Any employee retention strategy would necessarily include a plan for redressing employee grievances and ways and means to address employee issues. This would mean that the employees would be enabled to take their issues regarding pay, their work, their role etc. to the HR manager for each division and expect to get a fair hearing in the process. There should be a plan where the HR manager in conjunction with the manager of the employee who has raised the issue works towards resolving the issue.
Components of a Retention Strategy
Taking each of these strategies in turn, job rotation is the practice of moving the employees around divisions and within divisions with a clear emphasis on making sure that they operate in domains other than the ones assigned to them initially. This would mean that the employees get trained on competencies beyond that of their assigned plant and this would lead to greater motivation to pick up additional skills and motivate them to perform better. The importance of grievance redressal and mitigation cannot be emphasised more. This is the most critical and crucial component of the HRM plan as research has shown that an employee with pending issues awaiting resolution is twice more likely to quit the company than the other employees. Hence, all efforts must be made to redress the grievances of the employees.
An effective retention strategy would focus on preventing as well as addressing grievances. Though it is not the contention that all grievances can be prevented, they can be pre-empted by actively listening to the employees from time to time. This strategy of listening to the employees would revolve around a concept of one-one meetings between the employees and the manager and employees and the HR representative for the unit or division. The idea of the regular one-one meetings would be to identify potential causes of friction among the employees and any issues they may have vis-à-vis their job and benefits. These issues need to be brought out into the open before they become contentious resulting in the employee feeling frustrated and quitting the job. Hence, all efforts must be made to identify sources of employee dissatisfaction and hygiene factors that must be taken care of for proper functioning of the employees.
Management theorists often emphasise the fact that one of the reasons for low employee morale in organizations is the fact that the employees and often feel alienated and cut off from the larger purpose. The contention is that the employees feel themselves to be part of an impersonal setup and perceive themselves to be unable to make a difference to the whole unit. Hence, there is a need to involve the employees in the larger picture and provide them with perspective on the bigger picture. In engineering units with assembly line manufacturing, the engineer is often responsible for his or her part of the chain and is not in a position to relate to the bigger picture. Hence, there should be effective strategies like job rotation, interaction with other units, timely promotions and cross functional teams wherein the engineers would feel themselves to be contributing to the larger goal of the company.
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