Every organization has something to boast about. It could be their retention rate, for some, it could be their training programs or even the company mascot. But for most organizations it is their policies they take pride in as they know that the reason most of their employees are still sticking around in the organization is because of a policy However, with the changing times, some of the old policies have failed to excite job seekers and organization are now seeing them as a burden, as HR policies too were revised for a certain time period, and they need to be overhauled from time to time to yield maximum results.
Productivity matters: Any policy is considered to be a success if the organization reaps the benefits and so do the employees. And after a certain period of time, organizations need to figure out if the ‘star’ HR initiative is still reaping the desired results.
In some cases certain programs have delivered the goods while in certain other cases they have not. These programs have been designed as retention and attraction tools. However, that is precisely the reason why they have now started to become unpopular Professionals nowadays are highly discerning and in today’s buoyant times need more than the mere enticing to attract them to an organization or to be retained by one.
It is documented fact that certain HR policies do not do any good to the employee and the organization as they were initially for. In most organizations, there is a sense of complacency after such programs were introduced. Management was lulled into a false notion of safety since most schemes such as ESOPs etc. ensured a lock in period for the employee. Thus, the means became the end. Instead of being a support tool for rewarding employees, it was soon transformed into the ‘main weapon’ to address employee dissatisfaction and attrition. This is where the problem started. As organizations started to grow exponentially, the employee benefits soon transformed themselves into symbols of power and an acknowledgement of one’s position within the company. This factor perhaps created more problems than it could solve. Over time, inequality of distribution of benefits actually fuelled employee dissatisfaction rather than addressing it. Retention bonuses were always going to be a double edged sword since they also indicated the relative importance of certain employees to the organization. Basically, any mechanism to address the disgruntled employee was basically going to make other happy employees – unhappy. Any move to retain was viewed as a ‘soft move’ by the organization and over time the organization was itself viewed as going soft on aggrieved employees.
One of the innovations devised are the ‘sign on’ bonuses. It has to be paid back if the employee quits within a stipulated time. Thus, it also acts as a retention tool. However, the perception is that sign-on bonus is an instant solution, but they don’t buy loyalty. Many times they cause an additional turn over within the industry and can cause resentment amongst employees at various levels. At such times sign on may actually turn out to be a counter productive solution.
Companies should be very clear who is their talent community and understand the psychological, social and demographic factors that make a highly engaged employees. A company in the BPO sector has a much younger population than a manufacturing company. The benefits package for different age-groups must be different and according to the industry.
In the US, companies are segmenting their offerings to their employees. Younger people buy different health package than the employee in mid 40s and it is the organization they are working for which offers these different packages. HR practitioners are getting convinced that a general purpose benefits strategy does not give the required solution as organizations need a bouquet of retention benefits programs. Every employee’s need varies with time and specific situations and they need to take into account their problems and personal priorities.
Formation of insight groups in the HR will be of great help in devising better policies. At Aztecsoft, the insight Group consists of HR executives who are plugged into the social fabric of the techie community and HR blog, which captures the buzz and expectations in the workplace.
HR needs to understand that the policies need to be tweaked upon on a regular basis to keep the productivity and engagement high. A lot more personal and segmented policies are the need of the hour and HR must act fast to avert the angers of attrition and have a happy workforce.