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BW Businessworld

Giving Them An Ear

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Consider this: HCL Technologies has a three-level exhaustive exit interview to prevent attrition. In addition to this, the company has a retention council which works to retain high performance employees.

As a part of the exit policy, the company also has a programme called the ‘Exit Management Process' where 10 per cent of the employees who leave the organisation are called again after a gap of 90 days to know the actual reason for their exit. "We do this for our data accuracy. It also helps in redefining our human resources (HR) policies," says Ravi Shankar, senior vice-president, HR at HCL Technologies.

There are multi-layered exit interviews designed today, enabling organisations to extract  rich insights from exiting employees on what could be learnt or fixed within the system. "All exit interview data points are analysed systematically and we learn from them," says Ashu Malhotra, senior vice-president, HR at Tulip Telecom. The HR programmes in the company include mentorship module for all new employees and employee contact programmes such as Sampark and First Impression.

According to a recent TeamLease Services  survey on ‘Impactful Exits', 92 per cent of employees and managements across all industries follow exit policies very seriously. This went up to 99 per cent in Bangalore and Chennai, establishing Gen Y's preferences for policies and processes at workplace along with a good pay packet. Another revelation made by the study was the importance of the ‘relieving letter'. Apart from a mere 8 per cent, a majority of the companies expressed apprehension in formalising recruitment without the relieving letter. About 23 per cent of the surveyed companies said that they do not proceed with employment when the relieving letter is not provided. "One of our most important policies is to do thorough background checks before hiring. Therefore, we do not hire without the relieving letter," says Shankar.

Further, the study revealed that 92 per cent of the companies still favoured manual exit interviews over online, emphasising the reliance on face-to-face interactions. It highlighted the demand for longer notice period: Around 78 per cent of employees stressed on having longer notice periods to help the employees complete pending work, and also allow the companies to contract the right candidate.

According to Teamlease Services, employees are recognising that the labour markets are a small place and ungraceful exits come back with compound interest later. "Nowadays, it is being increasingly observed that employees prefer to have a professional and a clean exit," says Surabhi Mathur Gandhi, senior vice-president, IT sourcing, TeamLease Services.
Survey findings also reveal that 39 per cent of HR managers take legal action against employees who violate the company's code of conduct.

Exit interviews emphasise more on fixed factors related to job profile, compensation, work environment and company policies as compared to variable factors — which are people specific — such as support and guidance provided by the managers, training, timely feedback, clarity of communication, and so on.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 20-02-2012)