He felt growing disconnect with the company’s senior management, based out of Bangalore. So, when a head- hunter approached him for a position at a large multinational firm, he grabbed it. It was an agonizing move, since it meant he would have to leave a job that he liked. In the exit interview, however, Ghoshal cited the usual set of excuses— better prospects and money— as reasons for the shift. “I didn’t want to burn my bridges with those guys— who knows, I may have to work with them one day.
Besides, I don’t think they really cared about my opinion. Th e interview was just a formality,” he says. Ghoshal’s is hardly a unique case.
Many employees who quit do not divulge the exact set of reasons for their exits.
In fact, they are victims of a ‘form- driven interview process’ that fails to extract genuine reasons from quitting employees. This process yields no actionable results that could stem further attrition. Now, a clutch of niche human resource outsourcing fi rms has sensed a clear business opportunity in the attrition management space. One such is PeopleStrong, a Delhi- based start- up that calls itself an ‘HR In Through The Out Door A clutch of human resource outsourcing companies has sensed a clear business opportunity in the attrition management space NanditaDatta A HENDRA GHOSHAL, A PROJECT manager for a large IT services firm, was a diligent worker. His employee rating rarely fell below the ‘ exceeds expectations’ level. Huge salary hikes were a given for this 34- year- old soft – ware professional. Even so, Ghoshal, who was working out of the company’s offices in Chennai, wasn’t happy.
FEATURE ATTRITION MANAGEMENT 70 Outlook Business > September 6, 2008 process consulting company’. It is led by AadeshGoyal and PankajBansal— former HR bosses of Aricent (erstwhile Hughes Soft ware) and the Withya Group. PeopleStrong taps critical information needed for attrition management and builds predictive retention solutions for an organization. Bansal, who functions as both the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, says his firm “helps organizations understand their attrition better.” Bangalore- based boutique firm Acengage is another company in this space. Founded by some former HR employees of a Mumbai- based BPO fi rm, it claims to be an HR intelligence fi rm. “Our unique approach of conducting exit interviews and employee satisfaction surveys offers insightful reporting and analytics to improve current engagement and retention strategies,” says Founder Director KrishHanumanthu.
“Our distinctive processes and proprietary technology platform provide a refreshing approach to attrition control.” e2e People Practices, a strategic HR services fi rm known more for its ‘People Capability Maturity Model’ implementation, also offers attrition management services. Exit Idea Hanumanthu says the idea was born in a cafeteria over endless cups of coffee and conversations about the exit process in his previous organization. Every month, Hanumanthu and his colleagues would sit through numerous attrition reviews and hear employees give the same reasons for quitting, such as higher salary, better prospects and relocation.
At the end of the day, this actually left them with zero action items. “We felt this was happening because the existing methodology that captured this data was not good enough to be translated into an action plan,” he says. Very oft en, the data being captured was very superficial. There were always other reasons for people leaving. Organizations could do a lot more, he says, to understand the actual reason, but that required them to understand employee mindsets better— what they really liked about the company and what they disliked. Sensing a business opportunity, Hanumanthu (along with two of his colleagues) decided to turn entrepreneur. His company Acengage focuses on identifying the actual trigger for employees leaving. It tries to get to the root cause for attrition. “Once we get a list of people who have left the organization (from our clients), our counselors conduct one- on- one interviews,” Hanumanthu says.
The sequential flow of questions helps the counsellor to shadow the interviewee without interrupting his flow of thought. This is done with some help from Acengage’s technology platform, built to address the reporting needs for attrition diagnostics. Based on the data collated at the end of a month or a quarter, a report is generated identifying the key pain points. “We also recommend action plans and, if necessary, implement it and measure the results,” he says. Acengage has helped a large Bangalore based IT services firm focus on its bench-related issues. In another soft ware services firm, Acengage found that the maximum attrition was happening within 0- 30 days of joining— likely due to a mismatch between expectations and reality.
Hanumanthu and his team recommended a survey of new entrants. This was to understand if everything that was being done in the first 30 days ( like knowing your manager, opening accounts, issue of cards, getting a work- station, etc) was taken care of and the new employees were satisfied. “Happy employees make for happy HR managers— and once that happens, it is a homerun for us,” says Hanumanthu. PeopleStrong, on the other hand, started off by offering HR help- 71 “ It’s a myth that high engagement equals low attrition. We believe companies need to study attrition as deeply as engagement” PankajBansal CEO, PeopleStrong