Seminar Highlights Role Of Retention And Loyalty

New Delhi: | Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
In the days of pink slips and voluntary retirement schemes (VRS), has loyalty lost its glitter and become a liability rather than an asset These were some of the ticklish issues that came up at the AIMA-organised HRM summit on Winning the strategic war for talent.

While a cradle to grave loyalty scenario is not possible today, said Mr P Dwarkanath, director, HR, GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, retention, however, was important as research shows that the cost of replacing an employee who leaves is 70-200 per cent of his annual salary.

Agreeing with the importance of effective retention strategies, Mr JN Amrolia, ED, HR & Corp Commu, Ashok Leyland, at the same time cautioned that At times it makes more sense to cut anchor instead of dropping it.

Giving the example of his own company, he said Ashok Leyland has gone in for a flattened hierarchical system. Constantly mapping individual performance, it follows a system of reforming and parking despots. It moves individuals who do not have the right attitude from key positions to areas they cant harm the organisation but at the same time try to use their technical knowledge in other areas.

Talking of the implications of the war for talent, Mr Yogi Sriram, vice- president, HR & personnel, Larsen & Toubro Ltd, said there has been a power shift from the corporation to the individual with the latter having more negotiation power. Excellent talent management has also become a strategic driver of corporate performance that provides impetus to a companys ability to attract and retain talent.

Companies that do a better job of attracting, developing and retaining their talent will gain more than their fair share of this critical and scarce resource and boost their performance dramatically, he said.

Talking of rewards, Mr Dwarkanath emphasised the need to select the right rewards. When rewards dont fit, they do not work, even when you want them to. The basic retention strategy should involve increasing communication, creating opportunities and support systems.

The entire retention process begins by hiring those who are likely to be successful and satisfied. The retention process should directly support the reasons successful satisfied employees stay with current employees.

Mr Dwarkanath said organisations need to be flexible in tackling individual problems and trying to factor in job satisfaction. In fact, a study on factors impacting job satisfaction revealed that workplace support was rated the highest at 37 per cent. Job quality came second with 32 per cent, while job variability and individual job demands got 26 and three per cent, respectively. This dispelled the commonly held belief that employees usually left for more money or lack of loyalty.

Mr Amrolia spelt out the retention challenges, specially in the commercial vehicles segment, as: Spiralling employee aspirations vs organisational realities, and the increasing mobility among professionals. There were also assimilar employee motivations and needs of assimilar segments: the loyalists who stayed till retirement, and the ambitious careerists, who moved at a faster pace.