Banking News

learning opportunities: Banking & financial companies go all out to retain staff

High attrition and increased competition for hiring talent are prompting companies in India’s banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector to line up a host of incentives, promotions and career progression plans to retain manpower, the frequent loss of which is posing a major challenge, said industry executives.

The likes of Axis Bank, Motilal Oswal Financial Services and IIFL Finance are rolling out measures such as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) across the ranks, including the frontline workforce, internal career switch opportunities with promotions and salary increase, quarterly incentives, learning and upskilling opportunities, and festival bonuses, with an aim to create more career growth and earning opportunities at a time when poaching has become rampant.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services has launched a new policy which focuses on aggressive and structured push for professional growth of employees with cross-functional role changes along with promotions. In this financial year, the company has planned about 600 such role movements or promotions as a retention tool, group chief human resources officer Niren Srivastava told ET. Last year, the company promoted about 800 people.

That apart, in roles such as technology, the company provides flexible work options. It also has aggressive variable pay plans, quarterly incentives and Esops for key senior employees.

“Our new employee value proposition focuses on personal and professional growth of employees, creates more learning opportunities and encourages more ownership and accountability,” said Srivastava. “Our attrition is much lower than the industry average, but we want to focus on retaining our existing talent by creating more opportunities.”

Average annual attrition in the BFSI industry is around 30-35%. One of the major challenges the industry is facing is attrition in frontline roles such as credit card sales, agriculture loan sales and housing loan sales.

“The annual attrition in frontline roles could be as high as 120% where the entire workforce is getting churned on a rolling 12-month basis,” said Kartik Narayan, CEO, Staffing, TeamLease Services.

Lower frontline wages compared to other industry sectors such as consumer durables, electronics and consumer goods, poaching and lack of on-job training opportunities are some of the major reasons that many switch jobs even in less than a month, said Narayan.

Axis Bank has built an internal talent marketplace to enable cross-functional movements. Employees can look for jobs internally in a confidential manner, without having to disclose to their managers, who in turn are encouraged to groom new people. Employees don’t have to wait for the annual appraisal cycle to make the jump and are given the needed promotion as well as compensation correction, said the head of HR Rajkamal Vempati.

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