Are Indian organizations failing to keep employees happy

Retaining employees is becoming difficult in India. Here is why India is about to witness a new, more structured rewards and recognition policy, writes Robin Ramakrishna, CEO of annectoś, a new R&R solutions provider that is looking to revolutionize the way companies handle recognition programmes for their employees.

An industry survey conducted recently has found that one in four employees in India is likely to switch jobs this year, making it a country with the highest rate of attrition in the world.

For a booming market looking to increase
productivity and quality, this comes as a rattling piece of news and might have forced employers across the board to analyze the reasons for this disturbing trend.

The survey conducted by global human resource and management consultancy major Hay Group in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), found that India is expected to lead the region in turnover rates at 26.9 per cent (in the organised sector) in 2013 -- the highest attrition rate globally; this figure is expected to go up further in 2014 to stand at 27.5 per cent.

It is a no brainer that in order to retain employees, organizations must give a serious thought to what is driving employee disenchantment and what would drive employee commitment.

Indian industry has over the last decade seen some explosive growth. With this growth arise some new challenges in maintaining and handling talent. Today’s managers are dealing with a dynamic and ambitious new generation. The gap between older established workforce and the ambitious upcoming is widening.

Companies today have to not only attract talent but have to manage to motivate and retain them as well. Management and corporate structures have been grappling with keeping up with this fast paced change. There is set to be a renewed focus on human resources and the R &R management.

As organizations in India realize that it’s critical to focus on developing, engaging and retaining employees, the earlier knee jerk reactions are giving way to a more strategic and sustainable

 The need of the hour is a more strategic, creative solutioning.

The best of companies today are breaking free from India’s employment & rewards legacy. They recognise that India is a unique market with specific requirements.  Just pushing up salaries is no longer a sustainable long term action. The need of the hour is a more strategic, creative solutioning. The R & R process can actually be a key differentiator for a company. A creative, well planned sophisticated R & R program can ensure that the employees are offered a choice from a menu of rewards to attract and sustain interest. And these awards are recognised on a social platform that brings in transparency & confidence in the whole system.

At annectoś we focus on “increasing the happiness quotient” of organizations and all its services are designed with an aim to ensure that its clients’ employees are the happiest bunch of people. Annectoś’s services are based on keeping partner organizations’ employees and business associates happy to drive positive behaviour change to improve productivity.

The R & R market in India is still in its nascent stage but on a growth path, with more companies fast realising the need to implement a structured R & R program for their workforce. Specialists and complete solution providers are a few and far between currently, but this is expected to rapidly change with more global & Indian players like annectoś establishing themselves here.

The open economy and technological revolution has encouraged the creation of more dynamic organisations with new management styles and with a new type of employees – younger, highly qualified and ambitious. This sometimes sits a little uneasily with the traditional businesses and career structures. This phenomenon is further complicated by the fact that India is inherently a hierarchical society. 

We have observed that there is a clear distinction between how R & R is handled in the new economy vis a vis the old economy companies. Companies in the new emerging sectors like IT/ITES/Retail have been early adaptors to a more structured approach to R & R. While the companies in the more traditional sectors like manufacturing, public sector etc are yet to adapt themselves to a work flow driven structured process.

The good news all across – the new and the old economy companies, is that the need for a good R & R process is no longer debated. What is being debated and discussed more today are questions related to ‘how’ and ‘when’.

Keeping employees happy is crucial. The next decade of economic growth in India is certain to see the rise of a new more structured rewards and recognition policy.

What is R&R?

Employee reward systems refer to programs set up by companies to reward performance and motivate employees. They are normally considered separate from salary but may be monetary in nature or otherwise have a cost to the company.

The culture of gifting and recognition is not new to the Indian culture. It’s an age old concept followed by the Indian industry as well – offering gifts to employees on select occasions like Diwali, Holi or New Year. But how many companies in India understand the long term utility of sufficiently recognising and rewarding their talent pool, and taking this concept beyond the idea of gifts and annual salary hikes?

The employee recognition programs are often combined with reward programs and are intended to provide a financial, motivational and hence a psychological benefit. Even smaller businesses are recognizing its importance now.

Companies like annectoś are carving out a new space for reward & recognition, making it a more professional and structured programme.

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