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Posted at: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)SMART STRATEGY: MANAGE MANPOWER

Make employee retention a reality

Gopal Devanahalli

Most managers aim at employee retention. They realise the value of workforce and supplement it by being mindful of employees’ interests. They schedule interviews outside work hours, look for higher salaries by researching pay for similar grades in their industry, and suggest promotions for a swift growth.

An employee’s commitment and engagement determines his inclination to stay with the company. However, employee retention continues to be a challenge for employers and management of an organisation. A majority of companies retain employees by providing a satisfactory pay hike after an appraisal, promising benefits and improvements in their overall experience. 

The key responsibility areas (KRAs) and appraisal management system of organisations focus on understanding performance and contribution of an employee towards the team and the organisation. But these do not provide insights on employee satisfaction and motivation. The result is employee attrition.

These crucial concerns must be addressed by an employer at the earliest. The middle management plays a vital role in retaining employees. It is important for all managers to understand the level of job satisfaction of their direct reportees, motivational interest in day-to-day tasks, career path and intention to stay. 

An employee’s performance and abilities can be judged by the management through periodic reviews, personal interviews and by engaging in conversations with them. Job satisfaction, motivation and turnover risk can be assessed through standard assessments. Likewise, it is equally important for an organisation to discover the leadership potential of a manager to lead the process and obtain a successful workforce. Here are some ways to know more about the employee. 

Job Satisfaction Survey: Typically, these surveys are a part of the annual appraisal process in most organisations. Employee-compensation benefits, work hours and flexibility, work environment, policies and physical or emotional dissatisfaction of an employee is measured through this survey. Employee-recognition programme helps retain an organisation’s top performers. Employees frequently seek opportunities to improve their skill and grow in their career for their personal satisfaction. They attend training seminars, conferences, online courses and mentoring programmes. 

Employee Retention Assessment: Individuals with ‘low turnover risk score’ are less likely to exhibit attendance and turnover risk behaviors. These individuals are more dependable. They are confident about making a positive contribution towards the organisation’s growth and they see themselves in the organisation for a long time. As a result, these individuals are more likely to come to work daily and have longer tenures with the organisation. Individuals with ‘high turnover risk’ scores are less dependable. They are not confident of contributing and have trouble seeing themselves at the organisation in the future. They are less likely to come to work on time every day.  

The employee’s willingness to stay on in a company will depend on many factors and in no less measure on the efforts of the top brass in the company. A scientific approach to the understanding retention is imperative in today’s world.

Motivational Interest Assessment

McClelland's human motivation theory discovers the three main motivational drives of an individual who is working in a team — the need for achievement, affiliation and power. People develop these needs through socio-cultural and life experiences. Achievers like to solve problems and accomplish goals. Individuals with a high need for affiliation value relationships and do not like to stand out or take risk, and those with a high need for power like to control others.

Achievement: It is characterised by drive for excellence, competition with standards of excellence set by others or by oneself, setting challenging goals, and making efforts to achieve these. Achievers learn to overcome problems or situations. Thus, engaging them with challenges is the best way to motivate them to be effective at work. 

Power: This can be characterised by an individual’s aim to be able to exercise control over others. In other words, it is a desire to make people do what one thinks is right. They enjoy competition, recognition, status and more importantly — winning. They work effectively with goal-oriented projects and will be proactive in negotiations even when others are convinced with an idea.

Affiliation: People who are driven by affiliation   like to establish and maintain close, personal relationships. They place value on friendship and express their emotions freely. They value support systems around them, put collaboration over competition and do not like risks or uncertainty. They work effectively in a group.

When providing feedback to each of these types, it is important to give a balanced one, by informing employees what went well and what can be improved upon.

Leader’s role is imperative

It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that team members are content with their work and share a good rapport among themselves. The team members must be assigned responsibilities as per their specialisation, qualification, interests as well as experience. The leader should be accessible and approachable to all members. Employees feel demotivated when there are unsolved queries, none to listen and direct them. Disengaged employees become a burden on the company. Managers should offer an explanation on an employee’s performance, compensation, career mobility, flexibility and learning opportunities and guide in providing training and development, which can help companies not only in retaining an employee, but also developing a vision to build their next generation of leaders.

The writer is CEO, MeritTrac

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