Retaining Employees = Having a Successful Marriage

19 Nov

Succesfull Marriage = Retaining Employees [Pinal's Cubicle]For me, weekend is a time to think and be creative. So, this weekend, I got the idea of linking “Employee Retention Process” with “Successful Marriage”. First I thought that people will laugh and may give nasty comments, but I don’t think that there is any harm in sharing the idea. Let me ask two questions to you:

1) It is whose responsibility to retain “good employees” and work on “Retention Process”? The Department Head, the HR Department or the Management?

2) When the retention process actually starts?

Do you know, “Retention Process” is related to “Successful Marriage”? The relation of “Employer-Employee” is like a marriage.

Sourcing and Selecting the Candidate – Wooing the Girl

Retention doesn’t start from the day person join your organization. Retention starts from the “Interview Process”.

1. The way you carry the interview

2. The practices and processes you use to interview candidates

3. The selection tools that you use

4. The communication process that you adept to interact with the candidate

5. The steps involved in the selection process

6. Number of hours you made this person to wait

7. Time you take to issue the offer letter

8. Hassles and problems you create to give the offer and appointment letter

9. The credibility of the information that you have provided to this person at the time of interview about the company and about the job.

10. You need to convince the person as what your company is having that others are not having? What is your competitive edge? What type of future or growth that person will get if he decides to join your company?

Each of these factors decides the time this person will stay with your organization.

So, you need to adopt the same process and practices as you do to woo a girl. Be prepared. Be your best. Present a good but true picture of the company. Share the growth prospects and growth plans. Always be on time, maintain your commitment, start the interview on time, don’t let the candidate wait and if you are late and say sorry. Let there be less hassles.

You need to convince your partner, how you are different from other boys or girls? What type of future that person will get if he/she decides to marry you.

Orientation and Induction – Your Engagement

Now, it means that the girl has said YES to you, is interested in you and now you are engaged

After sourcing and selection process the next important thing that might affect the “Retention Process” is the Orientation Process (It generally continues for 30 days). Remember, you are still in courtship.

1. The way you welcome your new employee.

2. The way his team members treat him.

3. The information you provide to him.

4. Which senior managers interact with him?

5. Setting the clear expectations.

6. Criteria to measure the performance.

7. In brief, job description, KRA’s; Performance Criteria; Performance Management System; Performance Evaluation; Reward System; Career Planning

8. In total, the comfort level that you extent to this person.

Just like your engagement, where it is important to decide as what is expected from each other.

1. If both of them will work or not

2. If both are working then how they will share the household responsibilities…who will take care of cooking, cleaning, washing; who will take care of kids, their homework, their school commitments, who will keep the track of their growth in school; who will take care of grocery and other day-to-day expenses; who will take decisions related to other investments, house, car, holidays etc etc etc

3. What is expected and what are the things to be avoided?

4. If both are working…then they should not have any other commitment for the weekend.

5. If they will be staying in a joint family or separately

(I think, usually these are things we share.)

On Job – Now you are married

Now, at last you got married and have decided to stay together for the rest of your life. Getting married doesn’t assure you that you will have a successful marriage. You have probation period, which in companies is usually for 6 months to one year and in married life is 5 years. If you have been successfully married for 5 years and the ship of your marriage is smoothly sailing in the ocean of life then it will take something like Tsunami to happen to rock you ship.

Similarly, if an employee has successfully spent 5 years in your organization then it should take something really big to happen to break that relation.

1. Breach of trust

2. Bankruptcy

3. Enormously huge salary package or a jump of 2-3 level in designation, ill-health.

In short, a big accident.

Agreed that the things are not exactly in the same way…same manner as were promised to you, so now there is a need to make some adjustments, some compromises. Once you get married to your employer then you realize that the information that has been given to you is not 100% correct, your team members and other colleagues in the office don’t like you; the work environment is not very cordial; there are some misunderstandings; miscommunication; the promises that were made before the employment…the boss is not willing to keep all promises. But you still like to stay in the relation and want to give your best. Adjustment and compromise is required. Once you are married, keeping the trust and faith is important, proper communication is very crucial, feedback is the backbone and motivation, regular but genuine appreciation is a tonic.

I think if we take care of these things…employee will stay with the company for a long time. Do you like to add anything in this?

Resignation, Exit Interview – Divorce

You tried your best to compromise for mutual growth, adjust with each other but then thought that the things will not work and you should better go in different direction. Now, that the thought of “Divorce” has already crossed the mind of your partner…now that your employee has already decided to leave the organization and you are sitting across the table for exit interview. You can hardly do anything to change his mind but you can still make an attempt. Things have reached to this level…it means that you have not done enough. There was no growth in the organization but there is a chance, though very bleak…to save this relation.

Like marriage…you breached the trust of your partner, there were many restrictions, you were taking your partner for granted and hence…reached the stage of divorce, but still you can save your relation.

Though it is very late, you were not able to give enough growth to the person; you were not able to give a balanced work-life; your reward system is not good enough to keep him motivated. On the other side, you was not able to give enough time, love, care and space to your partner; you failed to understand and adjust with your partner; there was breach of trust. Still, you can make efforts…make attempts to RETAIN YOUR EMPLOYEE and SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE.

At least learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat such mistakes in future.

HR Department – Your in-laws

1. HR Department can give you infrastructure, facilities to ensure that you give you best.

2. They can make employee friendly policies, processes and procedures to ensure that you grow in the organization…as a person, as a professional.

3. They can appreciate your work.

4. They can ensure proper communication process; make sure that you are heard.

5. They can give regular feedback, appreciation and recognition.

6. They can give training to your boss; give coaching to your boss, if his management style is not good.

Just like your in-laws, who take care of your house, your kids, when you go out to work? They help you, in preparing the dinner. They ensure that you get respect and care in the family. They ensure that you are heard for your ideas and opinion. Get appreciation for your work.


Just look at the employer-employee relation in this perspective. Your boss is your spouse. Your Team Members are your in-laws. Other Colleagues in the organization are your relatives. Doesn’t matter what others talk about you…it is important what your boss…your spouse think and talk about you. Before making cordial relation with your relatives…it is important to have positive relations with your team-members. As you know people don’t leave organizations…they leave bosses. Similarly, if marriage is not working…people go for divorce because their partners are not good. No one go for divorce because of the reason that their in-laws are not good…or their relatives don’t like them.

Think about it and share your comments and feedback.

Stay in touch and take care of yourself.

Archived from an Article by Sanjeev Himachali


Pinal Mehta


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