It’s ironical that the PR business in India has high attrition rates – some experts peg the attrition rate as high as 50% in the first year of a PR professional’s working life – some even choosing to leave PR itself.
Not only does India have a young work force that requires training to be industry ready, it is also a group of professionals that is much in demand and fought over if they are any good.
All this makes retaining talent a very tough challenge. PRmoment India spoke to a range of agency professionals to find out what they are doing to keep their talent.
Using social media
PR Pundit makes use of its Instagram account to keep their people engaged. Karishma Gupte, member of PR Pundit’s Management Development Group says, “We are using our social media platforms to recognise and motivate talent. With a communication stance of 'that there is never a dull moment at PR Pundit' and themed around 'BusyAsABee' the platforms help showcase our teams at work and play and is a great source of pride for our team members. These posts have also helped us attract talent, some of whom have even written in to us asking to become a 'Worker Bee'!”
Growth and Training
Pankaj Suri, Head of HR at Edelman India admits that, “The situation is grimmer at entry level where the members are getting into the corporate world for the first time and face situations which they may not have been used to.”
To address that Edelman gives its employees space to find their own specialty and interests. Suri says, “It’s important that companies offer strong, readily identifiable career paths and the learning opportunities for this young talent pool. The first 3-6 months are critical, it’s not a matter of money. More often, employees at entry level leave from lack of respect. A well-defined on boarding plan establishes a “road map” for each new hire, so they will know from day one what to expect over the first days, weeks, or even months on the job and will feel valued and can relax knowing the company has considered their 'need to know'."
Apart from providing a weekly training programme for all its professionals, Amrit Ahuja, CSD & APAC lead tech practice, 20:20 MSL says that, “It’s important to map a clear career path for them and give them opportunities to go work in international markets. As they are all looking at multicultural exposure. We have a program called Asia mobility experience under which they can apply and go work for a short term or long term stay.”
Work Life Balance
Ultimately as Suri points out Gen Y wants to feel respected and cared for. To inculcate work-life balance, Ahuja says that at 20:20 MSL, “We devise programmes around different initiatives like a #GetFitChallenge programmme as part of which all offices take on a fitness challenge and eat healthy or take on a fitness task. Employees are encouraged to upload pics and tweet about the initiative. The winner of this challenge (weight loss or healthier habits) gets rewarded."
20:20 MSL Team working out at Marina Beach, Chennai as part of the #GetFitChallenge