How many organisations can proudly say, ‘Our average employee tenure is 17 years’? Hardly any. Of course, there are the rare brands such as Unilever and P&G that have employees who end up staying with them for life, unless poached by competition. However, generally, very few companies in the world can boast of such an achievement.
Talking to HRKatha, Manoj Sharma, president & CHRO, RSWM (Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills), proudly shares, “Our average employee tenure at LNJ is 17 years for white-collared employees”. Astounding!
Similarly, people who join the Company at its plants as engineers also manage to stay on and complete long tenures.
When we talk about attrition in India, it is at an all-time high across sectors. While some sectors have been impacted less, others have undergone a major churn. For instance, in the IT sector, most companies are facing the challenge of high attrition.
The average attrition rate in an IT firm easily stands at 18 to 20 per cent. The Great Resignation wave has impacted the manufacturing sector too. Many HR leaders have confirmed to HRKatha in the past that they have witnessed a three to four per cent rise in attrition. Employees are just grabbing the opportunities that come their way to try something new in life.
What does LNJ Bhilwara Group do to create a culture that makes their employees stick around for so long?
Sharma admits that the Company does not really do anything special or out of the ordinary to make this happen. “The philosophy of our management leadership team is very simple. If we take care of our employees, they will take care of the business,” declares Sharma.
It is all about the Company’s caring culture and concern for its employees, which ensures they enjoy a satisfactory career trajectory along with fair remuneration.
What ensures high retention rate at LNJ Bhilwara?
We are witnessing many startups resorting to massive layoffs. In India alone, over 8000 employees have lost their jobs as per media reports. However, at LNJ, which employs more than 20,000 people, the workforce feels secure.
Job security – Sharma is quick to reveal that never in the history of LNJ, ever since its inception, has there been a mass layoff. Even during the lockdown, when other companies were downsizing and letting go people in thousands, LNJ did not ask a single employee to leave.
“We did impose a nominal pay cut, but salaries were restored to pre-pandemic levels as soon as things returned to normal,” asserts Sharma.
In fact, LNJ Bhilwara did everything possible to take care of its people during the crisis. Such an attitude ensures loyalty and goes a long way in motivating the employees to stay on with the Company longer.
“The philosophy of our management leadership team is very simple. If we take care of our employees, they will take care of the business”
Manoj Sharma, president & CHRO, RSWM
Career path: The Company usually hires about 50 engineering graduates every year, from various textile colleges in and around Rajasthan. In fact, a look at the track record of the leaders at the plants reveals that the COOs at five of the ten factories, are all home-grown leaders who started off as engineering graduates at LNJ Bhilwara Group.
“We do not believe in hiring people from outside for leadership roles. Whenever there is an opportunity, the internal talent is given the primary preference,’ admits Sharma. All the engineering graduates are first trained for a year and when they fully understand the business, they are deployed as assistant managers.
Within three years in the job, the high potentials are identified basis their performance and are put into fast-track career mode and given promotions.
“We also put the high potentials through psychometric tests from time to time,” shares Sharma. By doing so, the Company checks their decision-making abilities and leadership qualities.
Remuneration: Employees are offered relatively competitive salaries, which are always paid on time. “Every month, the salary comes on time and the compensation system is fair, which motivates our employees to stay on with us,” asserts Sharma.
Care for employees’ families: Engaging with the families of employees
has been a trademark for every Indian home-grown company. LNJ Bhilwara
Group is no different. All sorts of financial benefits are extended to the families of the
employees as well. Interestingly, Sharma reveals that from the very beginning, there has been a culture of the upcoming generation of employees ending up as part of the workforce.
“We encourage the practice of giving employment to the family members of our employees. Therefore, there are numerous cases of fathers and their sons working together in the Company,” reveals Sharma.
Sometimes, one does not really need to do something extraordinary to boost retention. A little caring is all that is needed.