Shield your company from nasty surprises

by 15 Sep 2009

HR should guard their company from any surprises from departing staff by getting close to employees and truly understanding their motivations, ac cording to Diageo’s HR solutions manager, Angela Hawthorn.

Whether staff are going to leave or not when the economy picks up should be the main con cern, she said, but HR should be prepared for when it happens. She said HR should be ad dressing potential turnover risks now.

“If an employee wants to leave an organ isation, the worst mistake a company could make is to be left standing in the cold and completely surprised by what has happened,” said Hawthorn.

Hawthorn believes that if HR stays close to employees and can weigh up how the or ganisation is doing in terms of employees’ true motivations, it shouldn’t be a surprise when an employee decides to leave.

“When it does happen, be really clear about understanding why they’re leaving and if there is anything you could be doing … to retain them – if that’s what you want to be doing,” she said.

Diageo’s turnover in Australia has fallen from about 18 per cent to 11 per cent in the past year and internal career mobility has in creased by 20 per cent. This, she said, has been largely due to getting to understand em ployees’ motivations and understanding why they are leaving.

“Learning from feedback is a strong part of our culture,” said Hawthorn. “We teamed up with Exit Info and the exit data allowed us to hone into the key triggers about our com pany, managers, roles, and environment that we can improve to hold onto top performers,” said Hawthorn.


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