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IDEOLOGICAL STRATEGIES FOR TALENT RETENTION IN INDIAN CORPORATE SECTOR INTRODUCTION:- Modern organizations are operating in a highly competitive and turbulent business environment with a dynamically changing and volatile demand supply equation, especially against erratic attrition trend and cutthroat competition no longer restricted to local or regional boundaries, a need for attracting and retaining top talent becomes vital for the company survival and growth. It takes Talent to spot Talent! Only those who can recognize the worth of a diamond can value it, for others it's just a stone! Talent is doing easily what others find difficult. In an organization; there is nothing more crucial than fitting the right employee in the right position. When people do jobs that just don't suit their liking, inclination or temperament, the results, or rather the lack of them will be disastrously obvious. Low productivity, dissatisfaction, low morale, absenteeism and other negative behavior will become typical till the employee is shown the door. Or perhaps, there is another option - Talent Management. A wrong fit will result in further hiring, re-training and other wasteful activities. While there is no magic formula to manage talent, the trick is to locate it and encourage it. Talent Management is beneficial to both the organisation and the employees. TALENT MANAGEMENT: Herman (1998) discusses five principle reasons why employees leave companies: incompatible corporate culture, unsatisfactory relationships with co-workers, insufficient support, and inadequate opportunities for growth and dissatisfaction with compensation offered.1 O’Reilly and Pfeiffer (2000) point out that:’ companies that adopt a “talent war” mindset may place too much value on outsiders and downplay the talent already in the company’. The approach should be one that emphasizes the ability of everyone to succeed and thereby’ achieve extraordinary results with ordinary people’. Peffer (2001) warns that the war for talent is the wrong metaphor because it overlooks the extent to which teams of people will often operate more effectively than mere collections of individuals. McKinsey and company consultants Michaels, Hanfield Jones and Axel rod define “talent as the sum of a person’s abilities- his or her intrinsic gifts, skills, knowledge, experience, intelligence judgment, attitude, character and drive. It also includes his or her ability to learn and grow. According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, talent is: a special or natural ability or aptitude and, a capacity for achievement or success. Talent management focuses on enhancing the potential of people by developing capacities. Talent management implies recognizing a person's inherent skills, traits, personality and offering him a matching job. Talent management is an integrated set of activities to ensure that the organization attracts, motivates, and retains the talented people it needs now and in the future. The aim is to secure the flow of talent, bearing in mind that talent is a major corporate resource.2 Talent management is only concerned with key people- the high flyers. For example Smilansky (2005) states that it is ‘aimed at improving the caliber, availability and flexible utilization of exceptionally capable employees who can have a disproportionate impact on business performance’. Talent management processes should not be limited to the favored few. This point was made by Delong and VijayaRaghavan (2003) when they suggested that unsung heroes of corporate performance are the capable, steady performers. Swears (2003) points out, talent relationship management is ‘better to build an existing relationship rather than try to create a new one when someone leaves’.3 VARIABLES OF TALENT MANAGEMENT • ACQUIRING • SUCCESSION PLANNING • PERFORMANACE MANAGEMENT • RETENTION ACQUIRING: According to Aberdeen, talent acquisition involves the planning, sourcing, assessing, hiring, and on-boarding of top-talent. Sourcing talent is the identification and attraction of qualified individuals and the most important part of talent management. Without qualified candidates, assessments, offers, and on-boarding workshops are pointless. And if the organization does not know how to source, planning will all be for naught. That's why the organizations should first and foremost focus on talent attraction. According to Scarborough and Elias (2002) put it: ‘The recruitment of key individuals to the value- creating capacity of the firm is crucial to success’.Leary-Joyce (2004) says: ‘Recruit for attitude, induct for culture’. Ensuring the right people are attracted to the organisation. The overall aim of the recruitment and selection process should be to obtain at minimum cost the number and quality of employees required to satisfy the human resource needs of the company. The three stages of recruitment and selection dealt are: Defining requirements, Attracting, Selecting. A basic approach is to set out and define the essential or desirable requirements under the key headings of competencies, qualifications and training and experience. The most familiar are the seven-point plan developed by Rodger (1952) The seven-point plan covers: 1. Physical make-up – health, physique, appearance, bearing and speech; 2. Attainments – education, qualifications, experience; 3. General intelligence – fundamental intellectual capacity; 4. Special aptitudes – mechanical, manual dexterity, facility in the use of words or figures; 5. Interests – intellectual, practical, constructional, physically active, social, artistic; 6. Disposition – acceptability, influence over others, steadiness, dependability, self-reliance; 7. Circumstances – domestic circumstances, occupations of family.4 Some smart companies are adopting the strategy of “hire for attitude& train for skill. They have realized that it is easier to develop the skills& capabilities that an employee needs than to attempt to change the employee’s personality or mindset. For instance INFOSYS receives about twice the number of applications as it very selective in recruiting employees. In the financial for 2004-2005 it received close to one million resumes which want through rigorous selection process and offers were made of about 1.5% of the applicants. Infosys looks at candidates who display a high degree of “learn ability”. Attracting talent takes time. The company has to build its talent acquisition strategy, achieve visibility, build the brand, form relationships, and attain preferred employer status. The organization does not have time to attract the right individuals, sometimes it can go out and buy the talent it needs from its competition. Buying talent is not a viable talent acquisition strategy, especially in the long term. If cash is readily available, it might be a short term fix to get the people the organization needs in the door to exploit current market opportunities, but it is not sustainable in the long term.5 Employer branding Alan Reed, Founder and Chief executive of Reed Executive plc, in 2001: ‘Employer branding is the concept of applying to the recruitment process the same marketing coherence used in the management of customers. Employer branding is the creation of a brand image of the organization for prospective employees. It will be influenced by the reputation of the organization as a business or provider of services as well as its reputation as an employer. The approaches required to develop an employer brand are; analyze what ideal candidates need and want; define the features of the brand on the basis of an examination and review of each of the areas that affect the perceptions of people about the organization as ‘a great place to work’ the way people are treated, the provision of a fair deal, opportunities for growth, leadership, the quality of management, involvement with colleagues and how and why the organization is successful; 6 Employer of choice On the basis of longitudinal research in 12 companies, Purcell (2003) concluded that: What companies to be happening is that successful firms are able to meet people’s needs both for a good job and to work ‘in a great place’. They create good work and a conducive working environment. In this way they become an ‘employer of choice’. People will want to work there because their individual needs are met. The criteria used by the Sunday Times in identifying the ‘100 Best companies to work for’, 2005 were: o Leadership at senior management level; o Manager – local management on day to day basis; o Personal growth – opportunities to learn, grow and be challenged; o Well-being – balanced work-life issues; o Team –immediate colleagues; o Giving something back – to society and the local community; o Company – the way it treated staff; o Fair deal – pay and benefits. The aim is to become an ‘employer of choice’, a place where people prefer to work. This means developing what Sears (2003) calls ‘a value proposition’, which communicates what the organization can offer its employees as a ‘great place to work’.The factors that contribute to being an employer of choice are the provision of: • Interesting and rewarding work; • Opportunities for learning, development and career progression; • A reasonable degree of security; • Employment conditions that satisfy work-life balance needs; • Enhanced future employability • Employment conditions that satisfy work life balance needs: SUCCESSION PLANNING: Hirsh (2000) points out that the focus of succession planning has shifted from identifying successors for posts towards providing for the development of those successors by creating ‘talent pools’. This is because it is difficult in the changeable environment in which most organizations exist to predict succession requirements. A succession plan policy is a tool to help an organization be prepared for planned or unplanned absences of the director." Succession planning establishes a process that recruits employees, develops their skills and abilities, and prepares them for advancement, all while retaining them to ensure a return on the organization's training investment. In the past, succession planning typically targeted only key leadership positions. In today's organizations, it is important to include key positions in a variety of job categories. With good succession planning, employees are ready for new leadership roles as the need arises, and when someone leaves, a current employee is ready to step up to the plate. Succession planning can help develop a diverse workforce, by enabling decision makers to look at the future make-up of the organization as a whole.7 Coupled with a growing skills gap and shortage of qualified workers plaguing today's organizations (especially in specialized fields such as IT), this phenomenon is leading companies to realize no organization regardless of size, industry or sector is immune to the looming "talent crisis." To insulate themselves from the potentially devastating effects such a crisis could bring, organizations need to prepare their workforce and succession strategies today. With recent research estimates indicating 40 percent of the nation's 64 million public and private workers will reach retirement age by 2010, companies need to prepare now for the reality that an entire generation of leaders will be exiting the workforce over the next few years. By moving succession planning to the forefront of the corporate agenda and taking a proactive approach to leadership management and employee development today, organizations are laying the foundation for smooth leadership transitions in the future, thereby sidestepping the talent crisis.8 The key to succession management strategy which is crucial for weathering the talent crisis is finding the right person for every job, with the ultimate goal of aligning the skills, experience and professional goals of current employees with the organization's current and future business needs. Integrated talent management systems allow employees to search for training aligned with current job competencies or new career interests, as well as manage their training and development. Learning management system (LMS) is the core driver in talent management that serves as the framework for delivering the bottom-up approach to succession planning by driving employee learning within the corporate culture. By integrating career and succession planning, organizations can identify critical positions while enabling employees to develop and execute their individual career plans. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: According to Armstrong, ‘Performance management is a means of getting better results from the organisations, teams and individuals by understanding and managing performance within the agreed framework of planned goals and competency requirements.’ It is a process for establishing shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to managing and developing people with constructive feedback and active coaching, The Performance Management Process begins and ends in the same cycle of events which are as follows: - Individual goal setting - Performance planning - Mid year performance review - Annual performance appraisal  Individual goal setting: - the supervisor and the employee will sit together to set annual goals at the year end; the goals are to be achieved by the employee at designated quarters of the following year.  Performance planning: - the supervisor and the employee, during the same goal setting session, will plan on how to perform in order to achieve the goals most effectively and efficiently.  Mid year performance review:-In the middle of the following year, the supervisor will review the employee’s progress and achievements, advise and coach for better performance, give recognition and appreciate for achievements so far and make changes in the performance plan, if required; the progress of employee shall tell the supervisor whether or not the all preset goals can be achieved in the given year.  Annual performance appraisal:-At the year end, the supervisor and the employee will sit together to appraise the employee’s performance in the given year and the feedbacks will all be fed into setting new goals and action plans for the following year.9 Possible Outcomes from Effective Performance Management  Clarifying job responsibilities and expectations.  Enhancing individual and group productivity.  Developing employee capabilities to their fullest extent through effective feedback and coaching.  Driving behavior to align with the organization’s core values, goals and strategy.  Improving communication between employees and managers. RETENTION: Take my 20 top performers then micro soft will become the unimportant one --Billgates. Hortwitz & Steel(2003) In view of the large costs associated with employee turnover, even in a global economic downturn characterized by downsizing and lay offs, HR managers still need to work out HR practices that enable them to retain their Talented employees. Reed (2001) claims that: Every workers five minutes away from handing in his or her notice, and 150 working hours, away from walking out of the door to a better offer,. There is no such thing as a ‘job for life’ and today’s workers have few qualms about leaving employers for greener pastures, the average permanent job in the UK lasts six years. Retention of talent is fundamentally talent continuity. We must manage our human assets with the same rigor to our financial assets.20:80 rule Applying this rule, organization must identify the top 20% star performers who contribute to 80% growth of the organization. Retaining star performers is a continuous struggle, because top performers will always be in demand. Cappelli (2000) points out that paying competitive rates will affect the ability of organizations to attract and retain people, but there is a limit to the extent to which companies can compete with the ‘pull of the market’.10 Johnson (2000) defined retention management as “the ability to hold on to those employees we want to keep, for longer than the competitors”. In today’s era of globalization retaining talent people for longer period has become a top priority and a key business challenge. The attrition rate has always been a sensitive issue for all organizations. According to Hewitt’s Attrition and Retention Study Asia Pacific 2006; the reasons for this growing attrition rate are compensation unfairness, less growth opportunities and role stagnation. Employee retention is a process in which the employees are encouraged to remain with in the organization for the maximum period of time or until the completion of the project. Employee retention is beneficial for the organization as well as the employee. Employee retention in the organization is important in order to reduce the turn over cost and also the need to retain talented employees from getting poached.11 A Study of high flyers by Holbeche (1998) found that the factors that aided the retention and motivation of high performers included providing challenge and opportunities, mentors, realistic self-assessment and feedback processes. The best bet to retain employees is to provide them the vehicle of opportunity to grow in their career. Kalpana Srinivasan, HR director, Aspire Systems, agrees that employees need to be shown a path of continuous growth, development and recognition. She says having a good environment where an employer feels relaxed helps.12 IBM India to help its employees to maintain the work-life balance they appointed a person to specifically look into work-life management issues. It has introduced work-life initiatives like parenting workshops, an in- home care project, a day- care center and access to a work life essentials website that offers work- life balance tips. Chennai based Shapre Systems and Mumbai based Mahindra British Telecom started India allowance fund (Nair, 1997) where in the employees who do not get a chance to go abroad are compensated financially such that he\she earns almost the same amount that his or her counterpart sent abroad would earn. Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behaves, take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. It is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one's own destiny. You’ve heard it a million times: “people are our most important asset.” Smart companies are those that act like it, empowering employees by putting the right technology, tools and training in place to guarantee success. Empowerment recognizes "the demise" of the command-and-control system, but remains a term of power and rank. People are subordinates; the superior is increasingly dependent on the subordinates for getting results in their area of responsibility, where they have the requisite knowledge. Organizations who strive to be the best in their field, with an emphasis on attracting and retaining top talent with a reward package that distinguishes them from other organizations. The Recognition tool helps in many ways: • As a morale boosting tool for the new employees. • Recognition can take the form of celebration, bringing some needed fun and excitement into the workplace • To reinforce the desired behavior more effectively when it quickly follows the accomplishment of a team or an individual. • A gift for the employee to cherish for a life time. • To encourage best practices in work place. • To tell them in all honesty that what they are doing is important: to you, to the company, and to our customers.'' • To give clarity on how their contribution fits into the big picture. • To define what results are required for excellence in their job. A Working Example of Successful Recognition A client company established criteria for rewarding employees. Each employee, who meets the stated criteria, receives a thank you note, hand-written by the supervisor. it includes the opportunity for the employee to "draw" a gift from a box. Gifts range from fast food restaurant gift certificates and substantial cash rewards. The employee draws the reward. In an organization, the CEO traditionally bought lunch for all employees every Friday. Soon, he had employees coming to him asking to be reimbursed for lunch if they ate lunch outside of the company on a Friday. His goal of team building turned into a "given" or an entitlement and he was disappointed with the results. There is always room for employee reward and recognition activities that generally build positive morale in the work environment. HCL Technologies triggered retention and motivation of employees by a five point HR program. Support- Enhancement in productivity. Knowledge- Enhanced in superior capability. Empowerment- Satisfied the service quality facet. Recognition- To drive excels in performance by the employee. Transformation- Adaptability and compatibility among employees. The strategies to retain the effective talented pool are by maintaining healthy employee relationships, providing development opportunities, adequate clinical supervision, rewards and recognition for good performance, conducting surveys and exit interviews, performance based bonus, employee referral plan, loyalty bonus, employee recreation, gifts on occasions, etc. Azim Premji, CEO-Wipro Every company faces the problem of people leaving the company for better pay. Mark, a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. The salary was great, employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology. Twice Mark was sent abroad for training. Less than eight months after he joined, Mark walked out of the job. Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called "First Break All The Rules". It came up with this surprising finding: If you're losing good people, look to their manager ....manager is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he 's the reason why people leave. "People leave managers not companies ," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. Horwich (2003) , Roehling (2000) , Ulrich (1998) The retention factors are mainly grouped into five categories namely (1) financial rewards, (2) career development opportunities, (3) job content , (4) social atmosphere and (5) work-life balance. Stum (1998) reported on a three years study on employee loyalty in America in the findings were quiet similar to those reported by Herman and Hertzberg .17 factors were identified to have some impact, but the five main drivers identified in the study are: a supportive culture that allows employee to experiment and grow, job satisfaction, opportunities for growth, organizational direction and goals, and recognition of work-life balance needs. A BIRDS EYE VIEW ON THE PAST LITERATURE SURVEY:- On an overall observation of the past literature available on the theme, it is noticed that the former researchers on this area like (i) Hermann has thrown a light on the various reasons why employees leave organizations (ii) O’Reilly & Pfeiffer emphasized the extent to which teams of people will often operate more effectively than mere collections of individuals (iii) Kinsey and Michaels, Hanfield janes and Axel Rod have opined the talent as the sum of persons abilities, his or her intrinsic gifts and knowledge (iv) Smilansky stated that it is aimed at improving the calibre and exceptional utilization of capable employees (v) Delong and Vijaya Raghavan have stressed the usage of non-performers (vi) Swears pointed out the better building of relationships (vii) Scarborough and Elias have analysed the need of value creating people for the organizations Different people opined the concept in different ways. Still a rational and result oriented approach is very much needed to re-define the concept and hence, an earnest attempt is made here to elaborate and strengthen the concept further. Conclusion:- As the environment is very volatile and attrition is increasing day-by-day. It poses a challenge before HR managers, they need to be very innovative so that new retention tools could be adopted. Today when companies recruit people they often focus attracting precisely those people who will be the most difficult to retain. Though attrition cannot be completely eradicated but it can be reduced to drastic level by being innovative. Companies are not only emphasizing not only on practical emotional benefits also, they have to develop new ideas to touch the emotions of their employees make them loyal towards their organizations.Talent management is an integrated set of activities to ensure that the organization attracts, motivates and retains the talented people currently and in future. Talent acquisition strategy helps to achieve visibility, builds the brand and attains preferred employer status, succession planning can develop a divine workforce and is immune to the looming talent crisis. Effective performance management enhances individual and group productivity and developing employee capabilities. Effective retention strategies help to retain the talented.
 
Comments
Priya V says:
Apr 18, 2011 8:25 AM
 
Than anything it should start from the time of recruitment that is selecting the suitable employee as many organisation as the pressure is huge on the recruitment team there are lot of false promises and also leading to a mismatch in the job profile leading to a lot of frustration which carries forward...
 
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