The most valuable resource for any company is its employees. They can make or break the organisation, and any firm whether small, medium or large is nothing without its human resources. Pioneers from all industries have agreed that happy employees create satisfied customers and thus the business then takes care of itself. Thus, it is imperative to retain talented employees as they are the actual leaders of the company. It is also important to retain talent as skilled trainers are scarce and a lot of energy and time gets wasted in apprenticing new recruits.
Although a lot has been discussed in international media about the importance of retaining talented employees Indian companies are still having a tough time retaining them. It is high time organisations start thinking about employees as resources that need nurturing and growth, just like any other resource. Let us see look at acquisition, engagement and retention as stages of the employee life-cycle, and areas where every organisation can improve.
Acquisition - Acquiring the best talent needs a lot of hard work, not only by the HR department of the company, but by everyone involved in the hire, including the CEO. A multi-layered process of identification, selection and gauging of skills and knowledge should be followed so that you do not end up investing in the wrong recruits. CEOs should shed the garb of authority and interact with the candidate in the final round of an interview so that the candidate is inspired, and starts to develop a sense of belonging with the organisation. The experience of the candidate will not be the only factor that determines whether he/she will fit into an organisation’s culture; soft skills too need to be assessed early on, in addition to resume evaluation. A two-day orientation of the candidate will help both current employees and the candidate ascertain whether they can adjust with each other. The underlying philosophy here is that the team is bigger than the individual and the game of e-commerce is more like football (a team sport with high dependencies) rather than cricket (a sport where individual competencies matter more).
Engagement- When we invest, we expect a return. Similarly, if we are here to grow our business, the employees are here to grow too. Young and skilled employees these days not only look for monetary growth but also for professional and personal growth. There should be a constant focus on up-skilling and training, so as to ensure that we pay as much attention to employees' career development as their day-to-day deliverables. Giving them exposure by taking them along for client meetings, providing them with the required recognition and appreciation for good work and challenging them with new tasks will keep them motivated. The idea is to make them feel important and wanted. An organisation should try to invest in the employee not just financially but emotionally as well.
Celebrating local festivals and events helps employees develop a sense of belonging. IndianRoots frequently organises social gatherings that defray work stress and helps employees bond. An upcoming event is the ‘Chalo Mumbai’ event wherein the entire company is going to Mumbai for Ganesh Visarjan. When employees work hard and play hard, it creates a stronger, happier and more motivated organisation that can sustain the idiosyncrasies of business over time.
Retention- Once you have invested so much in employees, it is only natural that you try to retain them to the best of your ability. As long as the employee is happy and satisfied with the company and his growth prospects, he will not look for a change. Do not look at retention as an activity to be worked on only when someone expresses a desire to leave. Ṛather, it is a long process that starts before an employee is brought onboard and goes on through the employee life-cycle. No employee likes switching jobs unless it is absolutely necessary. Offer them no-cost perks like work-from-home or discounted meals. You will gain a loyal workforce that will perform for you till the end.
There is no other asset as valuable as motivated employees and if you keep your employees satisfied they will become the best ambassadors of your brand.
In July 2013, Rahul Narvekar, a serial entrepreneur, launched 'IndianRoots', an online platform for ethnic wear. This is his fifth venture as a promoter and second in the e-commerce world.