by Ishan Bhattacharya

I-Day Special: Cracking Down on Attrition

Aug 12, 20144 mins

Retaining talent in an organization is a major challenge. Indian CIOs give insights on how to break free from the problem of attrition.

Every individual has his or her own interpretation of the word independence and freedom. Taking decisions to breaking free from troubles, independence comes in different flavors for everyone.

Similarly, a CIO, also has his own ways of staying independent and freedom from attrition is definitely on top of charts for many CIOs.

It is indeed difficult to point out a single reason as to why good and hard-working employees leave an organization to join another. But money is definitely not the only reason for it.

“Youngsters today look for two things in a job: Challenging tasks and learning which will help them in the short and medium run. Compensation is easy for anyone to match, but the culture of providing challenging assignments and ensuring learning, helps in retention of employees,” says R Venkatanarayanan, president-HR, IT, and education, Rane Group.

Man Mohan Goyal, CIO consultant IT advisory, InnovateBizIT, too favors the same opinion and is of the belief that in order to keep the interest level high among employees it is vital to come up with challenging tasks.

“One needs to give employees challenging tasks. One of the major reason for people getting bored and leaving a firm is that the job they have in hand is not challenging enough. I always ask people to come up with new experimental ideas and I keep a budget for experimentation. From my experience I have found that no effort goes waste. The excitement within employees should be kept alive to retain talent,” says Goyal.

A survey carried out by the CIO revealed that helping employees with their personal problem reduces attrition more than fast tracking their career growth or annual pay hikes.

“Caring for the needs of employees, treating them as an intrinsic part of our IT team, helps in retention. It is important to talk to employees regarding their personal problems. Looking into the fact that an employee’s interest is given attention. Treating hardworking employees in an appropriate manner also ensures job satisfaction,” says Suresh Kumar, partner and CIO, Grant Thornton.

Dedicated employees often tend to get demotivated realizing that their voices are not heard. Therefore, it is vital to create an environment which gives them a sense of equality and importance.

“As a leader, your own behavior and interaction with your team is very crucial. I believe in democratic teams and regular meetings to ensure that people can put forward their ideas without hesitation. There should be a democratic setup to ensure that my employees don’t feel left out,” says Goyal.

Helping employees realize their full potential and guiding them towards a growth path is also necessary, when it comes to controlling attrition.

“As part of our annual appraisal process, we capture the aspirations of each of our employees. We have an online system which helps us figure out the aspirations of our employees. The aspirations are aligned towards the career and involves a lot of personal development aspects,” says Venkatanarayanan.

Even though money is not the only way to control attrition, but it definitely is a major driver.

“Employees should be paid a reasonable amount because money is important. We try our best to create an environment which motivates people to indulge in creativity,” says Goyal.

“Financial aid is important but it is not the only thing, at the end of the day people like to be appreciated for what they are doing,” says Kumar.

We live in an age where the line between personal and professional life is getting thinner, so, flexibility of working hours can bring smile on an employee’s face.

“Flexibility in job timing is possible in certain roles. In the context of manufacturing industry, there are certain roles which are duty bound, for example when a plant runs, some people have to be there. Barring such critical positions, certainly one can ensure flexibility in working hours and keep employees happy,” says Venkatanarayanan.