Category Archives: Employee Relations

Retention Tips

  • Select the right people in the first place through behavior-based testing and competency screening. The right person, in the right seat, on the right bus is the starting point.
  • Offer an attractive, competitive, benefits package with components such as life insurance, disability insurance and flexible hours.
  • Provide opportunities for people to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentations, mentoring others and team assignments.
  • Demonstrate respect for employees at all times. Listen to them deeply; use their ideas; never ridicule or shame them.
  • Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results.
  • People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage and employ the special talents of each individual.
  • Enable employees to balance work and life. Allow flexible starting times, core business hours and flexible ending times. (Yes, his son’s soccer game is important.)
  • Involve employees in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company whenever possible.
  • Recognize excellent performance, and especially, link pay to performance.
  • Base the upside of bonus potential on the success of both the employee and the company and make it limitless within company parameters. (As an example, pay ten percent of corporate profits to employees.)
  • Recognize and celebrate success. Mark their passage as important goals are achieved.
  • Staff adequately so overtime is minimized for those who don’t want it and people don’t wear themselves out.
  • Nurture and celebrate organization traditions. Run a food collection drive. Pick a monthly charity to help. Have an annual company dinner at a fancy hotel.
  • Provide opportunities within the company for cross-training and career progression. People like to know that they have room for career movement.
  • Provide the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and education, challengine assignments and more.
  • Communicate goals, roles and responsibilities so people know what is expected and feel like part of the in-crowd.
  • According to research by the Gallup organization, encourage employees to have good, even best, friends, at work.


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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Employee Relations


Team Awards – How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program

Team Awards – How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program


As an HR Manager, it may be quite a challenging task to put a framework around deciding the Best Team award as a part of our overall Employee Reward and Recognition Program.


So, what do you do? Especially if the choice is between the departments/ functions/ teams those are in the front office and those in support or back office?


In industries those have customer facing teams/ departments and non – customer facing departments, it becomes quite a challenge to distinguish one from the other in terms of efficiency and superlative performance. Their respective roles and deliveries are of different genres  and it may not be fair to compare their merits on  the same yardstick.


One of the best practices across industries about choosing Team awards have been to give equal importance to performances of all teams irrespective of their roles and responsibilities. The performances of teams with customer facing functions and non customer facing functions  are given equal opportunity to nominate their respective teams for the Best Team Award.


Application of various criteria to choose / select the best teams depend on the organizations. Once the following are established, selecting the best team for the award is not that difficult. However, keeping the sensitivities around Employee Reward and Recognition Program in mind, the selection process needs to be transparent, fair and meritocratic. More importantly, adequate attention should be paid on the communication of process. (how have the winners been selected, the nomination process etc)


How To Select Best Team For Employee Rewards and Recognition Program


  • Assess the team’s contribution to the organization


  • What is the benefit that the team has brought to the organization


  • Why is the team performance noteworthy


  • What is the team composition


  • What assignments did the team work on


Can the team performance be quantified or qualified?


This is  very critical piece of deciding the best team award. There are teams whose performance may be quantified. for e g. how many new customer acquisition/ meeting customer satisfaction index/ revenue generation etc and there are teams whose performance may be qualified for e,g. Process improvement, business excellence,  research support provided etc. These two are equally important for the organization but their impact on the organization are diverse in more than one way.




It is often noticed that organization who want to recognize team performance on the basis of meritocracy, give equal opportunities to both front office and back office teams.


They create two separate categories for teams to be nominated


  1. Teams from front office functions


  1. Teams from back office functions


This may be viewed as an egalitarian approach but this is also accepted as a practical way of recognizing teams that have divergent roles and targets but are equally important to the organization.


Some companies also practice the philosophy of One winning Team for the Best Team Award as a part of their Employee Reward and Recognition Program and that can be any team. A Front Office Team or a team from the Back office may eventually win the Best Team Award. Organizations that have this practice usually have a very Robust Rewards and Recognition Program that runs for a few years and the awards categories are well established and the program has a high buy in and credibility with the employees.


For HR managers in newer organizations or who are launching Employee Rewards and Recognition programs for the first time in the organizations may keep two separate buckets of Team awards:


Best Team in Front office Function


Best Team in Support Functions




It is a long drawn and continuous process to establish a transparent, fair and meritocratic Employee Reward and Recognition Program that employees view as aspirational and the awards given are really valuable to employees not in monetary terms but for prestige, pride and honor. Any credible employee rewards program evolves over a period of time  through regular evaluation and improvement. Hence as a HR Manager you really need to understnd your role in the process and have a fantastic understanding of the organization and the composition of its workforce.


When employees come back to you to ask when is the next Employee Rewards and Recognition event, as an HR Manager you can take pride in your Employee R&R program.


Albeit, it is a challenging task to choose the best team in the organization but an approach to outbox your thoughts clubbed with solid business understanding, you can create a best practice in your organization in the category of Employee Rewards and Recognition.


Look forward to hearing from you about how do you decide Team Awards  and your approach on How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program.



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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Employee Relations


New-Employee Engagement Program- First Six Months In The Organization

In today’s competitive employee market where talent is at a premium and at a risk for any organisation, it is imperative that any new talent/new employee is engaged with the organization right from the beginning of the employment. It takes a structured effort to connect with the new employee at the onset of the employment as the defining moments of truth for the employee happens in the first six months of the employment.

Various research data and organisation survey reports have repeatedly indicated that  the new employee is constantly validating his choice of the organisation and decision to join the company during this period. As much as the organisation tests the new employee’s skills, competencies and evaluates his delivery/output, the new employee also evaluates the “correctness” of his decision during this period. The new employee keenly observes the organisation practices, tests his ‘fitment’ into the culture of the organisation and most importantly evaluates the scope of the job that he has been hired for.

The fast paced employment market and a war for talent only makes it even more challenging for any organisation to ring fence the new employee with the right potential, output and attitude as every other organisation is vying for such a talent! In fact, various attrition dashboards of many organisations reflect that the new employee is always at a risk of attriting within the first 3-6 months. Even for employees who decide to leave the organisation within 12 months of employment, if keenly observed the insights would reveal that the seeds of disengagement/dissonance with the organisation may have been sown as early as 3 months of the employment. This dissonance may be attributed to any of the following reasons:

# Dissatisfaction with the role

# Difference of “culture” and “values” as practiced in the organisation

# Mis- match in the scope of contract vis a vis actual offering

# Basic expectation not being met or having to struggle to get around the organization

# Discomfort with the reporting manager

# other miscellaneous reasons

As an HR Manager, it is a critical ask that new employees are connected with at regular interventions.  HR plays a critical role in helping businesses and organisations to ring fence the new employees and make them ‘organisation ready’ with least gestation period from the joining. The business may expect the respective HR person/ HR manager of the following hand holding  interventions:

# Check periodically about the new employee’s comfort with the organisation

# Trigger any early signs of disengagement

# On Boarding inventories, induction programs, necessary joining formalities are smoothly executed

# Processes fostering meeting as many people and being present in as many forums as possible to understand the organisation

# Clarify early doubts and apprehensions in terms of role, structure, reporting relationships, stake holders

# Help identify the prevailing culture of the organisation and be aware of the Dos and Dont’s for better acceptance

# Regular connect programs to sense and collate ‘new employees’ insight

# Informal mechanism to gauge ‘First Impressions’ of the organisation

HR can play a significant role in designing an effective New -Employee Engagement Intervention that can truly impact the business managers and their output along with helping organisations curb the new employee attrition. A two way feedback mechanism between the new employee and the organisation may be a good genesis on which such an intervention may be designed.

Often organisations with repute recognize the challenges of talent acquisition thus valuing the new recruit take adequate measures to invest in a robust New Employee Engagement Program. It can be a very impacting initiative if it forms a critical part of the overall HR Role in the organisation.


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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Employee Relations