Babita Baruah
Jul 06, 2011

Babita's Blog: Love your employees or someone else will

Babita Baruah, vice president and client services director, JWT Delhi, explains how organisations should design policies to retain their stars

Babita's Blog: Love your employees or someone else will

What has Cupid got to do in work life, of all places?

Quite a bit, come to think of it.

The best organisations have fantastic HR policies, good perks ,pay packages and more. Yet  people flit. From one organisation to the other. Changing employers info on Facebook more often than they change any other preferences.
How do organisations design polices to retain stars and control attrition?

Some common key ones and there are many more:

Appraisal formats where the top performers are recognised.

Promotions and designations

Change in roles, fast tracks, international network recognition

Trainings and workshops (Overseas)

And of course, good CTC.
Is this enough to “love” people?

Or is there an intangible power at play here?

Some “Love notes” that just sprang up as first thoughts.

  • Love All, Romance a Few

The best have to be retained. Recognised. Rewarded. A level playing field is a must. But a level recognition and rewards system is detrimental.

Most organisations get into the keep- everyone- happy mode. And lose the stars.

  • Digitalised feedback is not be-all and end-all

Works for the record and the ratings. May not always solely work when it comes to genuine feedback. “Generous at appraisals" is a good popularity drive.

Informal  periodical Talk Straight sessions can help. Ensuring  that these feedback reports have a score in the main year end appraisal.

  • Death of perks

It is said that cash speaks. Some companies have converted their perks into cash payments.

Let’s not  kill perks. Perks are designed for a better life, a better quality of life.

Leads to happier family lives. And happier faces.

  • Indulge pimples, respect wrinkles.

Young experienced minds. The latest oxymoron doing the rounds of recruiters.
Result: Super confident bright young sparks but maybe with limited patience for learning.

And an experienced, talented older lot  but maybe insecure of change and refrain from knowledge and experience sharing.

Every workplace is a healthy mix of Pimples and Wrinkles.

With different satisfaction parameters.

No room for a universal rewards and recognition policy.

  • Back to School

A nonprofit technology services provider pays employees to go back to school -- they can receive a one-time bonus of $2,500 to go toward a Master's degree or $4,000 for a PhD.

Let’s encourage employees to learn and acquire knowledge

After all, this is what parents live for when it comes to kids.

  • “We will not go quietly into the night”

President Thomas Whitmore's speech from the movie "Independence Day"

They say, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Words motivate.  Heads of disciplines’ speeches /direct addresses in forums , leadership skills to motivate, can have the power of moving both hearts and minds.

  • “What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?

……That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?”  Oliver Barrett IV- Love Story 1970.

Recognise good performance. Show appreciation. Instantly.

Let us write eulogies of our loved team before they depart. From our lives into others.

  • Future Mapping

No hazy greys. Let the teams get a clear , positive picture of where good work can take them.

Show real and tangible examples. Get the team to actually experience this first hand. 

Finally, love does not mean:

We don't say no when we have to

We are not firm with slackers or poor performers

No individual accountability

Work taking a backseat or tolerating consistently questionable output

In fact being firm and having the right focus, vision and rules in place will only motivate the good performers to stay on.

After all, loving does mean having to say sorry at times.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

Campaign India

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