When you have invested a lot of time, money, energy, efforts in recruiting the best and training them to meet the job expectations well, getting them to perform exactly as needed, the last thing you want is for them to quit. Of course there will be occasions when employees do leave, but wouldn’t it be great if you had the systems and culture in place to retain the really high quality ones for the long term?
I faced this situation with my past employer (Kores) at a certain sales location (Pune) – I was taking all the pain and trouble to recruit the sales manager, train him etc. but, there was attrition every 7-8 months. First problem, I was not physically available at Pune, since I was traveling all the time; in effect, the manager was not administratively reporting to me. He was reporting to the local branch head. And the local branch head could not provide what I could have. There was too much micro-managing! no guidance but only policing! The situation was leading to anarchy – no reporting of sales calls made, carelessness, no one to take help from!! no wonder, every 7-8 months I was recruiting a new manager and the local branch head – a two-decade old employee of the company, too sure of his job security with the right connections in the company, was just couching all the time – and he did not care!
1. If you recruit the best – make sure they remain so. Most the abilities are acquired while facing a real situation or challenge. Living up to the situation – is an innate trait of every human being; at least most do that. For example, a challenge-driven executive would feel stifled in lackadaisical atmosphere. He would like to get out. This is quite normal. It becomes the responsibility of the employer/ management to get the best out of him and ensure he does not leave the company.
2, Keep politics out – Deserving individuals are sidelined where organizational politics are overpowering. Performance cannot and should not be ignored in light of keeping political relationships good. Worse still, it does not do any good to the organization.
3. Seek the good out of each one – Mostly, rather in fact, every one has an other side that he does not want to exhibit. Weakness needs to be corrected by every individual but we cannot hold that weakness against him. Delve deeper and acknowledge the good in each one.
4. Remuneration/ Pay – maintain industry standards as far as possible so that employees do not exit.
5. Learning organizations survive even in trying times – If an individual stands to gain, he or she would not leave. Inculcate a working atmosphere that encourages learning as an ongoing habit.
(The Author is Director/ Proprietor, Rambuna Consultants, specializing in recruitment services, corporate training and strategic assistance to new business start ups)