policies. The vital strategies to be concentrated are discussed as below.

Strategy I : Health watch of HR

Strategy II : Diet Counseling Centers

Strategy III : Work spot stress / Fatigue releasing fitness centers / Yoga centers

Strategy IV : Organize workshop / meeting / seminar on health care

Strategy VI: Display food and nutrition visual aids at vital places


            As more and more organizations reengineer, merge, restructure, downsize, right size, and even capsize, employees confront uncertainty on an almost daily basis. The rules keep changing in terms of what they’re supposed to do how they’re supposed to do it, which they do it for, and whether they get to do it at all. And since most have little or no control over the making of these rules, the result is often a sense of powerlessness that translates into increased stress, decreased wellness, demoralization, absenteeism, and lower productivity, all of which affect rates of employee retention.

            So the big question for both individuals and organizations-is: how do you keep up spirits, continue to work-effectively, and maintain health and sanity in a crazy-making situation? The team of welfare workers described chooses to laugh. They could also choose despair, cynicism, bitterness, or negativity, but instead team members choose laughter. As one worker states, “We could either cry, or we could laugh/ but you can only cry for so long. We’d had enough of crying, and it was time to do something else.”


            We all know that it makes us feel good, but in today’s bottom-line oriented workplace, the term “feel good” is too nebulous to have much impact on how people go about structuring their job interactions and professional relationships. And most organizations are not going to promote humor as part of their culture because some “touchy freely” wellness devotee thinks that having the boss come to work dressed as a chicken will create a happy afterglow.

            So any discussion of the benefits of laughter needs to be more tangible and focused on addressing-positive morale, a major factor contributing to the retention of valued employees. Remember though, humor is a coping mechanism to aid in employee retention, not a cure-all for other systemic problems affecting organizations.


In today’s healthy job market–where job seekers in even non-technology areas can find positions fairly quickly – employers must do something to make their companies “sticky” if they want to avoid costly turnover.


            What contributes to stickiness? Obviously, pay is important. Employees may love their jobs and their company, but if their incomes lag comparable jobs by more than 5 to 10 percent, it’s goodbye stickiness and goodbye job. Similarly, benefits have to be at market levels. They need not be great – although thoughtful benefits are a way smart companies retain worker – but they can’t be markedly worse than benefits available at most other comparable jobs. 


            The person doing the job also should know to whom he or she is responsible. The manager, supervisor or boss should be empowered to say, “yes, do this” or “no, don’t do that.


            Every organization has its own values. They may be wacky or unwritten. But unless everyone knows what these values are and believes they are followed with consistency, satisfaction drops. Suppose our flexible workaholic company suddenly penalized an employee for leaving early one day. That action would dissolve the stickiness that had been established over time among everyone.


            But some workplaces are populated by those we may politely label “difficult.” If they’re not screaming or slamming doors or berating colleagues or subordinates, they’re ignoring them, belittling them or regaling them with stories of their own brilliance. These clunkers may be hard to spot when you’re being considered for a job, but they can make any position and company decidedly unstuck. If prospective bosses or colleagues are described as “very demanding” or “brilliant, but temperamental,” watch out.


Pay employees fairly and well, and then get them to forget about money.

Treat each and every employee with respect. Show them that you are about them as persons, jot just as workers.

Praise accomplishments and attempts:

·        Both large and small

·        Verbally and in writing

·        At least 4 times more than you criticize

·        Promptly (as soon as observed)

·        Publicly … and in private

·        Sincerely

Clearly communicate goals, responsibilities and expectations. NEVER criticize in public-redirect in private.

Recognize performance appropriately and consistently:

·        Reward outstanding performance (e.g., with promotions and opportunities)

·        Do not tolerate sustained poor performance-coach & train or remove!

Involve employees in plans and decisions, especially those that affect them. Solicit their ideas and opinions. Encourage initiative.

Create opportunities for employees to learn & grow. Link the goals of the organization with the goals of each individual in it.

Actively listen to employees concerns-both works related and personal.

Share information promptly, openly and clearly. Tell the truth … with compassion.

Celebrate successes and milestones reached — organizational and personal. Create an organizational culture that is open, trusting and fun.


            Survey results include responses from 451 HR professionals and 300 managerial or executive employees.

            Employees cited the following three top reasons they would begin searching for a new job:

53 percent seek better compensation and benefits.

35 percent cited diss
atisfaction with potential career development.

32 percent said they were ready for a new experience.

            HR professionals were asked which programs or policies they use currently to help retain employees. The following three are the most common programs employers are using to retain employees:

62 percent provide tuition reimbursement.

60 percent offer competitive vacation and holiday benefits.

59 percent offer competitive salaries.

            Most HR professionals sur
veyed (71 percent), in large organizations (those with more than 500 employees), thought it would be extremely likely or somewhat likely to experience an increase in voluntary turnover once the job market improves. Forty-one percent from small organizations (1-99 employees) said it was extremely likely or somewhat likely that turnover would increase. Fifty-three percent of respondents from medium organizations (between 100 and 499) thought the same.


Select the right people in the first place through behavior-based testing and competency screening. The right person, in the right seat, on the right bus is the starting point.

Offer an attractive, competitive, benefits package with components such as life insurance, disability insurance and flexible hours.

Provide opportunities for people to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentations, mentoring others and team assignments.

Demonstrate respect for employees at all times

Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results.

People want to enjoy their work. Make-work fun. Engage and employ the special talents of each individual.

Enable employees to balance work and life. Allow flexible starting times, core business hours and flexible ending times. (Yes, his son’s soccer game is important.)

Involve employees in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company whenever possible. Recognize excellent performance, and especially, link pay to performance.

Base the upside of bonus potential on the success of both the employee and the company and make it limitless within company parameters. (As an example, pay ten percent of corporate profits to employees.)

Recognize and celebrate success. Mark their passage as important goals are achieved.

Staff adequately so overtime is minimized for those who don’t want it and people don’t wear themselves out.

Nurture and celebrate organization traditions. Have a costume party every Halloween. Run a food collection drive every November. Pick a monthly charity to help. Have an annual company dinner at a fancy hotel.

Provide opportunities within the company for cross-training and career progression. People like to know that they have room for career movement.

Provide the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and education, challenging assignments and more.

Communicate goals, roles and responsibilities so people know what is expected and feel like part of the in-crowd.

According to research by the Gallup organization, encourage employees to have good, even best, friends, at work.


            Key employee retention is critical to the long term health and success of any business. Managers readily agree that retaining the best employee ensures customers satisfaction, product sales, satisfied co-workers and reporting staff, effective succession planning and deeply embedded organizational knowledge and learning. Employee retention matters, training time and investment, lost knowledge, insecure co-workers, costly candidate search aside, failing to retain a key employee is costly, Losing a middle manager costs as organization up to 100% of his salary.

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