“‘Nothing’ is very important to me For it is from there I have started my journey.” — J M Sampath

Retention and Belongingness Survey

Introduction

Attrition has been the largest looming issue in most companies across the world.  While for the employee mobility at a global level is providing wider range of opportunities for them, from the organization point of view it is proving to be a nightmare.  It is not only to do with mobility, but also the implications of the same for the organization, in terms of re-deploying/ re-employing resources.
 
The employees who work in organizations are different in the current Information era. Most organizations employ the ‘Knowledge Workers’ (a word coined by Peter Drucker in his book “Landmarks of Tomorrow”).  With increasing use of technology in the jobs, investment in training the knowledge workers is higher.  Therefore unlike the skilled employee of the yester years manufacturing set up, when knowledge workers leave the organization, the knowledge, training given, insights earned and the expertise built goes out along with them.  Further is the added cost of re-deployment.  However, as Joe.L.Griffith says “The only companies that grow are those that expect their people to grow and spend time, money and understanding to help them do it”. The Organizations too cannot stop their investment in people or have any say in the speed of mobility at global level.  
 
The desperate attempts of the HR departments to tackle attrition has been in the lines of 

  1. Bettering, modifying the hiring practices
  2. Better mentoring and handling of new recruits
  3. Proper communication strategies during induction
  4. Deliberate and systematized training strategies
  5. Career plans communication
  6. Newer kinds of perks, rewards and recognition
  7. Creative benefit plans related to quality of life
  8. Never ending better and better performance related compensation plans.

Yet …the issue continues to remain in organizations. The strategies have been developed as solution strategies rather than changing the paradigm from which attrition can be approached.  That can be possible from taking a complete re-look at the context and understanding the knowledge worker better.

Extensive research in understanding knowledge worker brings forth the truth that their need to connect and evolve continuously stands as a prime factor.  The feeling of belongingness is a state of being in which one experiences value for oneself, being cared for with a space to express the same and continually evolve fulfilling the purpose of existence and beyond.  The need to belong is innate and perennial in its existence.  However, it needs constant stimulation and sense of fulfillment to meet the expectations of the need to evolve.  Through research, we have identified nine factors that organizations need to continually excel to enable the feeling of belongingness to be at its optimum.  

They are: -

  1. Clarity on Organizational Vision
  2. Professionalism in functioning
  3. Rewards
  4. Alignment of individual and organizational values
  5. Sense of Ownership
  6. Exploration and development of potential
  7. Material comforts
  8. Emotional satisfaction
  9. Value for contribution

These nine factors contribute in not only enhancing the organizational climate but also in enabling a sense of identification, commitment and well being in the knowledge workers.  Organizations being virtual in its existence in this current context, the human capital is only factor that is alive and real.  Therefore, any enhancement in their well being directly contributes to the growth of the organization.  Fulfillment at the core level and ongoing evolution keeps the employee satisfied at a deeper level and decreases the need to move and therefore attrition.

Process:

We propose a phased intervention strategy to handle the issue of attrition.

Step 1:
Survey of the extent of feeling of Belongingness within the organization
Step 2:
Analysis of the survey findings. Evolving and presenting the intervention strategies to enable development of weak areas amongst the factors identified through survey.
Step 3:
Undertaking the interventions within a specified period of time. The customized interventions would be designed based on the inter-dynamics between the factors affection Belongingness
Step 4:
Review and Re-evaluation of the status of attrition and organizational culture after specified period of time based on the interventions undertaken with further development plans.

The measurement tool used for the Survey:

Belongingness Inventory (BI) developed in 2000 is an instrument measuring nine factors through simple 54 questions. The Reliability scores are as given below - 

Sl. No. Tests Used Reliability Index
1. Correlation between forms 0.9589
2. Equal - length Spearman- Brown 0.9790
3. Unequal - length Spearman- Brown 0.9790
4. Guttman Split-half 0.9719
5. Alpha - part 1 0.9310
6. Alpha - part 2 0.9409

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