Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Retain HR first !

How would you feel if a restaurant owner prefers to eat at other restaurants rather than his own, a builder prefers to stay in properties made by other builders, a person working in a manufacturing unit, prefers to buy products of competitors rather than what is manufactured in the plant where he/she works ?

I would feel awkward. So now how would you feel in the same light about working in a company where the HR folks themselves don't stick around ?

HR folks seem to be moving jobs all the time, which would mean that they do not trust all the brilliant talent retention programs that they create for their organisations and hence would prefer to 'eat at another restaurant-from my example above'.

I sometimes wonder if this could be one of the key reasons why people do not believe in many of the HR programs, because the people who create them do not give the impression that they believe.

If an organisation wants to build that trust, then first thing that needs to be tackled is attrition within the HR department. Unless that is done, building faith in the HR programs will be an uphill task.

So my simple thought is follow the old wisdom of 'charity begins at home'. All you guys in HR first think of programs to retain yourselves before you embark on making successful retention plans for the others, your own conviction will make the programs much more successful than anything else.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Exit formalities !!

Recently I met a lot of people who quit their respective organisations and the common complaint across various organisations was that their organisations really made it terrible for them to complete their exit formalities. It took tremendous amount of effort for them to get all the clearances and then a lot of back and forth before the final settlement was done.

I also met a few organisations who want to work on a program to get some of their alumni back to their organisations and some of these organisations were willing to put in quite a lot of time, effort and money into the assignment.

The surprising part was that there was a lot of common names between the first set of companies and the second :-). It made me wonder how would they achieve it if they did not make the parting a happy experience for the employee.

The other thing that I noticed was that when a person quits they refuse to divulge the name of the next organisation they are headed to. I assumed it was probably because people were undecided till I asked a few people as to why would they not want to tell people about where they were going.

I was surprised to find that many feared that either HR or their manager will try and create a problem in their exit to the other company, hence they prefer to divulge the name only after they join.

What I found the most amazing was that all these companies believed in the best practice of conducting Exit Interview. This put one thing in perspective for me. Most times when I tried making some sense of exit interview data for clients, I used to find it difficult to co-relate the same with the on-ground reality.

Now I know, either the people giving the exit interview were plain scared of a bad referral, so they were nice and sugary or plain mad at the organisation for making their exit difficult.

One simple thought hence is that if you want your exit interview data to be of use ensure the exit of an employee is smooth and cordial.