Business Factors That Underpin Human Resource Planning
The 2011 study revealed some key insights. Employees expressed the need for (i) recognition (ii) diversity of thought (the freedom to have a contrary view) and (iii) transparency in policies and processes. Differentiated rewards for the top performers were introduced, and seem to have worked well for Raymond. “Now, as a culture, there is linkage of compensation to performance. But it is different in the sense that the average performer gets a certain reward; but a good performer will get almost twice that reward,” explains Narayan.
Individual performance coaching is in place; and a relative ranking, clearly quantified, forces people at the bottom of the performance chart to chart their exit routes. This has had an impact on attrition, and not all of it is understandably unwelcome. Four years ago, the attrition hovered around 5 to 6 per cent. Today, it is between 12 and 14 per cent. This is not an issue of serious concern, notes Narayan, who estimates 40 to 50 per cent of this to be ‘desirable attrition’.
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“At the senior levels, attrition is as low as 6 per cent.
And there is a crop of new talent coming in, across levels — a lot of it has come in at the level of General Manager and above. For instance, Rakesh Pandey moved in from Marico (Kaya) where he was CEO, as President — Retail and Corporate Marketing with Raymond; there are senior colleagues in marketing and finance who have moved in with experience in groups such as AV Birla, Reliance and Essar,” he adds. The trickle down of the management’s vision to the last rungs has been kept in mind. A house journal, Raymond Times, now goes out every two months.
An open house in each business chaired by the business head is in practice. Even the CMD is part of an open house twice a year. The idea is to have two-way communication, true to the framework arrived at over the last four years. A nine-box grid for talent evaluation is also in place. Selection and hiring have gone more scientific, with psychometric testing in place. So is a spot appreciation programme, besides rewards and recognition in each business. Employees wanted it; and Raymond is trying to deliver, transparently.
The entire HR process has been e-enabled. Internal surveys show that there is a positive feeling, one of hope, and that the organisation is changing for the better, according to the HR head. “We are seeing early results. For the first time in a decade, people say they are able to sense the power and impact of this change. There is an amount of energy and momentum that has been unleashed. We’ve set a never-before growth target for the next four years,” explains Narayan. Raymond is admittedly not the most aggressive of recruiters on campus.
But over the last two years, it has emerged as a preferred employer (day 0, 1 or 2) in premier B-schools such as IIM (Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode, Indore) and MDI. The intake from B-schools has doubled over the last four years to 25, and from T-schools (technology) to 20. The average employee age has dropped in four years from 40 to 35 years now. “We are on our way,” surmises Narayan. On their way to being ‘the complete employer’, one might add.