5 H of Employee Retention Plan to Win Tough Times

5 H of Employee Retention Plan to Win Tough Times
Employee happiness is not only about retention but also impacts your business. Research from social market foundations has shown that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees.

While the world is staring at recession, India’s growth story continues to shine. According to a recent survey by Bloomberg, the probability of India slipping into recession is zero. Most forecasts including the recent one from IMF have predicted India’s GDP growth for FY 23 to be more than 7%. As the world stares at recession, the growth rate might move northwards.

However, as a country, we are currently in thick of great resignation. It started with IT and soon became a reality for all industries.  A recent Economic Times report indicated that banking sector attrition is hovering between 30 to 50% with highest being 76% for a microfinance institution in junior roles.

According to a Michael page report in Jul’22, 86% of employees have plans to resign in the next six months in India. A talent shortage, demand sully gap coupled with geopolitical uncertainty, and fear of recession have ensured that CHROs and other leaders continue to be on their toes and have talent retention as their priority.

According to me, for a delightful employee experience, each touch point counts and must be worked upon. It’s not only career pathing, development opportunities, compensation, reward, etc. that count but it is also the day-to-day experience that employee has with manager and the team that decides success of the retention plan.  Here are my 5Hs for people retention.

Hi-Tech Experience

An employee at organization X is customer at organization Y. The speed with which companies have evolved digitally to provide an excellent customer experience has made people expect a similar experience in every walk of life including workplaces. COVID 19 pandemic only exacerbated the pace of change. 

And that is why a hi-tech experience is now only a hygiene factor and is a given when it comes to employee retention. Deploying technology in HR operations also frees up bright minds to focus on strategy and business partnering

Holistic Wellness

In today’s uncertain times, importance of holistic wellness is profound not only for retention but also for business. During peak COVID times, we realised how poor health can potentially derail even the best BCPs and it is not only physical health but all 8 dimensions of wellness namely physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, environmental, spiritual, and intellectual. All people policies need to revolve around all dimensions


When heart and mind are not in sync dissonance happens, and likewise when team is not in consonance resignation happens hence a great connect with team is extremely important. Understating people beyond their work helps here.

A manager should create a culture where collaboration wins over competition and people are not pitted against each other. Understating each one’s strengths, behavioural preferences, and areas of improvement will help create a cohesive team. Not to forget that the team that eats, laughs, plays together, remains together.


Employee happiness is not only about retention but also impacts your business. Research from social market foundations has shown that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. While the definition of happiness changes from person to person, feeling valued and respected by the team definitely makes one happy at the workplace.

I have observed that empowerment leads to sense of achievement and fulfilment and that brings happiness. Besides, challenging work, fairness, and timely support also play a very important role in employee happiness. All of us are juggling multiple responsibilities today and the pandemic taught us that flexibility helps improve productivity.

Recognition is a primary human need and today there are many platforms to have high decibel recognition. Recognizing great work and additional effort makes one feel valued and respected. Also, flexibility helps employees create that work-life balance and have a well-balanced life experience where work and life are not either or but they complete each other. Finally, ask them as they understand the situation better and it’s time to bring personalized solutions


One silver lining of the pandemic is that the world has become a more empathetic place and as the whole world suffered together, we now feel each other’s pains better. While machines have been very quick in learning, it will take a very long time for them to learn emotional intelligence, creative problem-solving, coaching, etc. These are skills where we have an edge over machines but when we let H of human die, we degrade ourselves and humanity loses.

Managers should act as a shield against internal and external challenges in the organization. They should act as a buffer and absorb the shocks and keep the team spirit intact. In a worst-case scenario, managers themselves become a threat to the team, and team is left straggling both within and outside. Self-awareness is the key for managers.

In a human work environment, people can express their ideas, fears, concerns, and emotions without any threat and they always have psychological safety. 5 Hs are key to building workplaces where people love to stay. The best time to start prioritizing employee retention was years ago and the second, best is now. Act up before it’s too late!



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