Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Attrition- the emperors new clothes?

I have been getting a lot of comments that I am stuck, like a broken record, on the "retention" bug-for almost a fortnight now. One can probably attribute it to the ERA convention coming up at Hyderabad next weekend .

Perhaps, it has to do with some of the observations I had during the same fortnight one has seen several retention strategies being rolled out. Maybe it needs to be looked at -at a more holistic manner than it has been treated of late.

1. Just yesterday I met a entrepreneur pal of mine -who till a few months ago was tearing his hair trying to figure out how to motivate his star employee- (whom he had promoted him late last year as a reward for loyalty and exceptional performance -but the person was just not able to scale up!). He was beaming - Since the time he let go the "star" a couple of months ago, he has been able to find a couple of imports- who came into the company with a fresh air, and have triggered off a series of events -which has enabled the company get on to the next level!

For a growing company, is retention indeed the panacea? Shouldnt we be looking beyond the surface?

2. There were several reports of companies in India hiring expats as a knee jerk rection to reduce attrition.

I would like to think that expats are best fits-when you wish to build the right culture a la Cisco and when one needs new technologies.

Infact I would anyday back a returning Indian -who has had prior Indian experience before going abroad- as a better bet as he would be able to bridge the ethos much better.

3. India Cricket League and its effect on BCCI .

As employers one does feel that prevention is better than cure! I think we get enough hints of unrest -from dissatisfied team members -before they actually venture to look out for options. Most often companies prefer to bend over backwards to appease such people-just as they put in their papers after getting juicy offers from elsewhere.

Dont doctors amputate -to restrict gangrene?

4. I came across an intresting comment on a blog post by Anurag Ashok today correlating the hiring plans to Peter Principle where in the author rightfully so, questions the wisdom of both the employees and employers falling prey. He thinks aloud

It is akin to the correction in the stock market and will be good for the economy, but while the correction lasts, there will be a lot of bankruptcies and loan defaults and trauma. Maybe there is a second chance, or maybe not – who knows ?

Arent there times when letting go (of the disgruntled/incompetent) - is a better strategy to retain the remaining talent in the company-lest it sends the wrong signals?

I shall be glad to have your comments...on what could be a healthy(?) level of attrition that a company should have.

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