May 9, 2006

10 reasons why organizations are not able to retain employees

Reading Zoe's post I was inspired to come up with reasons why people leave organizations.

  1. People don't get integrated. Most organizations have an orientation program which is more of data-dump or focussed on compliance trainings being completed. The focus should be more on enabling employees to form networks within themselves.
  2. Performance goals are unclear. In a fast growing team or business the focus is on getting the thing done today, but rarely are performance goals thought through and employees told as to which resources to approach for help.
  3. Development is always tomorrow's job. Culturally Indians are focussed on learning. If learning adds value only to the job and not to the overall career goals of the individual then the organizations seems too transactional for the employee
  4. The personal touch is missing. How comfortable are managers building personal bonds with their subordinates? A lot of managers shy away fearing a bond will make delivering hard messages difficult. I would argue that it's the other way round! Knowing employees on personal level makes a manager know their strengths and weaknesses. Work allocation and employee development become easier.
  5. Reward systems are not transparent. Most employees who get salary increases because they have a rare skill at a particular point of time think they got their raise for excellent performance. Can you share details about how they have been compensated?
  6. Percieved equity of reward systems is low. Like it or not, employees discuss salary details and if there is any percieved lack of equity then you have an issue !
  7. Goal setting process is not scientific. Most organizations impose a normal curve fitment, but do not train managers to set realistic goals or goals that tie up with organizational or functional goals. This also leads to point number 6
  8. External equity is missing too. Don't do an annual compensation survey when the market moves every 3-4 months. If your practitioners feel that externally comparable professionals are being valued more, then they will leave.
  9. No communication around total value. If you offer benefits apart from only monetary terms do you communicate that to employees too. Things like being a global or niche industry leader, value of the brand of the organization, should also be made explicit.
  10. No career planning. Are people aware of the ways in which they can grow in the organization? Who are the role models within the organization? Do they know what they have to do to gain the competencies to move to various levels? (update: Can you be radical enough and create an internal talent market ?)