I am the founding member of a mid-size IT company (~ 80 personnel). I am not a HR guru. So, here's my question to you:

Other than keeping the new hires motivated and on-boarding them properly, what can be done to ensure they do not abscond. I have seen employees join, and vanish within a month citing any number of reasons, none of which actually turned out to be true. We have tried keeping cheques for 2 months salary as security, and that process has turned into a joke since a lot of new hires resist it and leave. If we tell them about this policy at the time of shortlisting, a lot of people don't even turn up for the final interview (so my HR team tells me).

Now we are contemplating keeping originals as security - does this help? Is it a stick big enough and will it drive people away like the cheque does?

Do bonds help? From what I have been reading on this site, bonds only help if some sort of training was provided. Does training given by me on our product line, product architecture count? Can internal trainings be used a means to show up as training, and hence associate a cost to them, add a tangible financial loss metric to support the bond?



From India, Delhi
What is root cause that new joinees are absconding?
Are they joining bigger company than yours'?
Is career growth is available to all the new joinees & all employees of your organization?
Is the " Salary " is major reason in absconding new joinees'?
Is the " Organization Climate / Culture " supportive to New Joinees?

From India, Pune
Hello Prashant,
Its difficult to assess the situation when an employee absconds. There are no exit interviews, just a phone call where the reason is usually a bluff. There are other employees who have remained motivated and worked for years.
Salary may not be a reason since we pay top dollar. Work culture, being a small company is very flat. Some like it, some don't. Some expect big company benefits because they didn't really understand what they are getting into. Every failure and success is magnified in every way - again some like it, some don't.
It takes a lot to hire now - we have to sift through thousands of resumes, meet a few hundred, and then hire 10. Then when an employee absconds after working for two weeks, suddenly they vanish. This is what I wish to curtail. Is the cheque, original certificates or bonds means to do this?

From India, Delhi
Does it mean "Demotivated " employee who is not productive to you; Do you want to keep him/her?
If no; try to motivate employees the How to Motivate & what employee are expecting?....the answer you will get after in continuous touch with the employees?
Cheque, Bond, Original Papers can only keep body with you but motivated employees can bring Profit to you....?
Choice is yours.......!!
Regarding cutiing down recruitment time you can start " Employee Referral Scheme " so new employee will be knowing the Organization & it's rules & regulations in advance....... ........................... This is my experience....!!!

From India, Pune
I can understand that some employees can feel demotivated in a small setup/high pressure. You have to carry your own weight after all. We already have an employee referral, and that works, but the numbers are pretty low.

I also agree that bonds, cheques and papers are a means to keep the body there, but I am looking to ensure that when an employee knows we will enforce this, at least they think twice before joining. I have just realized one thing right now - if we ensure that in the first interaction with the employee we tell them about these policies, they would not proceed if they see it as a problem. I am trying to weed out those candidates who are desperate for a job and apply in 10 places and leave as soon as they get the next better position within the same month. And the definition of better ranges from more pay to closer to home to bigger company.

And thanks for the motivation question - I think once I answer that for myself, at least cases of absconding don't happen due to lack of motivational factors.



From India, Delhi
Retaining employee is not magic. But it would come over the the period of some time.
If you keep on maintaining " Good Practices " I am sure in long run number of " Absconding Cases " will come down.
I would rather suggest you to impart career growth plan to employees before joining only. So that they can think over to join over organization.

From India, Pune
Dear Padam
Firstly you will always get employees leaving for all types of reasons, better salaries, better environments etc. I am firm believer in this, that people do not leave companies, they leave managers. So what do you do when employees join, do you treat them them like you treat your customers. Are there any induction programmes for employees. Do you have a staff handbook where it actually tells employees of the companies cultures. You dont have to be a large organisation to have staff handbooks. Do you have a person who makes them feel welcome to your organisation when they join, or are they just put on the job at the first day. I have worked in a coporate environement for many years, and now i am in a small family environment, but I still make my employees feel welcome..... remember first impressions last just as see you see the employee, they also see the employer the same way. Regards Sadiya

From South Africa, Roodepoort
Hi Mr. Padam,

I went through your entire post regarding retention of your employees. Certainly Prashant & Sadiya have given some valuable inputs towards the same. Hope these inputs might help you in this regard. Discuss with your HR department & ask them to analyze the reasons of high attrition by way of feedbacks etc. Then focus on your action plan based on what comes out to be your developmental areas, as a company. Set the deadlines & work towards it. Surely there cannot be any overnight shift in such scenarios but attrition should definitely reduce gradually by working according to the action plan.

1. Why employees leave an organization -

No growth opportunities

Job is not what the employee expected to be

Lack of appreciation

Stress from overwork and work life imbalance

Lack of promotional opportunities

Current pay seems unfair compared to others outside the organization

Dissatisfaction with work responsibilities

Workloads that were too heavy

Conflicts/problems with supervisor

Lack of training and developmental opportunities

Growth path not defined within the organization

2. How to retain your employees -

Employees must be able to voice their opinions freely

There should be an environment of fairness and equitable treatment

Employees should not feel threatened about their job or income, no matter what the circumstances are.

Work should never become monotonous and must offer a new learning each day.

Every individual should enjoy privacy at the workplace.

There should be open communication between employees and management.

Every employee should be treated as an equal irrespective of his designation.

Incentives, cash prizes, trophies, perks should be given to deserving employees to motivate them.

Employees should be made to participate in the few decision making processes.

Employees should be offered a competitive benefits package that fits with their skills and needs.

Transparency in reporting relationships, JDs & KRAs etc...


Anurag Saxena

From India, New Delhi
Hello Mr. Padam Singh,

Please find my attributes below:

I am sure your above statement answers you something - an employee absconds because they are not motivated enough.

Leaving an organization in just one month's time is a very serious issue. Did you try to first find out what is wrong with your firm? Why do people not want to work with you? What reasons do they state in their resignation or exit interviews (if any) or they just simply abscond?

(I hope you know that absconding is different than leaving the organization. A person is titled to be absconded if he don't turns up one fine day to work without any information of his desire to work or not.)

Thankfully there is not case against you. This is reportable. You can with-held someone's salary. It can be brought to the labour commissioner and things would go from bad to worse.

Please do not think I am trying to scare you, just letting you know the reality.

Again you cannot retain any original documents with you. The person can lodge a formal complain against this. Just one police case and this would bring your business down. Think twice before implementing such policies and if you are already practising this, I would advice you to stop this as soon as possible. Hand over the originals before you would be liable to explanations.

You are very correct that service bonds are viable only if formal training is given.

Training invoices are to be raised.

About on-the-job training and opportunity cost, well you are doing business and are required to take considerable risk, you cannot transfer the risk amount to your employees.

To be really honest, the more you try to tie your people to you the more they would run away.

If you keep a cow tied to the veranda, she would try all her means to set herself free because she won't trust you and your motives to tie her down.

Instead plan retention policies.

Let me correct you that retention policies do not mean get-glued-to-my-firm policy.

Instead offer a helping hand.

Check if the compensation you are offering to your staff is industry normalized.

Check if your employees are free to bring their issues to your (If they do not bring issues to you, means they don't trust you)

Check if they are happy.

Ask them what would enhance their engagement levels.

What are your work days and work hours?

Are there any policies that require them to run away.

How is your staff?

How is the manger?

It is very easy to blame someone for their poor performance, but we would never look in our own responsibilities if we need some correction.

A simple example, if a teacher do not teach a student or does not solve their doubts, she has no right to say that students are not inclined to study. It is a teacher's job to make study interesting, study is never interesting.

Likewise, no one likes to work. But if we have supportive manager, good work culture, normalized pay, better opportunities and good colleagues, we are motivated to perform better.

Hope it helped.

From India, Mumbai
I can understand your concern and dilemma, but I do want to share that Bonds, delaying salary, keeping certificates, etc, - all negative forms of correcting behaviour may not work. Young employees have choice today and the onus of creating the environment within the company, educating and sensitizing employees about desirable behavior, etc lies with the management team. You may start with a good induction program giving new employees a view of organization, growth plans, working environment, career prospects, etc. Followed by Managers capability building in keeping the employees motivated and engaged. Then of course the reward, recognition, development and growth. There is no short cut here, and several things need to be done to get results. Even large reputed companies have faced these issues and hence it boils down to basics - Managers' capability in engaging with their teams is of paramount importance and ensuring a certain standard of treatment. Having said that it is not that employees need to be handled with kids gloves, one can be assertive in clarifying expectations as well.

Prashant Parashar

From India, Pune

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