Why companies lose their best resources?


Employee retention.

A word we are all familiar with. Thanks to the multi-slide PowerPoint presentations strenuously worked upon by our HR staff. I still remember the faces of employees in our company every time the slides on employee retention was presented and stories on how it was achieved were shared. In the fifteen years of my career, I have seen experience worth about 150 years getting drained out due to unintelligent and mindless reasons.

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Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • Manager – We are all aware that the one most significant reason an employee leaves a company is because of the manager. As someone said, ‘You don’t work for the company. You work for your manager.’ I say, you work because of your manager. Those who blindly choose to follow anything and everything their manager says or does; definitely stand a chance to get into the boss’s good books. But work-wise, they will never be satisfied and they’ll never be able to learn anything new. You have got to question everything possible. A sensible manager will respect you for taking the initiative to know and understand the reason behind a certain decision instead of taking the load like a donkey. Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to work with three sensible managers who always chose the company’s and employee’s interest first. But even if the manager is sensible and helps his/her employees develop personally and professionally, there are other important parameters that govern your employees’ tenure at your company.
  • CTC (Cost to Company) – A page or two that is prepared with a fox’s intelligence to attract innocent preys. While I completely agree that every company works for profit, I also tend to disagree with the shrewdness involved in the making of this document. The variable component which not just depends on the employee’s talent and effort but an entire workforce’s efforts, is made to look like the most handsome perk in the CTC. The bait, I call it. Most of the time, you cannot even earn half of it, courtesy someone else’s foolish decisions. While this line can help you fool many (including me) for sometime (or even longer), it cannot help you survive in the long run. You cannot always afford to exploit an employee’s loyalty and integrity. Sooner or later, you’ll lose the resource.
  • Individual needs – Rules are made to be followed by everyone. Agreed. But then there must be ways to help a worthy resource in times of difficulties. If you choose to ignore listening to their needs while you happily tweak the rules for employees who wag their tails ignoring the work assigned, it’s gotta be your loss when they leave.
  • Career progression and growth opportunities – Good resources love new challenges. Some managers tend to load every new role on an already overloaded employee instead of helping other employees to grow. The reason cited in most cases is the time they’ll take to learn. This cannot be an excuse. By overloading one employee and ignoring the other employee, you are slowly but surely losing both of them.
  • Reward and encouragement – Many a times, an employee is not looking for monetary benefit alone. He/she is seeking acknowledgement of his/her exemplary work. Failing to highlight the same and encouraging them, will only imbibe resentment in them.
  • Involvement – Every employee of your team must be given some one-to-one time and loves to be a part of greater discussions. Involve them. That’s how you help them progress. Transparency is a must for winning their trust.
  • Support their development; personal as well as professional – If there are opportunities at work or outside to help your employee in learning and development, share it. Encourage them. Support them, morally and financially. Remember, an employee is the greatest asset any company has. Nurture them. Find their strengths and weakness through continuous interactions. Help them improve through learning modules and training workshops. These are not just meant for the pets, you know.
  • Conflict resolution – Listening is a very important role. Be it the manager, the HR or the leadership team. The actual situation can only be evaluated by listening to your team. Conflicts between teams, between employees, between a manager and an employee, the HR and the employee, have to be assessed and resolved timely. If you do not lend your ears at the right time, there will not be any need of them a little later.

How you treat your employees decide who you’ll be able to hire in the future and how your company will prosper. The survival of any successful company depends on the welfare of its employees. Invest your time and money in them. The returns will be marvelous.

What are your thoughts on employee retention? Please do share. I would love to hear. 


7 Replies to “Why companies lose their best resources?”

  1. Good one.. and i agree with all the points completely.. It only requires some efforts from HR and management to make the employee feel valuable and important, and it definitely goes a long way in retaining him or her…

  2. Well said. But companies dont follow this at all. Talk about CTC , yes its a trap! No appreciation or recognition at work, makes an employee depressed and demotivated. Growth, ah companies dont bother to make the individuals grow. The employee gets no learning!

    1. It has to be a management decision I guess. HR is only supporting and working on the instructions provided. But employee needs to be recognized and rewarded for their achievements time to time. If not, he/she gets demotivated and feels exploited.

  3. Hi, Well I would like to shed some light from the other side of the table. CTC’s should be made easy to understand, fuss free and simple and it is the responsibility of the HR department to make the employee aware of what it consists of, how much approximately he shall be getting in hand, any variable pay or skill premium etc. should be well explained. It is equally the onus of the employees, especially the experienced ones to ask questions, understand and then take your decision. Also let me tell you not every HR person or department sets up a trap, most HR departments also work relentlessly and with utmost sincerity to bring the best employees on board and also within the given purview try and retain its employees, there are HR Managers whose assignment is purely to look for ways and means to improve employee life and benefits, at the same time one has to remember that retention is actually the prime responsibility of Line Managers and Team Heads.

    Being in HR is mostly a thankless job, you are hardly appreciated, according to employees anything good happens then it is the Management’s generosity and any wrong policy then it is the HR behind it. We have to remember that there might be hardly any one else in the organization who has to constantly do the balancing and walk that thin line between Management and employees, because Management always thinks that the HR is on the employees side and the employees always believes that HR is pro Management.

    Well that’s quite a long comment, sorry Rekha for having taken up so much space, I agree with the post but it is also important to see things from all perspective.
    take care

    1. Appreciate you for taking the time and explaining the perspective of an HR person. My post is not intended to raise fingers at HR alone. If that’s how it has reflected, my apologies. At the same time I would like to tell you that my experience with HR in my career was not at all encouraging. I know how much my manager had fought to retain me. And my requirement was not even money. The manager had even suggested ways to tackle the problem effectively and we had the consent from the highest authorities too. But talent was not taken seriously by the then HR and within a span of one and a half years, they lost 27 senior employees including me. I am also aware of how HR works for employee benefits as the husband works for a company where HR function is commendable. In my company, the new HR dismissed most of the added perks like bonus, reduced the medical insurance cashless facility from 100% to 80% and so on. And all this was just to show the profitability chart to parent company, which of course was mandated by the management. I am aware as I was part of most discussions.

      About CTCs, yes experienced employees must study the offer thoroughly and ask sensible questions. But freshers must be informed about what their take home will be. I have seen way too many people being trapped with exciting offers that were only true on papers.

      Hope I have clarified my point and the purpose of the post. Love such engaging discussions.

  4. Interesting article. Apart from the major attention that we pay to employee retention, the second most important aspect would of course be making the right hire. We as a startup have faced multiple problems with inducting our key employees, the ones who would cherish the dream of the startup and motivate their team members as well, which we have listed down in a blog post. Do check it out!

    And please do keep coming out with such interesting perspectives!

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