Deputy Manager - Human Resources
Hi all,
My name is Srinivas and I carry 6 year experience with a leading pharma company. I seek the help of you all in understanding and knowing what benefits are given to employees who work in manufacturing units that are quite far from the city?
We have a manufacturing unit that is almost 90 kms from Hyderabad and has 750 employees working there at various levels. 25-30 people travel daily from Hyderabad in company vehicle and rest all stay in areas at a distance of 25-35 kms from the factory towards Hyderabad. Company buses operate in all three shifts from this place.
Retaining employees for more than 2-3 years has become very difficult since the unit is in a remote area and the preference of employees to work close to cities, due to the facilities available.
I request all my fellow HR seniors to help me in understanding what additional benefits/schemes/facilities to employees will help us in retaining employees?
Thanking you all in advance.

From India, Hyderabad

Manger H R and IR
Mr. srinivas
see i am in to pharma company . their are two points to solve in my opinion.
1. u make a report that how many are coming in bus and those ho are not able to come in the company bus make , representation to the management increase the bus facility to the rest of the employees.
2. make a policy matter that employees which bus facility are not provided by the company the company will provide bus pass amount will be paid on produce of receipt
with this explain the employees mortality and motivation will increase and employees interest to towards the company will increase

From India, Hyderabad
Hello Srinivas

It appears from your post that commuting 90 k.m daily is the key factor for employees not sticking to your company for more than 2 years.You can explore the following options to address rthe sitauition.

1) If majority employees express willingness to stay at the place of your factory by shifting their families,then provide them enough HRA to enable them to rent their houses. at the place of work or provide housing

2)If employees cannot shift their families to the place of the factory and retain their families at Hyderabad for academic or medical reasons etc and the employee is willing to stay at the place of his work, you can consider him reimbursing the house rent at the place of his work;in addition to the usual salary as he has to maintain two establishments or

3)You can pay some extra amount in the name of hardship allowance etc to employees so daily commuting which shall be attractive enough to retain them in the company. or

4) Try to recruit people from more nearby places than from Hyderabad if that is feasible.

Hope this helps.


From India, Mumbai
Dinesh Divekar

Business Mentor, Consultant and Trainer
Dear Srinivas,

This is in addition to what previous two members have said. For a while let us think from the employees' point of view. Those who stay near to factory have advantage of lesser time spent in going from home to work or back. They can spend more time with family and other activities. On the downside, they are away from the main city. In the nearby area there may not be glitzy malls or multiplexes where they can spent their weekends. No hangouts with anyone! Possibly there may not be better healthcare facilities. Worst still there may not be some international or global schools for their children. Please note, in today's environment mere "English medium" schools are not sufficient. These need to be global or international.

Those who stay at Hyderabad enjoy advantage of better schools or healthcare facilities but then they could be spending at least three hours in commuting from home to factory and back. This deprives their valuable time and they cannot pursue any study or spend quality time with family.

In fact, the problems that you have mentioned is not just for you but others as well. Now a days everybody wants to work in big cities. This is because in addition to factors mentioned in paragraph one above, their spouse also could get better employment. Therefore, challenge is not just retention, but getting right talent is itself is a challenge.

So what is the solution? The real solution will lie in quality of the work environment. Indian manufacturing is still way behind in the providing high-quality organisation's culture. When manufacturing plants are raised, to bring down the capital costs, these are raised at the outskirts of the city. Secondly, for the top bosses, raising the production plant means investment in world-class capital equipment. But then realities of job market are ignored and attrition erodes the worth of this investment albeit invisibly.

There could be better facilities or welfare measures but then in 21st century, these are not sufficient to retain the talent. What staffs wants is to fulfil their self-actualisation need (of the Abraham Maslow's theory of hierarchy of needs).

Please confirm whether the work environment of your company is intellectually stimulating? If yes, then how do you say that and if no then you and your management need to think on how to do that. Therefore, from my point of view, what your management is needs to do is create brand pull in the job market. This is far easier said than done. It will take years together. But then some time you need to start this. Further, a tag of "MNC" is no longer selling point. Today, MNCs abound anywhere and everywhere.

These are my views. I do not know how far you agree with these.


Dinesh V Divekar

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar

Business Mentor, Consultant and Trainer
Dear Srinivas,
In my above reply I missed asking few vital questions. I should have asked those questions then given reply. Anyway let me be little late in asking them.
Have you done attrition analysis? Is the distance from main city is the only factor that makes people to quit? Which are other factors and what has been done to address those factors? Have you conducted Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS)? If not then will your management be ready to execute this survey?
Attrition is a challenge even for the companies which are located at the heart of the city also. Distance from main city is one more reason that adds in your case. But then that cannot be the only reason and you need to look into them as well.
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Mr Srinivas
This is the hard fact of life. Commuting 90 Kms per day - one way - and expecting the work force to put in their best - for reasons explained by other members - shall never work in the long run. Now that you have made an analysis of people turning over frequently, suggest start recruiting good talents at young age once in six to eight months gap - provide them good accommodation, canteen, games provision - weekend trip to Hydrabad on outting. This lot shall serve you for not less than two to three years. As they progress and get settled in life, the real involved work force shall continue to serve, irrespective of their settling down in Hydrabad.
This nurturing and mentoring had to be continuous. Over a period of five to ten years, your place shall also develop and there will be lesser problem as faced now.
It is a long term plan - but worth trying.
warm regards
(RVS Mani)
Lt Col (Retd)

From India, Chennai
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