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49758861 40599871 2 Strategic Human Resource Management Book

49758861 40599871 2 Strategic Human Resource Management Book

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Published by Kc Sandesh

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Published by: Kc Sandesh on Sep 19, 2012
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Retention Strategies

Keeping staff, in whom the organisation has invested (training, etc) is an important aspect of
human resource management. Identifying why people remain with the organisation can be
established through attitude surveys and focus groups. Ideally, attitude surveys should be
analysed both in terms of responses of different age groups and also by responses according
to gender.
Many companies try to establish why people leave by conducting exit interviews but these
are rarely sufficiently accurate, as many people will not give the full reason why they are
leaving for fear of jeopardising future reference requirements or because they may wish to
return to the company at some later stage in their career, particularly in rural areas.
The retention plan should address each of the main areas in which dissatisfaction can arise.
Armstrong identifies the following:


Uncompetitive, inequitable or unfair pay systems are frequently cited as causes of
dissatisfaction. Possible actions include:
(i) Reviewing pay levels on the basis of market surveys
(ii) Introducing job evaluation or improving an existing scheme to provide for
equitable grading decisions
(iii) Ensuring that employees understand the link between performance and reward
(iv) Reviewing performance-related pay schemes to ensure that they operate fairly
(v) Adapting payment-by-results systems to ensure that employees are not penalised
when they are engaged on short runs
(vi) Tailoring benefits to individual requirements and preferences
(vii) Involving employees in developing and operating job evaluation and
performance-related pay schemes.

Job Design

Dissatisfaction may be caused by jobs that are unrewarding in themselves. Jobs
should be designed to maximise skill variety, task significance, autonomy and feedback
and they should provide opportunities for learning and growth.


Performance assessments must be fair and the standards against which employees
are to be measured must be clear. The following actions might be taken:
(i) Performance targets must be expressed as specific, measurable, attainable and
(ii) Targets and goals should be agreed, as should the actions needed to attain them,
rather than imposed from above
(iii) Managers should be trained and encouraged to provide regular feedback,
especially positive feedback, so that problems are not kept just for an annual
performance review
(iv) Managers must be trained in performance review techniques such as counselling.

142 The Strategic Approach to People Resourcing

© ABE and RRC


It is important to ensure that new employees are given adequate induction training.
Research suggests that new recruits go through a period of 'induction crisis' if they are
not given adequate training when they join the organisation and may leave. Similarly,
all employees who are inadequately trained for the demands made upon them (or who
feel they are inadequately trained) may be dissatisfied or leave.
Armstrong suggests that learning programmes and training schemes should be
developed and introduced which:
(i) Give employees the competence and confidence to achieve expected
performance standards
(ii) Enhance existing skills and competences
(iii) Help people to acquire new skills and competences so that they can make better
use of their abilities, take on greater responsibilities, undertake a greater variety
of tasks and earn more under skill and competence-based pay schemes
(iv) Ensure that new employees quickly acquire and learn the basic skills and
knowledge needed to make a good start in their jobs
(v) Increase employability inside and outside the organisation.

Career Development

One of the most commonly expressed reasons for leaving an organisation, certainly by
younger members of staff, is dissatisfaction with career prospects. To a certain extent
this is unavoidable and some organisations view it as healthy, as employees move on
to gain experience and skills elsewhere, allowing new employees to bring new ideas
and skills into the company. Even so, there is still a place within most organisations for
a stable core workforce. It is important that those who do not wish to have
advancement do not feel obliged to seek it but Armstrong notes that career
opportunities can be provided by:
(i) Providing employees with wider experience, perhaps by offering secondments or
experience of projects or project management
(ii) Introducing more systematic procedures for identifying potential, such as
assessment or development centres
(iii) Encouraging promotion from within
(iv) Developing more equitable promotion procedures
(v) Providing advice and guidance on career paths.


We identified the high-commitment management model earlier in Study Unit 3 but here
we are concerned primarily with how low levels of commitment amongst employees
can lead to a high turnover of staff. Commitment can be increased by:
(i) Operating clear communication systems so that all staff know the organisation's
mission, values and objectives and have an opportunity to discuss them and put
forward their own ideas
(ii) Using open methods of communication, such as briefings and ensuring
information is passed on expediently
(iii) Providing opportunities for employees to take part in the process of managing the
operation through mechanisms such as suggestion schemes, focus groups, etc
(iv) Ensuring employees are consulted about changes that are likely to affect them

The Strategic Approach to People Resourcing 143

© ABE and RRC

(v) A team working or group approach can also help to generate or improve

Dissatisfaction with Supervision

Dissatisfaction with supervision or leadership generally, or specific conflict with
individual leaders/managers can result in employees choosing to leave. Some of these
problems can be avoided by:
(i) Using appropriate recruitment and selection techniques for managers and
supervisors, so that those displaying appropriate behaviours are selected
(ii) Providing training for managers and supervisors in interpersonal skills, conflict
resolution, negotiation, etc
(iii) Designing appropriate discipline and grievance procedures that are fair and fairly
applied and ensuring that all people are properly trained in their application.

Recruitment and Selection

A high turnover of staff can be an indication of ineffective recruitment and selection
practices. Inappropriate selection criteria or an inability to match a candidate's
capabilities with the requirements of the job can lead to a rapid turnover. Similarly,
creating expectations about a job or promotion that cannot be fulfilled, will lead to
If you have changed jobs in the past, why did you do so? If you were dissatisfied with the job
in some way, what could your employer have done to respond to this dissatisfaction? Can
you identify any initiatives within your current employer that are aimed at retaining staff?
How effective are these initiatives?

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