By Mansi Tyagi
India’s attrition rate was recorded at 20.3% in 2022, according to a survey conducted by Aon plc. As per the survey, regardless of the reason behind these high resignations, the most affected were HR Managers. This meant stress of re-hiring and substantial increase in cost of both recruitment and training.
Moonlighting and ‘side hustles’ are other major by products of COVID-19. Employees now have the comfort of choosing their work environment and simultaneously increase their income. This change in employee behavior has brought a lot of uncertainty and mismanagement in organizations. HR Managers are not sure how to deal with this.
In all, retaining an employee has never been more challenging. However, remember that the team that hires employees also has the capability to retain them. So, as HR Managers, we need to tweak our approach to the problem, and the solution will present itself.
It’s almost 2023. HR Managers who believe that an employee’s motivation is still based on compensation and benefits should think again. To understand employees’ motivations, it is first necessary to see them as fellow human beings. Simply what works for you as a human, will broadly work for others too.
The last couple of years have proved that working from the office and productivity are hardly interlinked. Work can now be only two steps away if needed. People are now not only more ‘at home’ but also more productive in their chosen work environment. So, if you’re planning to force team members to come to office, first expect frustration and then ultimately, resignations.
Instead, HR Managers can develop a process to ensure higher productivity of their people. They can do this by giving people the right to choose the work environment they thrive in-work-from-home, work-from-office, or both. Any other measure and you will lose people in the short term, especially smaller companies with little or no brand bargaining power.
Demand and Supply
The booming tech industry is not a new phenomenon. The number of jobs in tech and compensation has steadily increased over the years. But what’s new is the sudden rise in money in the industry. With the surge in ‘exciting’ start-ups and the funding they are getting, it is a job seeker’s market. Even more so, if you’re good at what you do. As an HR Manager, you probably had a tough time hiring people in the last year or so. You know it.
If you wish to keep up, you’ll need to convince upper management that salary/appraisal corrections will need to be made. ‘Industry-standard hike’ data, found on HR websites and reports, is no longer valid. We must go back to the good old days of on-the-ground research and have in-person discussions.
We need to have more ‘human discussions. In addition to higher compensation, think about what more you can offer-positions of responsibility, better soft skills, personality growth, and a better lifestyle. Help them become better versions of themselves. People will want to stay and learn if you can match their idea of growth.
How often have you heard the phrase “this generation is smarter than we could ever be”? That too by people to describe the generation next to theirs? Gen Z has been much more prepared to take up responsibilities than any other generation. They know their job and their capability to do it as well.
You can no longer expect them to be submissive. You cannot treat them as individuals who can be told what to do at every step. If you want to retain this generation, show them kindness and respect. Focus on their strengths, and accept their imperfections and diversity.
Job Security v/s Collaborative Ownership
It’s also important to understand that most Gen Z have grown up with all essential requirements that an individual needs. That is-food and nutrition, a roof above their head, and decent education. Their parents-the generation driven by job security-have taken care of this. So now people in this generation want more of what life offers. They need both self-esteem and self-actualization.
Work has to transcend from ‘telling them what to do’ to ‘a collaborative effort’. They need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing, and what impact it will have on the company’s growth. They need to feel invested and be ‘part owner’ of the value creation. Here is what HR Managers can do. Train managers to throw out micro-management and give more creative freedom to people. Trust them and allow them to prove themselves.
Cost of Recruitment
Imagine an existing employee coming to you with a higher offer from a different company. You now have two options-either you reject the hike request, or you match the offer. What will you choose? If you choose the latter, you can relax. But if you choose to ignore the request, get ready to list the upcoming expenses.
When an employee quits, first is the full-and-final settlement. Next, the cost of recruitment tools and platforms. Not to mention, the time and energy spent by the HR team and hiring managers during the interview process. Let’s say you do manage to find a candidate in this challenging market. Now you have to wait. The candidate may or may not join. Next is the hike the candidate is expecting for switching companies. Then comes the cost of training, including the time and energy spent by the training managers. Now compare the sum of all of this with the appraisal cost that was requested. Simple math? More than tactics, it’s the change in mindset that will help HR Managers retain people. This also needs to happen from top to bottom from an organization’s point of view. But it is the job of HR Managers to influence upper management and show the right direction.
So, in 2023, start seeing your employees as “humans” instead of “resources”. Make them a part of your team. Take care of them as you would of any of your loved ones. You will be surprised to see how beautifully they showcase their loyalties.
The author of this article is HR Head, Trycon Technologies. Syndicated by PTI.