To understand how we control attrition, we must first discover the reasons why people leave an organisation. In that, although enough literature is available, we are far from finding a durable solution towards employee motivation and retention. Probably much of our focus has been on the surface and we have not really addressed the roots. We need to find solutions in core human psychology and discover areas of empathy with the employee.

Humans per se, as a species do not like to be bound to report to a stranger and yet they have to. Almost all other concerns an employee might have for being dissatisfied can be linked with this root cause. Secondly, humans feel better where the organisational culture favours teamwork, better relationships, altruism, co-operation and honesty. If only a leader can be trained to cultivate empathy with the employee and cultivating a positive work culture while keeping all other aspects of leading the team intact, we should be heading towards finding an organic solution.

Having said that, leadership today has become a difficult art to master and so an employee cannot simply be promoted as a leader just on the basis of performance alone. The stakes are too high out there. The 21st century employee is not the same meek sub-ordinate to his boss but an individual who is very ambitious and knows his rights and options and is also outspoken. That is the reason why many evolved organisations in recent times have decreased the weightage of performance in the process of employee performance assessment through appraisal and included interpersonal skills and self discipline amongst others as significant criterion for moving an individual up on the hierarchical ladder.

Leadership has a larger role to play in retaining the employee than HR. As they say – ‘people leave bosses’. In addition to get the work done, quantitatively and qualitatively, it is very important for a leader to ensure a healthy team spirit and camaraderie at the workplace. It is equally challenging for a leader to not get swayed by the pressures of the rat race and make the humanitarian factors in himself and his team to be avoided.

Man being a social animal, it is quite safe to assume that any method that enhances his social recognition will be quite acceptable to him. Altruism and cooperation go a long way in ensuring the same. If a leader can inculcate an atmosphere of teamwork and togetherness as a part of the team culture, the chances are that the employees will like to be a part of that team as well as perform better as a team. It is important though that the leader ensures that discipline and performance shouldn’t take a back seat in this process and no such feeling of togetherness should be used against the organisation.

Additionally, the employee needs to be trained well, explained his job role and description in detail and then given the much needed autonomy at work so that he doesn’t feel tied up and crave for freedom. The fact that employees hate Mondays and keep count of their weekends and other holidays is an indicator that given a chance, the employee will certainly explore other options. Getting work done from an employee like a robot is widespread because leaders don’t exercise delegation. Just like a child, an adult needs the requisite freedom and the liberty to make mistakes without the fear of punishment to perform better and also like to work.

To summarise, the root cause of why people leave their jobs should be addressed from the vantage point of human psychology. We need to understand the human angle at work and not treat employees as a mere means to the end. Employees need to be given basic autonomy and due respect as well as a positive culture at work to retain them, keeping discipline as a priority of course. For that leadership has to be chosen and trained well to understand that the core human needs when satisfied, human beings have a natural tendency to automatically self-actualise themselves at the highest level.

Categories: Workplace


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *