New Delhi: Now that annual increments and promotions have likely been settled, it’s time for managers to turn their attention to other attrition-fighters — making work fun, for example. The mantra of “work hard, party harder” is gaining steam faster than ever before. From company-organized (even sponsored in some cases) beer bashes to indoor games, employers are coming up with new ideas of recreation to curb workers’ flight.
Recognition and appreciation has long been the cornerstone of many successful retention strategies and cash bonuses can be trusted to work their magic. Many companies have deferred income plans where a lump sum amount is paid after an employee completes certain years in the firm. International assignments built into the work contracts are also effective in retaining key executives. Others pay off household bills and sponsor family vacations.
“I know my company needs me and thus it pays me enough to make sure that I don’t leave. After all, money makes us all happy, right?” says 25-year-old Dhiman Ghosh, a consultant with audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kolkata.
Metis ERC India Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based provider of human resource development services, organizes skill development programmes, called “art for empowerment”, for companies that mark off a day for activities such as painting or theatre. “It unleashes creativity that, in turn, enhances productivity and it is used as a huge retention tool by organizations, as a lot of people want something more than just work,” says its chief executive Rajesh Athihali.
Some companies sponsor higher education programmes for employees. Ernst and Young is among the employers that have gone a step further, offering sizeable interest-free loans to employees.
Office parties are no longer boring, moving beyond stiff formal gatherings and feigned cordiality. Events and competitions such as fancy dress, bowling, darts, pool parties and beer bashes help employees ward off the Monday blues (and Tuesday-Friday, too).
Apart from performance bonuses, companies are coming up with wedding allowances, birthday allowances and company-sponsored cars.
Women at work
“No matter how progressive modern India claims to be, after marriage, prioritizing between work and family becomes a major challenge for us,” says Priyanka Sengupta, a newly married technical manager working for Dell India Pvt. Ltd in Gurgaon. Quite a few firms offer crèches within the office premises.
Companies have now started to realize that if the main goal is to get the job done, it is not absolutely compulsory to travel to office everyday, if one can get it done right from home.
Cold, formal office environs can be quite a dampner for young employees. Thus, many organizations have adopted a campus-like layout, with libraries, gymnasiums, music rooms, swimming pools, etc.
To make sure that hectic work doesn’t kill the humane side of you, many companies organize social awareness camps or a “global day of giving” where employees get to spend a day in orphanages or old-age homes. “Last week, we went to an orphanage. That got us in touch with some harsh realities... It’s not just about giving back to the society, it’s also a lot about learning from life,” says 28-year-old Sreyashi Kochhar, an analyst at XL Insurance, Gurgaon.
Many firms invite employees’ families for special days and events — it’s a way of bonding that bridges the family at home and the one at work.