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Hi All, Need policy on retention? Please share. Regards, Meenakshi
From India, New Delhi
Chander Shekhar

Dear Minakshi,

Attrition, is a problem alomost all organisations are facing.This is a very brillient idea of laying down the retention policy, followings are the few guidelines to do the same.

Employee retention is crucial to the long-term success of your business and therefore the ability to retain employees is a primary measure of the health of your organisation. Of significant concern is the fact that unplanned employee turnover directly impacts the bottom line of your business.Issues such as lost intellectual capital, costly candidate searches, training time and investment, and a sense of insecurity among staff is costly to an organisation. With the current labour market conditions, employee retention strategies are also important to ensure that organisations retain the necessary human capital resources required to profitably run their businesses when skill shortages are at an all time high. To strategically ensure increased revenue, client satisfaction, a committed and satisfied workforce, well embedded organisational knowledge and learning, as well as effective succession planning, organisations should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:ท Do employees know clearly what is expected of them each day? Continually changing expectations minimise employees’ sense of internal security and create unnecessary stress. It is beneficial therefore to provide a specific framework in which people can work. ท Are employees provided with quality management and leadership? It is well documented that people leave their managers more often than they leave the company or the job. Turnover issues that cause an employee to feel unvalued by their managers include lack of feedback about performance, lack of clarity regarding earning potential, failure to hold scheduled meetings, and the failure to provide a framework for the employee to succeed. Ensure that the right people are in place to lead your teams, departments, business units and the organisation as a whole towards success. ท Are employees given regular opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge? A career oriented employee must experience opportunities for growth in order to feel valued by the organisation. To help eliminate a sense of stagnation in the workforce, organisations can offer cross training, internal role related skills enhancement, relevant external course or seminar attendance, succession planning programmes to help groom employees for promotion, opportunities for employees to sit on committees where their skills will be further developed, and encouragement for staff to read relevant books or periodicals to increase their knowledge base. ท Are employees’ talents and skills fully utilised? Often employees could contribute far more than they currently are and would happily do so if management fully recognised and then utilised their skills, talents and experience. High performing staff often want to contribute to areas outside the specific scope of their individual roles and need the opportunity to do so. High performing organisations recognise this and therefore strive to fully engage the talents of their employees. ท Does the organisational culture foster a sense of fairness and equitable treatment for all staff? The perceptions of employees regarding how they feel they are treated are important to the long-term commitment demonstrated by staff. By ensuring internal equity organisations can increase the morale, motivation and dedication of their workforce. ท Do senior managers regularly acknowledge and interact with employees? In order for employees to feel welcome, acknowledged and valued it is imperative that senior managers take the time to interact with staff. While the act of management entails setting objectives and monitoring progress, true leadership requires interaction. By learning about employees’ various talents, skills and abilities, senior managers are able to stay better connected to the pulse of their organisation. ท Are employees granted the freedom to freely speak their minds? By fostering a culture that promotes open discussion employees can feel comfortable offering ideas or even constructive criticism, both of which are necessary for continuous improvement within an organisation. Forward thinking organisations value open communication and therefore they encourage or even reward staff for sharing their thoughts, ideas and suggestions. ท Do employees feel appreciated, recognised and fairly rewarded? The act of regularly saying thank you, openly recognising employees’ contributions, as well as providing gifts, bonuses and competitive remuneration are all keys to success in retention. Organisations that place emphasis on recognising and rewarding their staff members’ efforts and contributions are more likely to benefit from increased employee commitment. Is your organisation currently doing its best to retain your top talent?

I hope this will help You in your present assignment.


Chander Shekhar

From India, Faridabad
Rahul Kumar

Dear Meenakshi,

Most of the requirements posted on this forum do not brief their requirements to the extent that helps members to first assess the request and respond. So does this one.

In fact, retention policy may vary from Company to Company depending on :

1. Which industrial/commercial sector is it you are referring

2. Profile of your employees - mostly skilled/semi-skilled/un-

skilled/knowledge workers

3. Commonest reasons for attrition in your Company - an attrition study

4. Age, class & education profile of your employees involved in the exodus

5. Their motivations/career aspirations in life

You can only chalk out a retention policy if you properly know the above factors. It is like plugging a leaking vent only after you know the characteristics of the vent, its properties, make, reason and place of leakage.

A bit of loud thinking as to why people leave and what all can be done to retain them will help in formulating a retention policy.

You can definitely make one with some loud thinking. Another's policy may not quite serve the purpose.

Rahul Kumar

From India, New Delhi
Mahendra H P
Hi All,
Yes I do agree that nature of the work differs from one company to another in terms of skill, educational status, future prospects, growth etc. coz the expectation of an Engineering candidate is far different from those of ITI candidates where engineers aspires continues growth in their career. So thinking towards this respect can any body tell me how can i successful retention policy which keeps low attrition and high satisfaction among my people. I am in very much need of ur kind suggestion as I am HR executive at Corporate centre taking initiative to control steep rise in attrition in purely Automation company where Engineers are life blood of my company survival & growth.
Looking forward to hear from u all.
Mahendra H P

From India, Bangalore

Friends, I agree that retention policies are organisation specific. It may not suit another organisation by a copy-paste method. It should also be noted that attrition is mostly attributed to personality related and person specific factors. One effective way of devising a retention policy for your organisation is to analyse why people leave you, and then work out ways to control the outflow. Conduct exit interviews seriously, talk to people who had left earlier, and build a data base for further analysis.
In short, we have to do a lot of homework to handle a sensitive issue such as attrition effectively.

From India
Hi Minakshi,

I am also working on the subject of "Retention", I have found this article on retention, may this will help you.


The greatest challenge faced today by organisations the world over is retaining talented employees in the organisation. A debate raging since many decades has been as to whether to retain them is more important than finding a successor to the vacant position. Whilst the argument continues, let us examine the causes, consequences and control of employee turnover in an organisation. By employee turnover, we mean that employees of an organistion cease to remain in the services of that organisation and leave for reasons best known to them.

Some of the causes/consequences could be classified as:

Dissatisfaction parameter:

Employees are dissatisfied with the salaries, perks and benefits offered by the organisation they are currently in. They may also be dissatisfied with their bosses or find their jobs meaningless and unimportant as a result of which their job satisfaction levels are very low. Further they may be dissatisfied with career opportunities in the organisation or even its personnel policies in general. As a consequence of the above, Employees leave to join other organisations which satisfy their needs. As the wheel of time moves along, they find a third organisation which offers to satisfy them even more. Thus they change again i.e. they are perennially job-hopping from one organisation to another.

Alternatives parameter: Here the employee leaves the organisation in search of "greener pastures" such as starting his own business, joining the family business, joining an organisation in a foreign country or even availing of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme of the organisation and relaxing at home, living off the interest generated from fixed deposits and investment. An interesting trend in recent years in has been that many managers leave industry to become consultants or even faculty in management institutes or go abroad to complete their PhD or further studies. It is important to note here that the separation here was not because of dissatisfaction with respect to the present organisation but because of other available alternatives and inclinations in that direction by the employees. The consequence here is that the organisation loses some talented employees for no fault of theirs. In some organisations some of these employees are even used as consultants on a retainership basis from time to time. This is possible if and only if the separated employees are not always in a competitive area of work.

Personal parameter: In this case, the employee chooses to separate himself from the organisation because of personal reasons such as ill-health, desire to return to the native place for family reasons, the spouse is transferred and the current organisation has no branch in the new location and so on. In the Indian context, women may have to give up their jobs post-marriage to resettle elsewhere in the country or even post-pregnancy. As some of the above problems are more common with the women employees, many organisations have an unwritten policy, which is widely practised i.e. to minimise employment of women. This is a very unfair and biased policy and unfortunately many competent and well-qualified women have had to suffer. But companies argue that many women executives, even in today's Indian context have to quit jobs after marriage or pregnancy. It is best therefore not to generalise and treat such cases on their respective merits.

Organisation initiated parameter: Sometimes employees have to separate from an organisation as they have not completed their probation period successfully or they are being laid off for want of work or their appointment was only on a temporary basis. In fact it is this aspect of separation that is most unpleasant since the earlier ones discussed were cases of separation which were employee initiated. Care must be taken by the organisations to ensure that the above be carried out as smoothly as possible else, this could create a lot of negative impressions about the company which could be detrimental for the organisation's image in the long run. One major consequence of this type of separation is that it affects the morale of the employees at large and creates a feeling of insecurity in general.

Let us realize that today recruitment has become both a highly specialised area and a costly exercise too. Once an individual joins an organisation, costs incurred on him include Acquisition costs i.e. cost of recruitment, selection and placement &Training Costs i.e. induction, specialised training and on the job training. Besides when he separates from the organisation, the company faces the cost of his position lying vacant besides having to pay his separation pay and such dues.

Hence organisations today are focusing on minimising employee turnover with great gusto.

Some of the control measures taken are:

Having a well-designed and dynamic Compensation and Benefits system which is highly competitive.

Providing opportunities for further growth in the organisation via career planning/ succession planning.

Develop a highly conducive and pro-active work culture in the organisation where openness, creativity and commitment are valued.

In many organisations today, Exit interviews are conducted to obtain feedback from separated employees about their stint in the organisation. This Exit interview is conducted in two phases.

Phase I is conducted as soon as the employee's boss receives his resignation letter. The objective of his meeting is to ascertain reasons as to why the employee wishes to leave the organistion. If the employee is really worth retaining, attempts are made to eliminate dissatisfiers if any and retain his services for the organisation. This decision has to be taken very judiciously else the employee will use this as a tool to push his demands via a resignation letter. If an employee withdraws his resignation letter; the exit interview has achieved its objective of retaining a good employee. Despite all the attempts made, if the employee still decides to separate then we move on Phase II.

Usually the second phase of the exit interview should be conducted after the employee who has separated has been paid all his dues and his accounts with the company have been settled. This ensures that the separated employee provides candid and unbiased feedback about the organisation's procedures, policies and problem areas. All such feedback should be recorded on paper and circulated to the top management. In order to ensure that a good discussion is possible, the exit interview should be held in privacy and conducted by a senior employee of the organisation who is not the boss or departmental head of the separated employee. If the feedback duly obtained by this method is looked into seriously, this serves as a good raw data base through which various irritants and lacunae in the organisation could be eliminated.

In fact, the exit interview also has one more spin-off. If the employee parts with a good feeling, he has a tendency to keep in touch with the separated organisation. Perhaps over a period of time, he would even like to come back to his old organisation. Some management's are conservative and brand the separated employee as a traitor but many other organisations welcome him back.

Whilst critics argue that a continuous inflow and outflow of people into any organisation keeps it healthy, care should be taken to ensure that the outflow does not exceed the inflow. Further good employees should be retained and developed to assume higher levels of responsibility in the organisation. One needs to remember that employee turnover is not a malady which exists in the organistion. Hence necessary steps should be taken by an organisation to identify the causes and keep this turnover at an acceptable level. Retaining talent and creating a conducive work culture to facilitate performance would ensure the organisation's health &success.

If you also find something interested regarding this subject please forward it to me at my email id.

with regards,

RK Sinha

From India, Ludhiana

Hi RK,

I am enclosing a small article which is have on retention.Hope it helps you.

Thanks for the update which you had given.Was worth reading and few things were very informative.



Retention strategies

Retention of Key employees is critical to the long term health and success of any organization. It is a known fact that retaining your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, increased

product sales, satisfied colleagues and reporting staff, effective succession planning and deeply imbedded organizational knowledge and learning.

Employee retention matters as organizational issues such as training time and investment; lost knowledge; insecure employees and a costly candidate search are involved. Hence failing to retain a key employee is a costly proposition for an organisation. Various estimates suggest that losing a middle manager in most organizations costs up to five times of his salary.

The BPOs in India face an enormous challenge in reducing attrition rate and this being a nascent industry needs to draw parallels, examples from other industry practices as well as develop innovative Employee Relation Initiatives as highlighted below. This has been classified into three groups

1. The Corporate level

2. Managerial/supervisory level

3. Employee Recognition Initiatives

Here this article attempts to highlight the strategies for the corporate level.

Corporate Level Retention strategies:-

Relevance of Retention Strategies in the Indian BPO Industry vis-เ-vis other industries is very critical to its existence for the following reasons -

• To bring stability in business and increase customer service process.

• Nasscom has estimated that the Indian ITES industry will gross over $5.7 billion by 2005 (based on a conservative year-on-year growth of 65 percent by Nasscom).

• Staff/employee satisfaction translates directly into money quite quickly in the BPO industry compared to other industries.

• To reduce the pressure on the recruiting process.

• Recent acquisition deals both domestic & overseas by BPOs makes it even more critical to stabilize their back end operations to service new customers.

Before we proceed its important to understand the underlying reasons for high attrition rates, which are pretty steep and are around 40-50%. Currently it is about 35% in non-voice and 45% in voice call centers. About 80% of them look for better careers within the same industry. Agents want to become team leaders. Team leaders want to become supervisors. Supervisors want the job of the CEO. Based on my discussions with the experts in the BPO industry, literature and data available, the following trends are seen as below.

There are varied reasons for the same and the major reasons for attrition rate are(based on author's sample study):-

• Money - 10% • Night shifts - 35% • Monotonous/boring job - 30% • Others - 25%

As seen above from the above data, HR Strategist at the Corporate Level of the BPO Industry indeed have a huge challenge before them and their approach has to be proactive and they have to develop Innovative Employee Relation Initiatives as mentioned hereon.

• A satisfied employee knows clearly what is expected from him every day at work. Changing expectations keeps people on the edge and creates unhealthy stress. This creates insecurity and makes the employee feel unsuccessful. An employees deliverables at work must be communicated to him clearly and thoroughly.

• The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention. Frequent employee complaints center on these areas.

--lack of clarity about expectations,--lack of clarity about benefits pertaining to performance based incentives.--lack of feedback about performance,--failure to provide a framework within which the employee perceives he can succeed.

• The ability of the employee to speak his or her mind freely within the organization is another key factor. Have meetings or dinner once a month, to share the company's vision, the industry's growth and where they see themselves in this scheme of things.

• Using psychometric tests to get people who can work at night and handle the monotony.

• Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor your key employees seek in your workplace. You just need to know their skills, talent and experience, and take the time to tap into it

• The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important.

• When an employee is failing at work, Refer to W. Edward Deming's question, "What is about the work system that is causing the person to fail?" Most frequently, if the employee knows what they are supposed to do, then the answer is time, tools, training, temperament or talent. The easiest

to solve, and the ones most affecting employee retention, are tools, time and training. The employee must have the tools, time and training necessary to do their job well - or they will move to an employer who provides them.

• Another important factor is focus on the process than on the person especially when the employee is not failing at work.

• Implement Competency Models, which should be well integrated, with HR processes like Selection & Recruitments, Training, Performance appraisal and potential Appraisal.

• A common complaint or lament during an exit interview is that the employee never felt senior managers knew he/she existed. In my experience I knew the MD of a company who knew the first names of all staff including workers to that extent he used to enquire about the well being of the family members if it was casually mentioned that wife or children aren't keeping well. Senior managers refer to the president of a small company or a department or division head in a larger company. They have to take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents, abilities and skills. Meet with each employee periodically. They will have more useful information

and keep their fingers on the pulse of organization. It's a critical tool to help employees feel welcomed, acknowledged and loyal.

• The Senior Managers to be involved in the recruitment process if the Recruitment team has identified potential and cultural fit candidates.

• Involve the advisors or team leaders in the interviewing panels.

• In Company presentations to potential candidates encourage the employees to share their experiences.

• Your staff members must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. Frequently saying thank you goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated. Understandable raises, tied to accomplishments and achievements help to retain staff.

• Select the right people in the first place through behavior-based testing and competency screening •

Draw lessons from the Indian Army, for their command and control leadership where the troops are highly skilled, motivated and morale is high. The comparisons is drawn as both(BPO & army) have large numbers of employees and army's style of leadership may not relevant to BPOs but it

must be understood & gathered that military organizations are team oriented with continuous training. Troops expands their skills and experience capabilities they never dreamed possible, produces a highly motivated and efficient organization. Learning opportunity and responsibility is the key.

• Offer an attractive, competitive, benefits package.

• Provide opportunities for people to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentations, mentoring others and team assignments.

• Demonstrate respect for employees at all times. Treat the employees well & provide dignity of job; follow the maxim of Mr. Marriott that "Ladies & Gentlemen serve the Ladies & Gentlemen".

• If a key employee resigns, it should be taken up on a priority basis and kept confidential as far as possible and the senior management should meet the employee to discuss his reasons for leaving and evaluate if his issues bear merit and whether they can be resolved

• Exit Interviews: Outsource this process to external consultants to get a realistic and unbiased feedback. This can be a great source of information regarding the shortcomings in a management system.• People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage, employ the special talents of each individual.

. BPOs should endeavour to implement work-life balance initiatives to reinforce the retention strategies. Innovative and practical employee policies pertaining to flexible working schemes, granting compassionate and urgency leave, providing healthcare for self, family and dependants, etc.

Work-life balance policies would have a positive impact on:

• Attracting high calibre recruits

• Retaining skilled employees

• Reduce recruitment costs

• Improve employee morale

• Maintain a competitive edge

Listen to employees' ideas; never ridicule them.

• Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results.

• Implement organizational culture measurement tools like Adversity Quotient (AQ).

• Recognize and celebrate their success.

• Staff adequately so overtime is minimized for those who don't want it and people don't wear themselves out.

. Get them involved in social causes and fund drives like Tsunami Disaster Relief. Provide a meaning or a cause to their lives.

• Nurture and celebrate organization traditions like Diwali, Holi,Christmas etc.

• Communicate goals, roles and responsibilities so that people know what is expected of them and feel a part of the crowd.

• According to research by the Gallup organization, encourage employees to have good, even best, friends, at work.

• Encourage humour & laughter in workplace to deal with stress which will ensure that the employees are happy which gets reflected in their services especially critical in voice based transaction.

• Feeling valued by their manager in the workplace is a key to high employee motivation and morale.

• Reach out to the families of the potential candidates with sustained and focused messages in the media about the excellent prospects in the BPO Industry. There is an example of this instances- Late Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, Chairman of the Oberoi Group in efforts to makes sure that many women joined his company went to educational institutions and elicited

women's parents to come to the hotel. He told them " I will walk you in and show you what your daughters will do with us, please help us to train them".

• Excellent Career Growth prospects. -

Encourage & groom employees to take up higher positions/openings. If not fulfilled then they will look outside the organization.

Look for talents within the organization and encourage them. For instance,if a person has the potential to be a trainer, groom & develop the employee.

• Night shifts

1. Have people from other walks of life to talk about their experiences.Other professions like Army, Medicine, and shop floor workers also have towork in night shifts.

2. Have doctors to advise & guide them about their biological clocks and ways & means to deal with them.

3. Dietary advice:- Do's and don'ts.

4. Create the passion that they are doing a yeomen service to the nation by bringing the much-required Foreign Exchange.

5. They are helping people (clients) to make their life easier.

6. Special lights in the office/workplace to ensure their bodies get sufficient vitamin D.

7. One distinct disadvantage of night shifts is the sense of disorientation with friends and family members. Concentrate on this problem and develop innovative solutions and ways to deal with it.

• Focused Training & Development Programs-

For Associates & Team Leaders

• A session on Transactional Analysis during the induction period so that both are made aware of the causes for Communication breakdowns & conflicts which affect their mental behavior and stress which needs to be tackled at the earliest in the right manner.

• Those who are working on services verticals - like Banking & Financial services to be imparted training/knowledge of Vedic Maths, which would help them, calculate the figures quickly without using calculators.

• Creativity & Innovation- Its all about Attitude! A job can be as monotonous or exciting as you think/believe it to be, as it is all a state of mind. Look for excitement in the job process as it is not just answering the queries or solving the problems of customers but learning more about the

customer through his voice accent or visualizing his environment/culture.

• Encourage the best performers to share their experiences with others and mentor others.

The emphasis is to create the desire to learn, enjoy and be passionate about the work they do.

• Meditation Room or deep breath exercises for Associates & Team Leaders - the emphasis is that they should never be in the stress mode or upset while attending calls of a customer.

• Hire outstation candidates (from small towns like Amravati, Latur,Nashik etc) and provide them with shared accommodation.


It is HR's job, though not HR's job alone, to champion and shepherd effective human resource management practices at both the strategic and day-to-day levels. That is, to be effective, human resource management practices must be grounded in two ways. First, they must reflect company wide commitments as to how it will manage and relate to its employees. Secondly, HR must implement these commitments so that the ideals of the enterprise and deeds of its agents are congruent.

HR to play a key role in the development and execution of the Business Strategy of an Organisation. It should evolve from a transactional support role to partnering in the organization's business strategy.

From India, New Delhi
Attached Files (Download Requires Membership)
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Hi Meenakshi,
Thanks for forwarding me such a nice article to me which is very helpful in my project.
I will also keep posting whenever I get a nice article on this topic.
Be in touch.
RK Sinha

From India, Ludhiana
i enjoyed reading your retention policy.

From India, Delhi

I the undersigned working as a Corporate manager-H.R./I,R,in a reputed Dealer comp.and we are the channel parther of International comp.and hence Trainee engg.geting good
training and after one yr they leave the the RETENTION BONUS POLICY.
Purpose-To retain the employee for a period of three yrs.
Eligible employee-Trainee engg.-dip of gradute engg.or those employees we want to Retain in deptt like sales,,purchase etc.
The retaintion Bonus is diff.from statury Bonus.
herein after we called as R.B.(Retantion Bonus).
The eligible employee is entitled for retantion bonus.If they complete continues service of three yrs or 36 months from 1st Apr.2019 or date of joining(those who join after 1/4/2019) @ 3000/-p.m.or 1.08.000/-(3000 x36 =1.08.000).Every month Rs 3000/-to be deducted from sal for three yrs. and kept as R.B.If eligible employee Resign or
leave the comp.before completion of three yrs.from 1 st.Apr.2019 or date of joining how join after 1/4/2019.His /Her R.B. will be forfitted.
1)If your are Ansent for more than 10 days continually without information and Management has taken legal action for absenteem R.B,will be forfiited.
2)Misconduct-In case you are involed in misconduct & if awared punishment for first three instances within three yrs then it will condone but for the 4th time instance
will lead to forfitted your R.B.
3)If any displinary action taken by H.R.Deptt.then your R,B. will be forfitted.
4)If you are involed in fraud or ay police case then your R.B. will be forfitted.
5) if you have any legal dispute regarding R.B. your dist,will be pune and Maharashtra state.
6)seperation-Your R.B. will be forfited any time in Management opinion which is final in thi s matter.if you are insolvant,fraud guilty of disobdence disordedience disorderly
behavior negligence.
Jayant Nisal


From India, Pune
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