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The New Rules Of Retaining And Keeping Employees Happy

The stress today is on simplifying things as far as possible for your employees so that they can focus on the real purpose of their presence in the office

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We have all read those surveys, haven’t we? About how millennials like a workplace that is cool, bright, offers great compensation and fulfilling work. But isn’t that what employees at any stage in the history of employed workers would have always wanted? Actually, millennials do want a few changes, which go beyond the obvious.  

For an employer incorporating, or considering these changes should make sense. The good news is, we believe they do, as not only will they help you retain your employees, but also get a team that is more productive with a higher willingness to go the extra mile for you. So let us start with this. Do you remember how far back it was considered a big negative to have too many job hops on a CV? In a 5 to 10 year period, not spending 2 years or more on an average in a job was considered a big negative. Do you still believe that? If you answered yes, then you need to update yourself with the new work code. 

In the new work code, control is a bad word, for instance. That means, too many regulations on dressing, timings and even reimbursements could bracket you as an employer behind the times. The stress today is on simplifying things as far as possible for your employees so that they can focus on the real purpose of their presence in the office and work. Compensation could be a simple CTC offer, with the employee free to structure it as per her own requirements. Thus, rather than complexity, we see  almost all opting for the simplest design. 

Personal time is no longer a strange request. It’s a real need for employees living increasingly busy lives, and a firm that frowns on giving them enough space to ‘chill out’ occasionally might be missing on a key retention trick. Personal time is also the time an employee increasingly uses to recharge, be it by resting or following a hobby or passion.

Coming back to job hopping. Chances are, if you ask the right questions, and make the right picks, a job-hopping candidate might actually offer you a broader perspective and domain knowledge, with possibly a greater awareness of his own strengths and areas for improvement. For make no mistake, today’s employees are far keener on self-improvement and growth than you can ever be, on their behalf. And amazing risk takers when it comes to following their passion, given a chance, or even making mid-career switches if they realize their current profile is not satisfying them now or will run its course soon.

Think about it. In the new Gig economy, the most prized performers could be hires who have had an entrepreneurial stint at times. So much so that firms are actually seeing it as a positive, crediting the person with a more all-round understanding of business realities, thanks to her own experience with trying to build one. 

Speaking of which, that’s probably the biggest new change in the new work code. The need, and the possibility of looking outside your regular pool for temporary talent, urgent but temporary skills requirement. And the beauty is, this is a market that is almost ready, both in terms of the talent, and enabling you to hire fast. A significant number of professionals with the right skills are valuing this new flexibility, autonomy, and varied challenges.   And they are willing to make the sacrifices that entail, for the rewards that can come with a solid reputation of delivering on time, every time. Providing these, in a way that works for you, is your job as an employer. 

It should come as no surprise to all of us today that labor markets too are evolving this fast.  After all, it was corporates who made the word VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) the buzzword to describe the business environment today. The new work code is simply evolving to the new reality. Embrace it.   

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Sanjay Lakhotia.

Sanjay Lakhotia is the co-founder of Noble House Consulting Pte, an HR talent marketplace that helps independent consultants find short- and long-term assignments as per their skill set. A seasoned HR professional with a background in technology development, he has more than 20 years of experience in working across all areas of HR including HR Transformation, Leadership development, HR technology deployment, Performance culture, Rewards etc. His last assignment with Hewitt was as the Head of Operations for Asia Pac.

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