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The Vital Task of Stopping Attrition

This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World.

The biggest challenge faced by any company is that of attrition i.e. avoiding employees from leaving their organisation.

Tackling this is the uppermost task of any and every H.R. department. Strategies and policies are eternally formulated to solve this problem. After all, continuous training, promotions and hikes in salaries are not enough to stem attrition.

Kautilya suggests,

“He should favour those contented, with additional wealth and honour. He should propitiate with gifts and conciliation those, who are discontented, in order to make them contented” (1.13.16-17)

There are generally two types of employees: contented and discontented. As mentioned before, Kautilya gives us a tip on how to handle these two types.

According to him, ignoring the employees who seem contented (those who do not ask for a promotion or a rise of pay) is a very bad HR strategy. Every person works in an organisation for his salary. Just because the employee seems contented does not mean they really are.

Such people just need a bigger offer from a competitor, and they will be gone like the wind. Hence, if you see a contented employee, favour him with additional wealth, awards, and also increments. You will find that they will be more loyal to you. Why? Well, you understood their needs even before they expressed their feelings. After this, there would be no unions or strikes!

As for those who are very restless and discontented, give gifts and other notable benefits to them also in order to retain them in the organisation.

Following are just some methods that can be followed to avoid attrition.

1. Give importance to HRD (Human Resource Department)

Most top managements consider HR Department as a very ordinary and administrative part of their organisation. Its function is only to recruit, train employees and maintain their records. In fact, each and every management should consider HR as the top priority in their agenda. Work on your people. Only then will your people will work for you.

2. CEO should be a mentor

A CEO should be a friend, philosopher and guide to all the employees. Running the business is only a small part of his job. His main job is to be a teacher and train people to become future leaders. He should use his years of experience in running a business to train others to do the same.

3. Create your own culture

Instead of copying form others, develop your own culture – an organisational culture that is unique. Others can copy your product and services but never your culture. Such a culture should be friendly and open. Every employee should “feel” that he is a part of a family.

Break all rules. Get out of your cabin and spend more time with your staff. Let your organisition be the one every one feels proud to work for.

Contributed by  - Radhakrishnan Pillai

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