Conference on Retention management held at GIM

Castalia ’07 invited the top business personalities from the leading companies to examine the implications of the most relevant HR issue affecting industries, that is, “attrition”. It acted as the platform for people from all industry sectors to discuss the causes and possible solutions on “How to retain and engage talent” in their companies. Participants were enlightened in the presence of eminent personalities like Derrick Barton – CEO, Centre for Talent Retention, US; Mrs. Jo Verde – Senior Director, JeMM Consultants, Canada; Mr. E. Balaji – COO, Ma Foi Management Consultants; Mr. Anil Sachdev – CMD, Grow Talent Co. Ltd.; Mr. S.V Nathan, VP Region 10 HR, Deloitte India; Mr. K. Sreenath, Head HR, South Asia, Computer Associates; Mr. Vaishakh Kelkar, President, sales & marketing, Myadrenalin; Mr. Rajeev Kumar, HR Business partner manager, SAP and Ms. Lekha Sista, VP HR Sumtotal systems.

Mr. Derrick Barton began his speech by subscribing to Dr. Gopalkrishnan’s views that employees leave their bosses and not their companies. He urged the managers to make a difference to their organization. He alluded to the fact that Jeff Immet ceased the practice of removing the bottom 10% of the employees, as that was not worth their time and resources. He deduced from this that even a great organization like GE is forced to change their practices of dealing with their employees for better management.

He involved the audience in different games and participatory sessions, the objective of which was to find out what made people stay at their jobs. The results once again proved that it was largely the work variables and some managerial activities that were critical.

He underscored several ideas during his speech which can be summed up in the following lines:

· General understanding of managers should be crystal clear. They have to know what they are doing.
· Managers have to play an active role and involve employees to engage and retain.
· If the employees do not get the right feedback, they do not get close to the organization.
· It makes a difference when managers think about each employee.

Ms. Jo Verde stressed on the importance of HR as a business function. According to her, “HR is not fluff, it is a critical business process involving three critical areas; job, leader, & organization.” She stressed on the importance of all the members of the team having similar values which would result in business engagement driven by passion saying, “Any system you put in place is as good as the people who use that system and are administering it.”
Mr. E. Balaji talked about approaches to employee management and on the menace of post offer drop-outs. Emphasized on the poll of 23,000 employees cited in Stephen Covey’s -“The 8th Habit” where only 37 percent said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve.

Mr. Rajeev Kumar believes that “Retention is a day in and day out process”. Speaking on the role of HR software in retaining talent, he said “technology can be an aid to overall management.” He talked about how the effective working of a differentiated hr pattern and gave a 10-20-70 module – 10 percent on classroom training, 20 percent to mentorship and coaching and 70 percent on job program. Using these tools he emphasized that,” we must become as good at developing great people as we are at developing great software”.

According to Mrs. Lekha Sista , the goal of strategic talent management is to ensure “ that every individual takes a lead to move forward”.

The gist could be summed up in Mr. Derrick Burton’s words to managers that it is extremely important to “Make work count for the individual” in order to retain talent in your organization.

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