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Attrition Management

Attrition Management



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attrition managment with case studies
attrition managment with case studies

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Published by: venkataswamynath channa on Apr 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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  ________________________________________________________________________ Page 1 of 20
don’t quit … : BPO Retention Planning ToolBackground:
The young Business Process Outsourcing Industry in India has been struggling with highattrition rates right from the word go. The high cost of attrition in the established B.P.O.Organizations – whose major challenge is to ramp up & train the workforce quickly totranslate the business opportunity into revenue Dollars – has already been felt &documented extensively in the media. Every BPO organization seems to be trying toreduce their attrition, percentage point by percentage point.There is a feeling, especially among HR Managers, that while there are market dynamicsinvolved in the demand–supply gap, there certainly is a need to find better ways to retainthe young & well trained workforce at the Agent level.
nterventions among 
 ssociates) is a conceptual model that has evolved from HR practices based on intuitive common sense. It works.
 While this author has thought through the Tool elaborated here, a lot of ideas and practices used in it owe their existence to various HR & Business Leaders across BPOorganizations. Hence this is truly a piece of collaborative development and shouldtherefore be shared freely for the benefit of this new growth space.
Let us begin by reviewing the numerous innovative HR initiatives & interventions thatare constantly being tried by most industry leaders today (Example: Tie up with distancelearning MBA programmes, providing discotheques / ‘fun at work’, etc.). Somehow noneof these interventions seem to work consistently across an organization, nor can they besaid to be having a highly significant impact across the board on the attrition level in thetargeted employee population in a BPO organization handling diverse variety of work.What works for one organization, seems to be an impossibility to even consider inanother organization.While these HR interventions & initiatives certainly work in pockets, there are somelimitations in their approach:
  ________________________________________________________________________ Page 2 of 201.
 Business Imperative:
The current attrition management outlook assumes that theabsolute attrition percentages are of utmost importance. Logically however, theClients would be more worried about the organization’s ability to meet the SLAs(Service Level Agreement) consistently, and not the absolute attrition percentagelevels. (Yes, lower attrition percentages help quite a lot in that!)2.
The cost–benefit of these HR initiatives are very difficult to calculateat the design stage. (Usually the cost calculations do not capture the disproportionateamount of time the senior management spends in creating, validating, implementing& troubleshooting these initiatives – specially in terms of the opportunity cost due totime spent away from the business opportunity)3.
 Effectiveness & Impact:
The effectiveness of an initiative is very difficult to predict,and the actual impact is usually out of whack with the originally estimated level. Thechoice of initiatives is usually someone’s preference / gut feel – instead of a veryrigorous business decision. (Since some of these initiatives work, there is a sort of organizational legitimacy granted to this “deciding by gut feel” when it comes to HR interventions related decision-making.)4.
 Monitoring & Control:
These initiatives / interventions tend to get out of controlquite quickly, and it takes a Herculean effort for the organizational leadership to reinit in. The organizational leadership also does not have very clear decision-makingdata to choose between similar / overlapping interventions or to stop ineffectiveinterventions. The ‘in-process’ monitoring of these initiatives / interventions is quitedifficult given the biases of the implementers & their varying levels of buy-in.5.
The success of most of these HR interventions is driven by the passion of the implementers, specially the first level managers. This does create a possibility of a less effective initiative being continued without knowing clearly thatthere was a better one available, and would have had a higher organizational impact,given the quality of involvement of the first level managers.6.
These initiatives / interventions are usually backward looking. They aretypically driven by the data from exit interviews of the preceding month / quarter.Also given the fact that the reasons
‘why people leave’ 
are known to be different from
why people stay’ 
, organizations might be aiming the interventions at the ‘wrong’
  ________________________________________________________________________ Page 3 of 20 population, if not also a significantly smaller one! Reliability of exit interview data isanother issue, as call-back validation is typically not a standard practice. One reallydoes not know how many employees actually joined the organization next door instead of that MBA they said they wanted to join.7.
 Linkage & Alignment:
These HR interventions usually do not provide any linkagesto other HR & business processes in the organization & hence to that extent do notadd value. Their alignment to the overall HR framework is therefore tenuous at best,if not completely out of sync.
 It is in this context that this Retention Planning Tool is extremely powerful, whilebeing very simple to understand (almost intuitive) & easy to implement.
The Retention Planning Tool:
The concept of this tool is very simple:
‘Value to Company-Probability of Leaving’ 
Probability of Leaving
High Medium LowHigh
Q1 Q2 Q3
Q4 Q5 Q6 
Q7 Q8 Q9
Value toCompany
Figure [1] 
the individuals in each service delivery ‘team’
the position of each of these agents (by the first level Reporting Manager &the Business HR) in this matrix based on the given parameters.

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