Employee Retention

  • By
  • March 3, 2022
  • HR Training

Employee Retention –

Employee Retention is one of the most important functions of Human Resources professionals. To understand how we should improve retention, we must look into the reasons why people leave their employments.

Why is it important?

Human Resources professionals must prepare a list of reasons why people leave their employers. But it is not a easy task to identify the right reasons of why people leave their employers. Most leaving employees, even though asked by Human Resource professionals or their own managers, do not reveal the true reason why they are leaving. Some times they do not want to spoil relationships with the managers or employees and even for that matter the human resource professionals also. They believe that, if in future they need to come back to the same company they are leaving due to unforeseen circumstances or other apprehensions, the doors may be closed on their return if they have already spoiled the relationships with manager, other employees or the Human Resources professionals by telling unpleasant things about them or the company while giving reasons for their exit.

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Some even believe that the Human Resource department team members may spoil their back ground verification, when they receive request from the future employers, if they mention the true reasons for leaving the company. Well, if this is the scenario where leaving employees have such feelings and decide on not giving the actual reasons for leaving, it is the failure of Human resource department and also the organization as a whole. It means that they have not been able to build a culture of trust and professionalism. With that neither the human resource department nor the top management will ever be in position to know the actual reasons why their employees are leaving them.

Unless you know the actual reasons for employee attrition, you will never get ideas of where human resource  team or the top management is required to focus on for improving the work culture, exhibit professional values and be known in the market for being a good employer to work for.

Looking for the true reasons –

I feel pity for the top management who are under the impression that their work culture is good as the right reasons for employee attrition never come up. 

Human resources team members have a very critical role to play in this scenario. They must give it a deep thought and analyze the reasons microscopically. They must see those reasons in the light of other happenings or events associated directly or indirectly around the leaving employee. They may discover those happenings or events that have been responsible for or have prompted the said employee to look for alternatives, apply for jobs elsewhere and resign from services. Try to connect the broken links between the events, incidents etc. and draw a picture that gives clues towards the employee exit.

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Way forward-

Learning from the clues the human resources team members must take necessary actions to prevent unpleasant situations, events, unprofessional behavior of the employees in leadership position that directly or indirectly makes people start thinking about leaving the organization.

It does help to have good employee engagement activities for all the employees and arranging good leadership development programs for the mid level and senior level leaders in the company to be able to develop a good work culture conducive for having more satisfied employees within the company.

A good leadership development program for the purpose, would include areas such as team management, conflict management, effective interpersonal skills, leading from front, delegation, fair attitude, humility, care for others, emotional intelligence, compassion etc.

Also, Human resource team members must list out appropriate employee engagement methods or activities which aim at improving the team bonding and which leads to developing a healthy work culture supporting good health and mental state of employees. 

Develop a culture of appreciating achievements whatever small they may be. Appreciations, rewards and recognitions are the best tools to improve employee satisfaction. It is not the money or the other monetary benefits which satisfies the employees or makes them stay longer in the company but such little appreciations also go a long way in building good and conducive work culture.

Competitor analysis –

It also helps to do competitor analysis in terms of the best practices they may be following. Also doing some kind of salary benchmarking will help you understand your company’s standing in terms of compensation and benefits as compared to industry standards and the competitor compensation and benefits.

If Competitors are paying higher compensation or is providing more and attractive benefits to theirs employees, there are higher chances that your own employees will try their best to join competitor.

Although compensation and benefits are not the only driving factors or retention factors, they are one of the reasons why people may think of leaving.

We should try to focus on retention from various angles and use various methods, tools resources, practices etc. to ensure that we are the best in the market and among the competitors.

Competitors may try to poach our employees by offering more salary, attractive designations, more benefits, attractive career path etc. Be watchful on all these fronts. We should have our sources or network everywhere in the market from where we keep getting information on all these fronts and we can accordingly keep changing our compensation structures, our benefits, our career development policies and practices or even employee engagement activities.

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The job of Human resource department team members is multifold and muti dimensional. We not only have to do the routine operational human resource tasks with perfection but also be vigilant about the happenings around us and accordingly keep doing corrections or modifications or additions to our existing procedures, policies, rules, systems etc. within the framework of our organizations values, vision, mission and philosophy. Sometimes we have to play a role of detective also but that is with a view to bring some value addition to the organization that we are working for and therefore must do our best.


Shashikant Phadtare

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