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CSR as retention tool

April 28, 2011

Performance  Appraisals are up in most of the Indian organisations and it is time to handle the tricky issue of post-appraisal employee attrition.  A recent report in The Hindustan times pointed out that attrition is Indian firms New worry .

Another report in Mint based on the Aon Hewitt survey puts the average attrition figure at around 18%. Leading the pack is the ITeS sector with 27%. Pharmaceuticals & BFSI ( excluding Insurance) stand at 21%.  This inspite of 12.9%  salary hike in 2011 ( following up on 11.7% for 2010).

An Economic times article  published last week proclaimed that organisations are offering handsome bonuses and larger roles to retain talent. Interestingly the same article points at another study by BTI consultants highlighting that “…Indian CEOs are becoming more focused on talent retention than acquisition…”

This sets one thinking as to what could  be some non-conventional methods for employee retention. is salary, role, designation etc enhancement the only way ? is there a non-materialistic option too?

On talking to a few colleagues, i came across certain methods being used by organisations to enrich lives of their employees and making the relationship sticky. The focus is on providing avenues for employees to engage in various activities where they can be themselves. These range from organizing informal family events, time-off to pursue personal interests, idea incubation to social involvement.

DnB transunion ( http://www.idotrust.org/) started a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in 2007  and chose to call it as Individual Social Responsibility initiative for the simple reason that they realized that CSR was nothing but a sum of all Individual social efforts of its employees. The organisation created a trust which was included as a stake holder in the company. Weight-age is given for employee participation in such activities in their annual appraisals. The corpus fund of the trust is made up of voluntary contribution from employees. The activities are all conducted by the employees themselves and cover healthcare, education & other social welfare projects. From simple activities like tree plantation to organizing large medical camps, employees participate whole heartedly and as per the testimonials on the site, it gives them a lot of fulfillment.

With more & more organisations actively encouraging their employees to take time out for such initiatives, Can such initiatives be translated into some sort of culture building & retention strategies ?

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