18 may 2019





THE BIG CHANGE - RETENTION TO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT



The 20th century saw a great deal of emphasis on loyalty towards an organisation, which cascaded itself into the early part of this millennium.

A lot has changed since then and now the concept has undergone a major change, especially with regards to Employee Engagement as opposed to mere Retention.





The 20th century saw a great deal of emphasis on loyalty towards an organisation, which cascaded itself into the early part of this millennium.


Every employer asked for confirmation from all prospective candidates on their intentions regarding their probable tenure in the organisation. Loyalty was an indirect guarantee for growth and success of the employee and the employer. Employers would base all their people strategies around the mantra of Attracting, Developing and Retaining. Retention programs would essentially cover an objective of staying in the organization, then. Employee tenure of 10 years would have been considered as an average stay in a single organisation back then.


A lot has changed since then and now the concept has undergone a major change, especially with regards to Employee Engagement as opposed to mere Retention.


I have used the four quadrant grid to elucidate this fundamental change of Employee Engagement versus loyalty. All employees would have to be looked through this grid and placed within as follows:


Goodbye: This group of people can be given a marginal benefit of doubt since they are new to the organisation. However, if they show no signs of interest in the future of the organisation and try to hide under the frivolous excuse of being new, then they certainly shouldn’t have a place in an organisation which needs passionate people. In this quadrant, though tough but prudent, the employees in this category will have to be shown the door as they would be disengaged from business and organisation’s goals.


Paperweights: This set of people have been typically coined as ‘paperweights’ mainly because they are loyal to the organisation from the ringside view but not from within. They would be like being passengers in a growing organisation yet claim benefits and also take credit for such growth, in the same breath. They would want to muscle their way to the top by Social power - by getting their teams to back them and not plain and simple merit. They would rather throw their weight around and seek for publicity than engage with business. Not a good sign to have people in this category as well.


Inquisitive: Though the name doesn’t reflect a positive connotation, the nature of such people would in most cases blossom into ‘go-getters’ and passionate people. Any such glimpses seen in the new recruits can be nurtured and channelised. In the modern game, each player would like to know not just their part, but also the bigger picture so that they can add value to the game. Similarly, such freedom to an employee could also be deemed motivation through empowerment. Having employees in this category sets the tone for a bright future of the organisation and the employee. A word of caution though – These employees are fragile and need to be handled with care as one slip could derail the whole purpose and they could become liabilities. Look out for these upcoming stars.


Believers: These employees are the ones who care about the organisational goals, new strategies, their contribution and most importantly they are the organisation’s biggest assets as they tend to be the best agents of change. In short, they are your “Brand Ambassadors”. They represent the future of your organisation. Any organisation will be delighted to have employees in this category as it would have the best continuity plan, home-grown executives who would understand the organisation’s ideologies better and most of all stability – which can be capitalised upon to thrust on profitable growth.