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"For many people a job is more than an income it's an important part of who
we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling
experiences you can face in your life" Paul Clitheroe

- Raj Gupta, Head HR KPO & Life Science & Healthcare at TCS BPO.
There is a very high cost of attrition as lot of time, effort and energy is invested
in bringing the employee on board, assimilation and integration with company
culture, values and nuances. Simply put, it could be minimum 3 time cost of
their annual compensation.

Despite such a high cost, still we as HR Professional continue to behave like

any other department. In the fast changing business landscape, HR role is
not of policing or personnel administration, however, expectation from HR is
to play a strategic business partner role as success of companies depend on
its human capital and leveraging of its potential.
1. Build people skills of middle management : A whole lot of time and efforts
are spent in organization doing attrition analysis and in understanding key
reasons of attrition, however, majority of times across industry /
organizations, 3 key stated reasons emerges despite granular analysis :

Career Opportunity


Personal Reason

However, when you get into details and peel the onion, un-stated reasons
starts appearing and most of time the reason has to do with lack of
opportunity for capability building, emotional turmoil, lack of job satisfaction,
respect at work, dis-satisfaction with Manager etc.
It is a acceptable fact in the Industry that 80% of employee leave their
Managers instead of their organization. In spite of this fact, in the Industry,
we continue to promote people for their operating skills and then make them
in-charge as Team Leader / Asst. Manager while aligning career of 8-10
associate with them as Managers. However, do not spend time upfront in
developing new managers people skills. They continue to do what make
them successful so far - INDIVIDUAL XCELENCE which brought them here,
however, will not make them successful in their new jobs.
It is a high time that we start paying attention to developing people
management skills of our Managers.
2. Focus on Capability building and creating an eco system where people
development is at the fore-fornt of leadership mindset. While it is difficult to
stop attrition completely, however, by focusing on building people capability,
you can make the "PULL" factor by competitors difficult.
3. Communication on Compensation & Benefits - Majority of organizations fail to
position their compensation philosophy / benchmarking / structure and thus fails
to leverage the advantage vis-a-vis their competitors. This is 1 factor that could
make PULL difficult from your competitors - however, instead of making it
difficult, we rather help in PUSH. We must go beyond salary communication at
the time of recruitment negotiations and communicate periodically about
benefits that includes other than salary i.e. Group Medi-claim Insurance Scheme,
Personal Accident Insurance Scheme, Company Leased Accommodation,
Recreation, Cafeteria, ATM, gym and Concierge facilities; Personal Health Care
(Regular medical check-ups), Loans etc. Make your compensation framework
transparent and do not shy away from having an interaction with employees on

broader contours of your compensation approach.

4. Engage employees over & beyond their day to day job and ensure that
their insecurities and vulnerabilities are addressed appropriately and timely
through various programs and practices which could be designed keeping in
view organization context and requirements. Leveraging operating
employees to partner with human resource team through a well defined
program can go a long way.
5. Provide Growth Opportunities and communicate about them. Majority of
companies do provide Growth opportunities, however, fail to leverage due to
lack of communication on this front.
6. Managing expectation of employees is a key. Let top Managers / readers step
out of their comfort zone and assimilate with employees and right align their
expectations. New Millennial want to grow fast and it is essential that they are
coached in right earnestness. The fact is 80-90% people remain at staff level, 47% in Middle Management & 2-3% at Top Management. It is essential that we
align our employees and emphasize on the inevitability of building
competencies / capabilities rather than having a single minded focus on vertical
growth. It is OK to not get a promotion but to deserve it, rather than getting it
while you do not deserve.

Poaching of employees by competitors for higher salaries drives them to

change jobs. However, working on employee capability building and fairly
compensating them while stressing upon the fact that employee needs to dig
deep at least at 1 place to belong to Top Leadership as both depth and
breadth are key to senior leadership positions.
7. Provide opportunities for skill up-gradation through training intervention or
internal job assignment / movement.
8. Career Pathing plays a key role. It would serve the purpose if all
employees who have spent > 18-24 months in the system are pro-actively
spoken and asked for their career preferences to bring about a spark and end
Monotony of work
9. Creating Training Academies with in and also do tie up with institutions.
Create Sabbatical policy so that those employee who wants to pursue higher
education can do so without leaving their job.
10. Effectiveness of Reward & Recognition - work hard and party harder is
the mantra in IT/ITES industry. Celebrating success is a key. Strong reward &
recognition framework keeping in view the context and levels also plays a
critical role in employee retention.
In addition to the above, it is important that people at leadership level stop
doing paralysis of analysis. The time and effort that I have seen goes in
making power point presentation on attrition, could be well utilized by

making leadership step out of their comfort zone (cabins ) and share their
experiential learning's which shall help not only in people development,
however, at the same time will help create a "psychological contract" which
is essential for retention in competitive business landscape in a fast
developing economy.

Raj Gupta is a seasoned HR professional with overall 16+ years of experience.

Currently, he is the Head HR KPO & Life Science & Healthcare at TCS BPO.