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Boosting Employee Retention: AscentHR’s Proven Strategies for Building a Devoted Workforceby Murali Santhanam

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In the domain of modern corporate challenges, employee retention stands out as a pivotal concern, increasingly recognized for its critical role in sustaining organizational growth and innovation. AscentHR, under the seasoned leadership of Murali Santhanam, CHRO, spearheads a transformational approach to employee retention, embedding it as a core strategy in the company’s operational ethos. With a robust framework designed to address the nuances of the contemporary workforce, including the rise of hybrid work models and the evolving labor market dynamics, AscentHR’s commitment to employee retention is a testament to its visionary stance on human capital management. This article delves into the seven time-tested strategies articulated by AscentHR’s leaders, aiming to redefine employee retention as not just a HR initiative but as a holistic, company-wide commitment to nurturing and valuing its workforce.

Retention strategy is gaining prominence with the rise of the contingent workforce model, hybrid work model, and changing labour market churn. Given the talent crunch in the industry and the recent ‘Great Resignation’ trend, it is crucial for organizations to adopt an employee-first approach. According to Gartner, Inc., retaining employees and avoiding the shortage of critical talent and skills that can result from employee turnover remains a top priority for HR leaders.

In this article, we will see a few well-established people practices that are directly and indirectly linked to employee retention.

Employee experience (EX)

An effective strategy for employee retention focuses on the idea that the employee experience (EX) starts before their first day at work, even during recruitment. EX covers all interactions an employee has with the company throughout their time there. This includes the company culture, how things are done, and the projects they work on.

Companies could pay attention to key touchpoints in the employee’s journey to improve churn or employee turnover rate. This includes the interview process, the offer letter, the onboarding and training phase, and managing & developing their talents. Even when they leave the company, how a company manages an employee’s departure can impact the morale and decisions of other employees, potentially causing more to leave.

In summary, prioritizing a positive and comprehensive employee experience is not just a good practice, but a strategic move for a company’s success in attracting and retaining employees. It directly impacts the company’s ability to attract new talent, keep them, and ensure they are engaged and committed. By nurturing employees from the start to the end of their journey, companies can build a stronger, more committed workforce, leading to increased productivity and reduced turnover. This commitment to the employee experience is a testament to a company’s dedication to its employees and their success.

Company culture

To enhance employee retention effectively, integrating culture analytics into the strategic development of organizational culture is crucial. Organizational culture, which includes shared values, beliefs, assumptions, policies, and procedures, significantly influences how employees engage with their work and with each other. This unique cultural framework can profoundly affect an employee’s loyalty and their decision to remain within the company.

Acknowledging the impact of organizational culture on turnover rates necessitates a data-driven approach to understanding and shaping these cultural dynamics. Culture analytics offers a powerful tool for organizations to assess their core cultural values and behaviors through empirical data. By analyzing patterns within employee feedback, engagement levels, and turnover rates, organizations can gain insights into the health of their current culture and identify specific areas requiring development or transformation.

The objective is to cultivate a workplace culture that not only attracts but retains top talent, encouraging employees to commit to staying and contributing to the organization’s goals. Incorporating culture analytics allows for a more nuanced understanding of the cultural aspects that drive employee satisfaction and retention. With this insight, companies can implement targeted strategies to develop a supportive and engaging work environment, where employees feel valued and motivated to achieve their best, thereby bolstering retention and overall organizational success.

Benefits, perks, and compensation

Compensation plays a crucial role in why employees decide to stay with or leave their organization. It’s understood that competitive wages and benefits, along with career advancement opportunities and workplace flexibility, are primary factors influencing employee retention. Recognizing this, it is imperative for employers to regularly review and adjust compensation packages to reflect market rates and the rising cost of living.

Ensuring employees are aware that their compensation is in line with industry standards is vital. Transparent communication about compensation practices can significantly enhance trust and satisfaction among employees, thereby increasing retention rates. Employers need to proactively manage and communicate their compensation strategies to ensure their workforce feels valued and fairly compensated, especially in times of economic uncertainties.

Reskilling & upskilling

Adopting a strategy focused on reskilling and upskilling can serve as a powerful tool for employee retention. Reskilling allows companies to prepare their workforce for new roles within the organization, while upskilling aims to enhance the existing skills of employees to fill any skill gaps and facilitate their growth in current roles. This approach not only aids in career progression but also helps in building a robust internal talent pool, reducing the need for external talent recruitment.

Given the significant role of digital talent in the workforce and the emphasis on continuous learning, organizations could foster an environment that motivates employees to upgrade their skills through strong Learning & Development initiatives. Implementing innovative learning and development strategies can engage and retain employees, making them feel valued and invested in their personal and professional growth.

The trend towards focusing on the reskilling of the core tech workforce, especially in regions like India, underscores the urgency to enhance these initiatives. Accelerating reskilling efforts is essential to bridging the digital skills gap, ensuring that a significant portion of digital talent development comes from within. By prioritizing employee development through reskilling and upskilling, organizations can not only retain their workforce but also position themselves competitively in the digital era.

Talent mobility

A key component of retaining employees is fostering talent mobility within the organization. This concept extends beyond merely shifting employees geographically and encompasses a variety of developmental opportunities such as assignments, secondments, and promotions. The ultimate goal is to facilitate exploration and discovery of employees’ interests across different business functions.

Research indicates a gap in employee perceptions, with only 27% feeling that their organizations facilitate the discovery of job opportunities aligned with their interests. To bridge this gap, organizations could adopt a strategic approach that includes identifying present and future skills needs, enabling the transfer of employees across various functions and teams, recruiting new talent as necessary, and enhancing the skills of current employees through comprehensive learning management systems.

HR leaders play a crucial role in this strategy, tasked with developing and implementing policies that promote talent mobility. By creating pathways for employees to explore diverse roles and acquire new skills, companies can significantly improve job satisfaction and retention rates. This approach not only addresses individual employee growth and satisfaction but also ensures the organization is well-equipped to meet evolving business challenges with a versatile and engaged workforce.

Rewards & recognition

In the face of escalating competition for tech talent, driven by widespread technology adoption, organizations are finding it increasingly necessary to showcase their commitment to valuing employees as a strategic approach to retention. The surge in demand for digital skills has transformed employee appreciation into a key business necessity.

By actively demonstrating their investment in employee well-being, professional development, and recognition, companies can effectively differentiate themselves in the competitive landscape for tech talent. This approach not only attracts but also retains the highly sought-after digital professionals essential for navigating the tech-driven market dynamics.

Employee wellbeing

A comprehensive strategy for employee retention should prioritize the holistic well-being of employees—mentally, physically, and financially. For instance, companies like AscentHR have taken innovative steps by offering financial wellness programs and salary-based loans.

By enhancing and broadening the scope of employee wellness offerings to include such financial support options, organizations can create a supportive environment that deeply values the overall health and prosperity of their workforce. Integrating financial wellness into the employee benefits package not only fosters a positive workplace culture but also demonstrates a genuine commitment to the employees’ well-being, significantly contributing to retention efforts.

As AscentHR navigates through the complexities of the modern labor market, its leadership team, spearheaded by Murali Santhanam, presents a compelling blueprint for enhancing employee retention. By prioritizing a comprehensive and empathetic approach to employee wellbeing, AscentHR not only aims to retain talent but also to cultivate a culture of loyalty, innovation, and shared success. This commitment to nurturing human capital is pivotal to AscentHR’s continued growth and its vision for the future of work.

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