Thursday, March 29, 2007

Guest Lecture - Managing Retention: How to Harness ‘People Power’

Event : Guest Lecture by Mr. S. Suresh GM, HR Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited
Venue : MS 101
-
DoMS, IIT Madras hosted a lecture by Mr. S. Suresh - GM (HR) of Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited. He has Masters Degree in Social Work from Madras School of Social Work. He has had an experience in the field of HR covering various industries like watches, Automobile and now is in this Pharmaceuticals Company.

The topic of the discussion was “Managing Retention: How to Harness ‘People Power’. He began the talk quoting the horrifying two digit number that is quoted by most IT companies today as their attrition rate which is near to 40%. The presentation talked about the topic on the whole starting from what is retention, how is it calculated in the industry, levels of attrition and the push, pull and glue factors that affect attrition. He also enlightened us with some words common to this field like ‘survivor syndrome’, which we might not learn from books. The topic was very aptly covered with lot of practical examples that he unfolded from this own experience.

The managerial learning that was evident from talk was that retention technique is highly subjective. An employee might leave for good pay elsewhere or might as well leave even on lower pay but to go his home-town. There are no set rules by which HR manager can handle attrition. He also gave us insight on ‘Targeted attrition’ which means to keep a check on the direction and speed of attrition. He also gave examples as to how a HR manager has to negotiate with the employee; how he has to keep relations with them so that even if they leave, they leave in good faith. He even made us aware of some changes that have taken place in the trend of how people jump from one job to another often. Not only this he also tried showing us the factors that have led to this change like more opportunities, foreign companies coming in etc.

The best of the lecture was that the session was very interactive. He made us ask as many questions as we can and answered all of them patiently and with apt content.

The main lesson behind the whole talk was retaining the employees is very important as they are important assets. Getting-in right quality of people every now and then incurs huge expense and inconsistency in bottom-line. HR has a major role in this and it as a function has to coordinate with Finance, Production, Quality control, Quality assurance etc. It has to be highly vigilant for the changes in the industry because this might affect the intake of the competitors and in turn lead to attrition in ones own company.

All in all, it has always been our privilege at DoMS, IIT Madras to have such eminent corporate personalities to have spoken to us on various topics. This too was one of those enlightening sessions by a successful corporate and we learnt a lot from it.

Hetali Buch
(MBA Batch of 2008)

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