Friday, 25 March 2016

Emotional Contract............


I was gearing up for a meeting at 10:30 am on Monday morning with an employee from the Software team who had spent more than 4 yrs with the company and had put up his papers last week. I knew the employee was fairly engaged with his work, liked by his peers and was taking active participation in most of the cross functional teams across his area of work. So what went wrong?

The purpose of meeting him was to figure out the trigger of his exit and to explore the options of retaining him by changing the project, location, etc.

What stumped me while having the conversation with him was: he said: “you are the first person who is genuinely interested in me and talking about staying back”. After further quizzing him I learnt that his immediate supervisor’s knee jerk reaction was “now that you have planned to go, go after some time and not immediately” as it will hamper her ongoing project work. The dept head reacted by saying “since the entire year you did so and so work I can’t give you more than certain rating during PMS which will translate into 12% increment”. The supervisor didn’t have the courage and cheek to go and influence the dept head about retaining the employee nor the dept head bothered to check out the trigger for his exit. He fairly assumed it would be money and started talking the language of PMS 12% rise and so forth.

I could tacitly gather lot of engagement drivers that needed to be worked upon in the team with this conversation. However, what left me in greater thoughts was about the emotional and psychological contract that the employee had towards his work, supervisor, team and company which no longer was the same post he put his papers and saw the reaction from his supervisor and dept head.

Could the similar situation be handled in a different way? The answer is Yes. Maybe the employee may have still left us and gone but he would have continued to be our brand ambassador despite not working with us. How can one aim for that sort of engagement when your ex employees talk highly about you while they are no longer working in the same organization? The answer is simple and not rocket science – make their stay including the exit as memorable as possible and treat them with humane approach as they were welcomed in the system on the first day of joining. Create enough memorable memories and experience to cherish so that the employee continues to give his best productive performance even on the last day of his work!

The days are gone when employees used to work for single organizations for the rest of their lives. Can we do something genuinely on retaining good talent? We all know the cost of replacement and bad hire could cost the organization in the long run.


What are your thoughts? Your own experience? Best practices that we can learn…………..