In difficult times, cherish your employee!

15th July 2009
In difficult  times, cherish your employee!

Deloitte study across 41 Indian companies finds better staff communication, no drastic cut in rewards structures
Bangalore July 15: Is the worst over   for Indian industry? Have the depths of turbulent times been plumbed, signalling an upward movement once more? A report from audit, finance and risk management specialists,   Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, suggests that the attrition rate in India is just  between 5 and 10 percent   and a lot of it is voluntary. Retail and pharma companies are slightly worse off but across 41 companies surveyed   in five metros, the thrust is on retaining not sacking.
The report Employee engagement in recessionary times’ found thatemployee communication has taken on an even greater importance to counter low employee morale:  Over 90 percent  of companies surveyed,  said there has been regular communication to employees about the company’s performance and future plans.
In 78 percent of the companies, IT’s still carrots for lunch: the reward structure is largely unchanged ( with the government due to remove the fringe benefit tax, things can only improve – Ed)
Said P Thiruvengadam, Senior Director, Deloitte “As the market dynamics and customer preferences change, companies are beginning to focus on finding innovative practices related to talent management and at the same time driving measures to cut overall operational costs.”
“ Companies appreciate that to remain viable and competitive both in the short term and long term, they must focus on and improve their ability to attract, develop and retain top talent”, he added, at a media briefing,  in Bangalore, Wednesday.
Key findings summary:
Aligning efforts with strategy
·       Companies continue to invest in critical talent as there is an increased fear that competitors may try to lure valuable employees
·       Companies are increasingly involving employees in cost management, quality and client service initiatives
·       A significant slowdown in recruitment, and the focus is now on retention and selective hiring, driven purely by critical skills and business needs
·       Increased frequency of communication with employees; focus on transparency and positive communications while at the same time conveying a realistic picture of the company’s performance and plans
·       Emphasis on periodic employee surveys to keep track of employee sentiment and increased efforts to handle employee concerns
Training and leadership development
·       Companies are keeping a close watch on training spend and are more focused on multi-skilling existing employees
·       Companies are heavily investing in building a strong leadership pipeline – identifying, engaging and developing high-performing employees from within the organization
Rewards and recognition
·       No drastic changes in compensation structures and reward philosophies
·       Employee rewards have been tied up with specific initiatives (cost cutting, client service et al) where employee efforts are clearly identifiable and have an immediate positive impact on business
Focus areas summary
·       Re-assessment of the jobs and skills that drive the most value in the organization. Identification of critical workforce segments and creation of customized programs for their skill enhancement
·       A clear understanding of what employees really value and what can be ignored, and based on that, investment in appropriate areas and cut backs on low priority ones
·       Picking the right mix of rewards. Identifying catalysts beyond Monetary reward - A challenging opportunity or appointment on a critical client account et al
·       Companies are undertaking re-deployment of resources to maximize outputs
·       Organization restructuring to eliminate layers and redundant groups
·       Use of workforce planning to improve future flexibility. Companies are also redefining the mix of full-time vs. part-time and regular vs. contract employees
·       Undertaking additional initiatives and training programs to multi-skill people
·       Companies are revisiting their Employee Value Proposition
·       Rebranding to improve image in talent market and ward off myths and speculations
·       Even if an immediate branding exercise is not needed, companies are undertaking communication campaigns to stress on positive offerings to employees- stability, continued growth and development