Retention and Attrition – Hocus Focus

Attrition and Retention are two phenomenon that are faced by organizations especially these days. The causes are many, only some are known and many remain unknown to best of organizations.

Attrition happens and throws up challenges and organizations in a hurried manner look for and device strategies for retaining people. From money to change of assignments/locations, promotions etc are normally resorted to. Insome cases these work and in many case these don’t! We will analyse the causes later.

Employer’s Woes: Why does attrition happen? The reasons are:

  1. Natural separation like superannuation or death.
  2. A clear and serious disconnect with the organization. This could span issues like:
  • Organization and Work Culture.
  • Perceived ill treatment (insulting, unkind, unhelpful, unreasonable,etc) by superiors, colleagues across the organization.
  • A feeling of being taken for granted and resultant feeling of loss of self esteem.
  • Inadequacy of self competence as regards job demands.
  • Lack of guidance by superiors and/or HR
  • Absence of standard and uniform approach by superiors in dealing with peers. Low motivational/encourage inputs.
  • No social interactions. Relationships get built around just the “work”aspect of life. This obstructs “sharing”, fuels unfair competition to be in good books of, not necessarily the superiors, but essentially ofthe people who matter!
  • Lack of growth opportunities (in terms of growth along the hierarchy or simply even in terms of monetary benefits.)

3. External Influences. Here one must consider the following:

  • Better growth opportunities.
  • Better emoluments/location.
  • Softer (less demanding work culture)
  • Known superiors (having worked with them previously whether in the same organization of any other organization.)
  • Deliberate luring of employees (poaching) by disgruntled ex-employees as a matter vendetta!

It has already been said that the reasons for attrition could be many and sowould be the approaches to retain people. No standard approach to retain will work in all cases. I dare say that money is NOT the best approach to retain people. It has multiple flaws.

  • If one is satisfied, many get dissatisfied.
  • The appetite is vetted. Same strategy could be tried again in near future and/or by others (as though this is a right way of getting what one may have lost during annual salary revision stage.)

Employee’s row: Life at the other side of the table

Employer’s harsh treatment : Vidita Shinde is not stating anything new. Its just that she is yet to realise that in the world one may not expect “justice” in the conventional sense. Competent people are rarely stopped except in ownership driven organizations. Why did she take FIVE years to realise with what kind management she was working with? If you are not alert to the environment, you could always lose the vital opportunityto put in place contingency plans to protect your career. This would be the last resort, but each one of us is obliged to learn the skills necessary to survive in this world of work without compromising values and ethics. If you ignore this aspect sooner than later you will end up paying a heavy price as in the case of Vinita!

What to say to my manager when I quit : The thread is rather simplistic. Why is the gentleman wondering “what to tell theManager when leaving”? Is he certain that he wants to leave or does he want to be asked to stay back at a higher price? His decision to leave appears to be tentative!I feel he should make up his mind and that state will itself tell him what to say to the manager when leaving.If he pretending to leave to get a revision of compensation,he will something specific to say (suggestive of willingness to stay if offered a revision)and if has made up his mind to leave, no lure of more money should cause him to waver!

4 yrs experience, expecting upto 17 lacs per annum:  This thread is evidently full of pride brought about the unmidful use of the tool called MONEY! Personally I do think that such talents could be blacklisted for their attitudes that will ultimately destroy themselves and vitiate the organization they work for. I would rather work with younger (less esperienced-even less competent) professionals and groom them to excellent performers. It is possible! When I discard such pretentious guys with bloated egos, there will be problems but I see them as opportunities for a lot of potentially competent professionals to come up in life.

This article has been contributed by Samvedan, a Senior member to CiteHR. His contributions to the community, guided many members. He was the keynote speaker of the CiteHR Meet Pune’09. He is a senior management professional who has worked across different verticals in several leadership positions. He is the founder to Samvedan, a management consultancy firm and has been working as a sounding board to many CEOs. His passion lies in knowledge sharing and mentoring. He has been writing for noted Management Periodicals.