Jul 2, 2008

Partying for Employee Engagement

When talking to a friend who is HR manager for a fairly well known organization MNC in India it dawned on me that HR interventions could be really fun and not boring number crunching all the time.

This has happened over the last couple of months. Everytime I call this friend he would pick up the call and say "Hey I can't talk to you right now, because I am at an official dinner" ( or "Am at an office party", or "I am at this happening pub in Hyderabad with my office colleagues") 

So yesterday I asked him "Hey what's up? Whenever I call you - you are out partying with your office colleagues? Are they that cool or what?"

So my cool dude friend answers "Hey, what can I do? I'm the HR guy looking after this biz unit and we have various parties across the month to celebrate some success or project launch or project ending --" I interrupted "And project middles also, I guess?" 

"Yeah that too- mid project celebrations" He said without batting an eyelid.

"But why so many parties? I know tonnes of organizations that are in your business but they don't party like you do"

He looked shocked "Hey, we don't party so much - We're in cost cutting mode. Earlier we used to have at least 2 parties a week!"

It was my turn to let my jaws drop.

This organization has a tonnes of young talented people working for it and it's not the leading paymaster in its industry. Yet its attrition rates are much lower than other firms' in the comparable competitor list. I guess the parties have a small role to play. 

How many friends from work do you like to hang out with? 

Aaah. I guessed as much !