Staff Retention Within Draper Company

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 55
Words: 13794
Reading time:
50 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Abstract

Retaining good workers is not as simple as it used to be. Companies require to be on top when it comes to keeping them, as well as inspiring them. Staff retention is simple to realize, but at the same time it can be complex to attain. Knowing what workers wish and need is a step in the right course. There are five key causes that people tend to leave their companies. Knowing these causes is essential to help in stopping others from leaving. Once the troubles are identified, companies are required to adopt some tactics that can be used to augment retention. A significant point about worker retention is that executives must acknowledge and take that they are responsible for managing the factors within their regulation to help retain their most estimated workers.

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Recent skill scarcities in the job candidate market have emphasized the significance of retaining existing skilled and educated staff. Replacing staff can be complex and costly, but moreover, a company’s reputation is also endangered. Constant turnover offers instability, poor organization and a lack of good regulation.

Inspite of why an employee leaves, more often than not, the worker walks away with a bitter taste and the probability of repeating these feelings to future workers and their personal network. Losing talented employees can injure company’s reputation for years.

Vacant jobs increase workloads for other employees – often outside their jobs, reasoning a sense of unsteadiness and frustration resulting in work accumulations and slow output. Employees may lose faith in the organization when they see their co-workers leaving with consequences negatively impacting work extents and output.

Time and promise are the key costs. The time / energy spent to start a retention approach. Staff approval is built on deferential communication and personal gratitude. Money should be paid out for recruiting and employing the best new workers. Build the quality of the staff by investing in training sittings, workshops, or continuing teaching courses. A great lots of training capabilities are free or have a low cost to contributors. spending in training lets staff know one values them and their payment to the company’s target.

The paper is aimed to study the matters of staff retention within the Draper Company by the means of surveys and interviews. Most information is published in the specialized periodic, and the graphs are composed on the basis of the found and obtained information to confirm the findings, and improve the study level of retention means as well as the reasons of high turnover.

Introduction

Employee Retention entails taking means to inspire employees to stay in the organization for the maximum period of time. Draper co is facing a lot of troubles in employee retention currently. Hiring educated people for the job is indispensable for a worker. But retention is even more significant than hiring. There is no dearth of capabilities for a talented individual. There are lots of organizations which are searching for such workers. If a person is not satisfied by the job one is performing, he may swap over to some other more appropriate job.

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In today’s surroundings it becomes rather significant for company to retain their workers. The top associations are on the top as they value their workers and they know how to keep them glued to the company. Workers stay and leave organizations for some causes. The motive may be individual; or professional. These reasons should be realized by the worker and should be regarded by a manager. The organizations are turning to be aware of these reasons and accepting lots of strategies for staff retention.

Many, if not most, companies agree that searching, employing and keeping skilled workers is one of the most essential matters they challenge. Over the years, much concentration – although possibly not sufficient – has been offered to the development of recruitment and hiring methods, while little has been stated about the evenly thorny matter of how to preserve a new worker until and further than the time that he or she turns to be productive.

Actually, preparation for workers who already are in place has been the matter of numerous works in Wood Digest. However, in the regard of some specialists, training alone will not do the deception. (Benner, 2001)

Encouraging the requirement for speed is the gratitude, as classified in “Onboarding Benchmark Report” prepared by Boston-based Aberdeen Group., that 90 percent of all new workers make a decision whether to stay or leave a new job during the first six months.

In accordance with Aberdeen Group’s Madeline Tarquinio, research expert, human capital administration, creator of the research, there are three key components of onboarding: forms organization, tasks management and socialization.

Furcon classified five central roles that must be filled by corporations aiming for an efficient onboarding experience: talent explore, screener, selector, coach and mentor. The first three, he stated, are usually executed by those entailed with recruiting and employing; the latter three are generally the accountability of those who will be overseeing and / or working beside the new worker.

The advisor further urged the spectators to make clear that onboarding socialization is not something left to chance, but is made an clear part of labor arrangement, complete with follow-through and quantity of presentation.

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Ideally, “onboarding should start before the new employ’s first day on the job. One can only make a first impression once,” and for that cause, it is wise to make a bit of prep work before the employee’s potentially stressful first working day.

What can be achieved in the transition time between hiring and beginning the job? Furcon offered that necessary shapes can be filled out, any necessitated testing can be taken care of, and material can be offered to the new individual outlining the company’s account and culture, as well as its regulations, advantages and prerogatives. (Broadbridge, 2000)

Meanwhile, management should confirm that when the new worker walks through the door, one has a clean, well-outfitted workplace, and that people have been selected – and a schedule stated – to instruct him or her into the company.

This list should expand, Furcon added, “long sufficient to have the wished effect and short sufficient not to obstruct with efficiency at the corporation.” To help in attaining this delicate equilibrium, he called for timed assessments of how much progress is achieved.

“There should be a casual regard at the termination of the initial direction,” he stated, “a more official regard when 10 percent of time-to-capability has been attained, a 360 review at 50 percent of time-to-competence, and an official performance assessment at the 100 percent mark.” Tackling a white-collar replica, estimated that it generally entails a middle manager about six months to attain competence.

Furcon also stated out the requirement to handle various age groups with various techniques. He highlighted, “Baby boomers still in the personnel tend to regard themselves as being responsible. Those in Generation X, born between 1960 and 1980, seek suppleness in work understandings so that they may attain a balance among work and ‘life.’ And those in the ‘Next’ generation, or Generation Y, born after 1980, are featured by a wish for fast decision-making, stimulating work, incessant feedback, team direction with great reliance on internal and external maintenance networks, and they are clued-up about technology.” (Business, 2001)

Colella provided instances of social network mapping that can help organization recognize the key people in an association, those that are attractions for other workers’ matters. By requesting all employees who they would turn to first for replies to different matters, it is probable, stated Colella, to classify those personalities who have the most clout in impacting fellow workers.

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Therefore, computer-aided mapping of an company’s interactive trails often leads to essential corrective action.

Platz, whose company expands systems-familiarized, technology-grounded explanations for employee management requirements, explained RedCarpet, a trademarked onboarding “tool that simplifies new employment into your organization.”

Here is an instance of how the RedCarpet “treatment” might be used: A new worker is provided with a login and password, permitting access to a protected portal that is totally tailored to the particular situation. By the means of this portal, the company can offer a myriad of data that will help novices become adapted to the corporate culture and processes so their first few weeks of work will be as victorious as probable.

Background

Draper Co. Ltd. Founded in 1987 is a sweater manufacturing company that employs more than 100 people in Hong Kong. Since garment industries have bloomed in recent years, the role for merchandising people has become more difficult and the manpower is short in the labor market. Draper is facing the problem of high staff turnover rate. Hong Kong in addition, opened a mainland market and this has encouraged many foreign countries to set up their merchandising sections in Hong Kong. a number of enterprises have also invited Hong Kong garment companies to compete with their expanding business. As a result, the job vacancies of staff increased tremendously. Among the Draper Co. Ltd., garment sections are highest in demand for staff. This is due to the fast industry growth as well as the high employee turnover rate and the lack of talent in the labor market. Turnover prediction and factors that lead to employees’ intention to leave or stay will be the major issue of Draper Co. Ltd. (Denton, 2002)

Research Questions

  • Why staff retention is a complex task in Draper Co.
  • What relationship caused high staff turnover rate
  • Does the management policy affect staff retention

Employee retention is keeping the employees that have already been hired. “When you have hired good people, trained them, built them into high-performing teams, you don’t want to loose them”. Companies today invest so much time in their employees that each time one leaves; it is like they are loosing an investment. It is for this reason that employee retention had become a critical component of workforce stability. Because a company invests in their employees, each time one leaves the productivity declines. The time that is spent on training new employees could be better spent on increasing production and profit.

The research problem, accordingly, will be how to retain talents, and the means of high turnover decrease.

Nevertheless, due to various unpredicted situations including falling ill of one of the respondents who acted as the liaison between the respectful staff, the staff in the end made the decision to withdraw its cooperation, leaving operation of the research between a rock and a hard place. I made a decision to inform the Draper Co. Ltd of the current problems and suggesting a different research method design that would still be in line with the aims of the project and the objectives outlined before the research was initially flagged off. In this respect, a decision was made to advertise across various merchandise outlets to secure individual people working as staff to act as respondents from different retail outlets, thus eliminating the process of approaching company heads or Board of Governors for endorsement to guarantee a speedy and effortless contact with respondents. The Draper Co. Ltd was highly involved in endorsing the submission for change in the research approach.

Research Objective

This study was led by the effort commissioned by the Draper Co. Ltd. The decision was arrived at after the management of the company met with the Board of Governors with the advice of the legal advice wing experts. It was agreed that the consulting knowledge be brought aboard for the purpose of this research. The main goal of identifying predictors of turnover factors, and employee’s intention to leave or stay with the company will be the major issue of Draper Co. Ltd.

The aims of the project were as follows: To examine two sets of potential causes of job turnovers and eventual staff retention mechanisms. First, those that impede the retention of workers in the organization and secondly, those that speeds the exit of the players from the organizations. The next aim was to identify strategies for overcoming these barriers and investigate the feasibility of constructing a national database in order to document the career developments of women in the merchandise industry. It would also develop, publish and disseminate good practice guidelines and recommendations using reports, conference presentations, feedback seminars, academic journals and merchandise specialist and national press.

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Investigate two sets of potential reasons for staff leaving the company: foremost, those that cause the exit of workers and staff and secondly, those that impede the efforts of retaining staff in the Draper Co. Ltd.
  • Identify strategies for overcoming these reasons.
  • Investigate the feasibility of constructing a company database, documenting the career developments of workers in the merchandise industry.
  • Put up a human resource structure to cater for needs of employees
  • Develop an image of the company, which is based entirely upon team cohesion.
  • To give a perception of role models for utilization by young employees to resolve possible work life balance conflicts.
  • Outline sets of solutions, which are applicable to the Draper Co. Ltd.
  • Develop, publish and disseminate good practice guidelines and recommendations for the employee turnover using reports, conference presentations, feedback seminars, academic journals and merchandise specialist and national press.

Research Method

The research method to carry out this research is to use interviews and surveys, based on the data, obtainable through mass media. There are three types of research design; the exploratory research, descriptive research and causal research. Exploratory research is known to be the best suited for situations that have relatively little or nothing known about the study. The essence of this research design is to focus on two main ingredients i.e. listening and discovering, in order to provide a great understanding of a concept (Wong 2005) Not shown in the reference list? and to clarify and define the nature of a problem. These authors also pointed out that exploratory research can be conducted with four approaches which are literature search, experience survey, focus group discussion and in-depth interview. These open-ended, flexible and interactive qualitative approaches help to formulate problems more precisely but not providing accurate statistical information. Descriptive research aims at describing the characteristics of the population under the study such as the behaviors of employees. It is primarily concerned with the gathering of numeric, measurable data and it is recommended when the research purpose is centered on providing accurate, statistically reliable data. Descriptive research is being broken down into both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. Longitudinal studies involve panels and provide measurements at successive points of time of an event. On the other hand, being the most common and familiar, cross-sectional studies describe an event at one particular point of time and it is useful in facilitating comparisons between different population subgroups. Finally, causal research explores and establishes a cause-and-effect relationship, if any, between variables through laboratory and/or field experiments.

Terminologies

  • Merchandising: the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets.
  • Retention: the continued possession, use, or control of something.
  • Welfare: statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need of financial support given for this purpose.
  • Turnover: the rate at which employees leave a workforce and are replaced.
  • Outsourcing: obtaining (goods or a service) by contract from an outside supplier
  • Tokenism: the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from under-represented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce.
  • Organizational perception: A cognitive information process that enables to interpret and understand the working environment.
  • Hypothesized: put (something) forward as a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation
  • Tokens: a person chosen by way of tokenism as a nominal representative of a minority or under-represented group.
  • Mentoring: it is advising or training someone, (especially a younger colleague).
  • Differential treatment: showing, or depending on a difference; differing or varying according to circumstances or relevant factors.
  • Blueprint: a design plan or other technical drawing.

Literature Review

Introduction

The paper is aimed to focus on the current employee turnover and retention issues that currently exist at the Draper Company and analyses the situations that proliferates the turnover of staff. The section then moves on to describe situations that have happened in other companies and studies in relation to the current issue at draper and how best they have been addressed and how well those findings may apply to the problem of staff turnover and job retention of staff at junior and senior levels in the Draper company. Draper has been a huge contributor to the economic industry. It has traditionally been associated with high employment of staff. Overall, 60% of staff employed at Draper company are mediocre employees and 40% are highly skilled in terms of their educational backgrounds. Even though these figures show that the company clearly employs a larger number of low skilled than the high skilled, it is not a balanced figure (Stillmart 2002).

The representation of low skilled workers in the company in the recent statistics however, follows a number of important patterns. These statistics are used to highlight the predominance of staff working part time in the company merchandising wing and the under representation of a section of minorities at the senior levels. In their study, CIPD notes that management issues in relation to human resource management are diverse hence they are unlikely to pin point the dynamics relating to the issues that cause the company to lose the staff that it has recruited through unclear circumstances. It is in this regard that many theories have been offered to account for these disparities, particularly in relation to attempts by employees to work their way into senior management positions. An assessment of diversities that exist is then done and potential mechanisms for ensuring that the company fully utilizes the input from its workforce to maximize productivity are implemented.

Employee turnover and retention dynamics

During redundancy programs everyone gets disturbed, so corporations need to work hard to keep people who are significant to the company’s future – particularly as recent researches show there is still a skills scarcity overall, and IT costs is expected to augment in real terms or at worst stay static over the next 12 months.

Conventionally staff retention was directed by the three Ps: pay, perks and pampering. While a particular amount of staff turnover can be helpful, a high rate of abrasion can have a unenthusiastic business influence if left unchecked. Workers seeking to advance retention should first institute realistic anticipations by researching regional standard data. They can then discover contributing internal features by determining their own turnover speed and gathering qualitative data that may shed light on the underlying motives prompting workers to leave. Having uncovered the full amount of the matters, they can then seek to increase retention be the means a wide range of proposals spanning reward, expansion and work-life equilibrium.

Job Retention and improvement Strategies

It is important that the Draper Company has an understanding of the rates of labor turnover and how they affect the organization’s effectiveness. Considering the size of the business, an assessment of the levels of turnover all across occupations, locations and particular groups of employees in Draper particularly those identified as high performers, may facilitate to aid a comprehensive resourcing strategy. Making sure that newly employed people have realistic expectations of their work and accorded adequate induction training helps minimize the number of people that leave the organization within the first six months of employment for any reason that may be. Using tools such as staff attitude surveys and confidential exit surveys can help management understand why people leave the company, so that action can be taken accordingly. Measurement of the liability to the employer that result from turnover is fundamental in growing the company case for comprehensive and effective recruitment and retention initiatives. These measurement of cost can be a powerful tool for managers and Board-level support for employee management activities in the company.

Employee turnover levels in Draper Co. Ltd

The Recruitment, retention and turnover survey 2007 by the CPID group reported the overall employee turnover rate for the Hong Kong is 18.1% with the average job tenure remaining fairly the same in a span of five years. Turnover levels differ considerably from industry to industry. The highest levels of turnover (22.6%) are found in the merchandising sector. Consecutive surveys of employee turnover in the Draper company show that the highest levels are found in manufacturing department, and among other lower paid company services groups. The company has an average turnover rate of 13.7%. CPID survey shows that turnover levels also vary from company to company. The majority cases of employee turnover are mostly found where unemployment is lowest and where people have no problem to secure desirable alternative employment. According to studies almost a quarter of employees in the company have spent five years in their current employment. As a percentage of cumulative turnovers, the proportion of people leaving organizations through redundancy is still low.

When does turnover of employee become problematic?

There is no particular set level of staff turnover above which creates negative effects on the employing company or that results to damage. Turnover rates depend on the type of labour markets in which you operate. Markets where it is fairly easy to find and train new employees quickly and at comparatively little cost, it is possible to maintain high quality levels of service provision notwithstanding having a high turnover rate. By contrast, areas where skills are relatively limited, and where recruitment is expensive or where it takes a long time to fill a vacancy, turnover is likely to be challenging from a management viewpoint. This is usually arises in situations in which the company is losing workers to competitors or where customers have developed relationships with individual employees as is the case currently in the Draper company.

In other instances, employee turnover positively benefits organizations. This happens when a non-performer is replaced by a more effective employee, and can happen when a senior retirement allows the promotion or acquisition of fresh blood. Medium levels of staff turnover can also help to reduce funds spent on staff in organizations where business levels are unpredictable month after month. In such situations when business is slow it is undemanding to hold off filling recently created vacancies for some weeks.

Measuring employee turnover

According to CIPD survey most organizations simply obtain their turnover rates on a month by month or year by year basis using the formula below:

Total numbers of leavers over exit period x 100

Average total number employed over period.

The total values include workers who exit willingly, and even people who left against their will due to firing, redundancy or even retirement. It also makes no division between functional or positive turnover and that which is non-functional. Basic turnover figures are frequently used by all the major surveys of employee turnover, and therefore they are necessary for purposes useful benchmarking. However, it is also helpful to calculate other figures for voluntary turnover and to consider some of the more complex employee turnover values which take in characteristics such as position and experience. The prevalence of staff turnover when compared with other industries of the economy is particularly evident in the Draper Co. Ltd. This trend is also reflected in other sectors across the Hong Kong, particularly in the service industries. The numbers of staff entering the labor market has dramatically increased over the past thirty years and this rise in numbers has mainly been in by young people with low skill (Cooley and Yovanoff 2002). Because of this influx of young energetic minds quickly induces training for the staff. After gaining much needed experience then leave the industry for more lucrative jobs in other industries. Youthful persons in the Hong Kong are far more likely than middle and old aged persons to work as part-timers. According to the National Office of Statistics, in 2005, 42% of young employees in the Hong Kong worked in the industry compared to just 9% of old people. Interestingly, the number keeps on increasing in the industry whereas companies are reporting a high staff turnover hence posing a big threat to company survival in the highly competitive industry (Demers, 2002).

Problems on the job that always interfered with work
Fig 2.1: Source: Survey by National Employment Institute.

Factors that determine turnover of employees in Draper Co. Ltd.

Why do workers leave Draper Company?

Why do workers leave Draper Company?
Fig 2.2: Source: Survey by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

According to the tables above, employees resign for many different reasons. In most cases it is the attractiveness of a new job or the possibility of a period outside the workers which attracts them, on other instances they are dejected due to displeasure in their current jobs to look for alternative jobs. Sometimes it is a combination of both attraction and dejection and push factors. Some other reasons for leaving are entirely explained by household circumstances outside the control of the company, as is the case when a worker relocates with the spouse or partner. Recent research strongly suggests that some factors that push out employees are a greatly more significant in most cases of resignations than the management of Draper could appreciate. It is rather uncommon for people to vacate jobs in which they are content, even when they have been offered higher pay elsewhere. Most employees prefer stability in their vocations. More so, skill level has also played a bigger part in influencing how long an employee is wiling to stay in a given organization.

Better salaries in other organizations may lead to employees moving from their respective places of work in pursuit for better opportunities. Level of qualification gives workers a broader scale of work opportunities that they willingly take into considerations. It is important to understand that the reasons workers give for their resignations are frequently fallacious or partially true. The use of exit interviews is common and yet they do not work in most occasions, particularly when conducted by an individual who may at some point be asked to write a reference for the leaving employee. The reason is they are reluctant to criticize their managers, colleagues or the organization generally, preferring to give some less contentious reason for their departure. CIPD research shows the importance of junior managers in the company and how their behavior relates directly to engaging an employee, job satisfaction, advocacy and performance. Poor relationship of an employee with a line manager can be the motivation factor behind an individual’s decision to resign from their job and leave their organization, but its implication can be shrouded as a result of the challenges associated with exit interviews like mentioned above. The lack of proper training and improvement opportunities is also seen as a major reason for voluntary turnover.

Premature departure of employees

It has been observed in the recent past that a great deal of employee turnover consists of staff facing resignation or dismissal in the first few months of employment. In cases where workers stay for a year or more, the decision to leave at one stage or the other is in effect taken in the initial period of employment. Inefficient recruitment and selection decisions, both on the part of the company and the workers, are usually to blame, along with poorly and non-existent orientation programs. There are always high expectations during the recruitment process, which lead to competition for and subsequently to acceptance of jobs which they are in truth not suited. It is the company practice to do this to ensure that available vacancies are filled with sufficient figures of highly-qualified applicants as quickly as possible. However, the practice is counter-productive in long-term periods as it leads to costly, avoidable turnover and the development of a bad reputation for the company in local labor markets. (Harris, 2005)

Role of gender in employee turnover

The draper company has customarily been associated with the employment of diverse people of different background. Overall, 55% of the employees are women and 45% are men. This gender factor in the Draper Co. Ltd. remains fairly consistent throughout the department and this profile has been fairly consistent over the last 10 years. It is important to note however, that the representation of retention efforts in the Draper Co. Ltd. follows a number of important patterns discussed in the subsequent sections. Firstly the prevalence of staff turnover in the Draper Co. Ltd. will be discussed. Secondly, evidence will be presented to show the under representation of employee needs at senior levels within the Draper Co. Ltd.

Figure below shows full time and part time employment in Draper Co. Ltd.

 full time and part time employment in Draper Co. Ltd.
Fig 2.3: Source: Survey by National Employment Institute.

The level of education and its effect on recruitment and retention

Traditionally, the predominance of staff turnover is largely attributed to the level of education and other academic qualifications (e.g. those with degrees go for more lucrative jobs in other lucrative industries vacating there positions) traditionally occupied by them which limits the productivity of the company (Tracy, Neil 2004). When addressing the Draper Co. Ltd. specifically, Tracy (2004) comments that it is the very nature of the Draper Co. Ltd. that contributes to the high proportion of turnovers. In the Draper Co. Ltd., recruitment is largely secured from the local labor market. These are all factors that lead to the reduction of morale and interest in the jobs within any organizational industry, and specifically the Draper Co. Ltd. In addition, he further suggests that due to these delimiting factors in the industry and the continuous fluctuation of workforce in particular, potential merchandising companies are provided with an available pool of labor that accepts inferior terms and conditions of employment, as staff attempt to resolve their need to educate and retain their staff. Official statistics show that there is a higher proportion of college educated individuals in managerial and senior occupations in the Draper Co. Ltd. than in comparison to the economy as a whole. It is important however that the representation of staff; male and female, skilled and unskilled be equal throughout the industry. Furthermore, low skilled staff tends to predominate in certain types of management positions including personnel, which are roles traditionally associated with low skilled persons.

The level of education and its effect on recruitment and retention
Fig 2.4: Source: Survey by Nation Media Group Ltd.

Reliance on Paid Staff

The percentage of an organization’s workforce that is comprised of paid staff (As opposed to volunteers), the more dependent on paid staff the organization can be said to be. The more reliant an organization is on paid staff, the more likely it is to report difficulties employing and retaining staff. He continues that this relationship is particularly strong for staff recruitment. For example, among organizations in which paid staff makes up one-third or less of the workforce, 15% said that staff recruitment is a problem for them and 19% said that staff retention is a problem. Nevertheless, among organizations in which paid staff comprises two thirds or more of the workforce, 54% said that staff recruitment is a problem and 20% said that staff retention is a problem (Stillmart 2002) not shown in the reference list.

Reliance on Paid Staff
Fig 2.5 Source: Survey by Nation Media Group Ltd.

Barriers to employee promotion in the Draper Co. Ltd.

The following sections have highlighted contemporary theories offered by researchers to account for the disparity of staff in senior positions. The section that follows seeks to addresses practical research straight with the consideration of the under representation of staff in senior positions in the Draper Co. Ltd. Generally there is a slow implementation in recent efforts addressing the plight of fresh high school graduates, as well as the minority persons who have high qualifications. In addition, the lack of adequate responsibilities and flexible time together with the long anti-social hours of work was highlighted as a barrier (Brockbank, Airey, 1998). In a more recent study conducted by Benner (2001), similar issues were raised as those of the above research. The study also shed some light on why there are few very senior women in management in the Draper Company. The reason is that women have a responsibility to their personal lives which is equally important as the opportunities they have in their careers. It is also apparent that men are very up and close with their work and use masculinity to move themselves forward.

A further explanation for the lack of female senior executives offered by the author is that many female boards of directors are from human resources or communications department, which are not traditionally breeding grounds for future leadership roles. Although not specifically focused on the Draper Co. Ltd. Harris (2005) reflects these findings and states that successful low educated people and other minority groups are ‘off ramping’; the term they use for the fact that this group is leaving the Draper company in greater numbers than men. Of a particular concern is that when these groups choose to leave the company for whatever reasons, none of them stated they are willing return to the Draper Company during the exit interviews. Sieling et al. (2004) call for the reorganization of how work is conducted and an end to the lack of flexibility due to the service focused nature of work to counteract this loss of talent. It is important to note that often there is no shortage of goodwill towards the provision of equal opportunities for staff. Brockbank and Airey (1998) in their survey of 42 mixed merchandising employees, using a postal interviews and personal interviews from 16 some companies attributed this to be the case but despite this, they again found that working conditions in the company, the absence of senior role models and the problem of balancing family and career remained problematic for many especially female staff are highly considered in relation to turnover statistics. Further research indicates that occupational separation comes about even when variables between all the levels of employees are considered equal within the organization. Sumsion (2002) looked at task segregation among male and female employees in American supermarkets.

The male and female employees in the supermarkets under review had identical job descriptions, the same pay, formal promotion opportunities and fringe benefits. Yet, the staff reported a very different experience and quality of working life compared with their male counterparts. According to them, this was largely due to line managers who allocated different tasks and responsibilities to different genders of employees. This led the concerned workers in the study to experience frustration as they were fully aware of their differential treatment by the company management as was the case in Draper Co Ltd. Stigmatization is very wide spread in the organizations. Gender discrimination is widespread as well. However, the use of policies and directives by the company have not gone a long way to solving these problems. Until now these issues still exists in the precincts of the industry today. Studies show that the supervising authorities are playing a huge part in perpetuating these vices up to now in the organization. The segregated nature of the workforce in the case study outlets was perpetuated by the personal attitudes and stereotypes of store level managers. These perceptions often undermined organizational equal opportunities policy across all three case study sites and were prevalent across all three organizations. Although this section and the study in general is focused on the social structure and how it influences job retention in merchandising, other minority groups also face significant problems. In his study of lower cadre staff workers in the Draper Co. Ltd.

Diversity management

‘Equal opportunities’ is the term that is to be predominantly used in the company to describe their approach to managing difference, discrimination and disadvantage. These policies tend to advocate for treating everybody the same. More recent academic debate has moved towards the concept of managing diversity based on the premise that people are not the same and that difference should be recognized and celebrated. Variety consequently consists of observable and invisible factors, which include personal characteristics such as sex, race, age, background, culture, disability, personality and work-style. According to Davidson and Burke (2001) Managing Diversity initiatives seek to fully develop the potential of each employee and turn the different skills that each employee brings into a business to an advantage of the company.

Having a diverse workforce not only enables the company to understand and meet customer demand better, but also helps attract investors and clients, as well as reduce the costs associated with discrimination’. Advocates of diversity management highlight that good diversity management leads to increased profitability and this business case for managing diversity is gaining credibility. A survey of HR professionals conducted by FTHRM and Fortune Magazine reported that the majority believed that their diversity initiatives had improved the organization’s culture, employee recruitment, relations with clients, creativity and productivity. Valuing diversity within organizations however, still has progress to make. Research in the Draper Co. Ltd. has also highlighted differences in the interpretation of the management of diversity among line managers which leads to disparities in its implementation. In their qualitative research in a large long-established British merchandising company, Harris (2005) found that the concept of managing diversity was unclear among line managers both in terms of what it is and how it should be implemented. The researchers call for more diversity training to increase understanding and improve the quality of implementing diversity initiatives in organizations.

Staff recruitment and retention at Draper Co. Ltd

Improving employee retention at Draper

The initial two steps to take when developing an employee retention strategy for the company is to find out why employees in hard to recruit groups are departing and what employee turnover among these groups is costing your organization.

Improving employee retention at Draper
Fig 2.6: Source: Survey by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Table 1: Methods used to attract applicants, by industry sector (%).

Method (strategy) Figures (no. of respondents)
Recruitment agencies 73
Own corporate website 75
Local newspaper advertisements 75
Specialist journals/ trade press 61
Employee referral scheme 47
Encouraging speculative applications/word of mouth 44
Jobcentre Plus 43
National newspaper advertisements 42
Links with schools/ colleges/universities 32
Search consultants 29
Secondments N/A
Commercial job boards 21
Apprentices N/A
Physical posters/ billboards/vehicles 11
Radio or TV advertisements 6
Others 10

Obtaining precise information on reasons why employees leave more is difficult. In situations where exit interviews are used it is best to conduct them a short period after the employees hand in their notice. There should be an assurance for discretion and the purpose of the interview should be elaborate. Other approaches entail the use of private attitude surveys which comprise of questions about the intention to resign and questionnaires sent to departed employees on a confidential basis within a period six months after their departure. Eventually a costing retention strategy can be developed focusing on particular causes of turnover in the Draper Company. It is important to consider the following aspects, all of which have been depicted to play a constructive role in improving retention efforts in the company: Offer potential employees a realistic employment preview at the recruitment stage. Be careful not to raise expectations only to dismiss them later. The company may also invite job applicants to work a few shifts on the job before they commit themselves. Line managers should be held accountable for staff turnover in their departments. Those managers whose record at keeping people is good should be rewarded by including the subject in appraisals.

Line managers should also be highly trained in effective supervision before offering them appointments or promotions. Recommend re-training opportunities to the existing managers who posses a poor record at keeping their workers. The company may also maximize opportunities for individual employees to build up their skills and advance in their careers. In situations where promotions are not possible, involve sideways strategies that vary skills and make the work more fascinating. In addition to this, ensure where possible that employees have a say in matters concerning the company through consultative bodies, regular evaluations, attitude examinations and complaint systems. This ensures that disgruntled employees have every opportunity to address problems before considering resignation. If there is no chance to voice frustration, resigning becomes the only option. Wherever possible the company should provide accommodation for individual preferences on hours work. There should be flexibility as possible in the allocation of shifts. If employees feel that they are forced to work hours that do not suit their conjugal responsibilities they will consistently be looking for an alternative job which can present such hours. The company policy should avoid the proliferation of a culture of ‘presenteeism’ where people feel an obligation to work longer hours than it is necessary simply to make an impression on the management.

Assessment of employees commitment to work should be based on output achieved and not on hours worked. The company should guarantee absolute job security in the place of work and equally across the board. Workers who are made to feel that their jobs are insecure may put a large amount of effort in to impress, but at the same time they are also likely to be looking out for more secure employment. The job security and stability at the work place are the most valued issues by most employees. Managers should always bend over backwards to make sure that they are never seen to discriminate against other employees on any unreasonable grounds. A perception of inequality and bias, whatever the reality when seen from a management perspective, is a key foundation for voluntary resignations. It can be observed that while the overall amount of salary is not likely to be of a big issue unless it is far below the market rate, alleged unfairness in the allotment of rewards is very likely to lead to resignations. The company should defend itself from penetration by headhunters and others seeking to poach the company employees. The internal e-mail addresses should be kept confidential, telephone receptionists should be trained to identify calls from agents and to refrain giving them useful information, the company should refuse to do business with other firms who have poached staff, and enter into agreements with other employers not to poach employees from one another.

Measuring employee retention

A survey by CIPD in 2007 shows use of stability index to indicate the retention rate of experienced workers in the company. This can be used the company as a whole or for a particular part of it just like in turnover rates. The usual calculation for obtaining the stability index is:

Number of workers leaving the company with more than one year’s service x 100.

Total number of staff in post one year ago Costing employee turnover

It is possible to calculate a minimum figure extremely easily by working out the costs of replacing a person who is leaving with a new beginner in each of the major employment categories. This value can then be multiplied by the crude turnover rate for that staff group to calculate the total annual cost of turnover. The major groups of costs to be taken account of include – administration of the resignation, recruitment costs, selection costs, cost of covering during the period in which there is a vacancy, administration of the recruitment and selection process and induction training for the new employees.

Additional complex advances to turnover costing provide a more accurate and invariably higher estimation of total costs. An extensively cited method involves estimating the relative productivity of newly employed workers during their initial working periods in a role and that of resigned persons during the period that they are serving their notice.

It is observed that less than 3% of respondents to the CIPD survey were capable of providing estimate relating to the costs of work turnover.

The Culture of Employee Mentoring

Enhancement in a career helps vastly in moving on the growth of an individual’s success in the merchandising firms thus mentoring comes in handy in ensuring this concept is realized. The landscape of today’s business environment is rapidly changing. Success in careers requires learning and adaptability in individuals and some concepts that are obtained from use of mentors in improving welfare of their organization (Cooley and Yovanoff, 2002). Therefore mentoring comes in as a fundamental backbone in advancement of careers of workers (Davidson and Burke 2001). In their study of 461 top-ranking, executives in Fortune 1000 companies, Ragins (2002) revealed that all the executives surveyed reported having a mentor during the course of their careers and the vast majority (81 per cent) regarded their mentor(s) as a critical or fairly important factor in their career success. In noticing that the effect of alienation and stigmatization that result to the effect of glass ceiling, it’s in the opinion of researchers to use mentoring. This has led to Ragins (2002) claim that mentoring may be the ‘ice pick’ for breaking through the ‘glass ceiling.’ Research has however highlighted that people are likely to encounter barriers when acquiring mentors. This may be due to the under representation of senior staff for aspiring junior staff to who inspire their juniors. Junior staff may get a sense of betrayal if their colleagues used senior personalities as mentors in the organization. For these reasons, formal mentoring relationships may be particularly useful when addressing issues of diversity. It is also important to note that mentoring is a reciprocal relationship and that mentors can learn a lot from their mentees, particularly in relation to career barriers (Woolnough, Davidson and Fielden 2004).

The Factor of Role Models in the Organization

It is very important for youthful and young staff in terms of experience to have role models in their career for them to be successful. Role models are individuals whose behaviors, styles and attributes are attractive to others are therefore emulated. Sttanger, Roffey and Ncinnes (2004) state that unlike mentors who are in some form of relationship with junior members of staff due to the nature of that particular developmental relationship, role models are often not acquainted with the individual that regards them as a role model. Role models therefore have a powerful influence without being known to the role model user. Sieling et al. (2004) in their study discovered that individuals prefer more than one role model and some prefer people that are not distant and not personally known. Importantly, the workers interviewed in the study were not inspired by business leaders in the company. This has important implications for organizations as if staff and minorities do not have role models to aspire to within their immediate environment, the attractiveness of more senior roles for talented and competent staff may be reduced.

Managers who retain staff start by communicating clear expectations to the employee. They share their picture of what constitutes success for the employee in both the expected deliverables from and the performance of their job.

These managers provide frequent feedback and make the employee feel valued. When an employee completes an exchange with a manager who retains staff, he or she feels empowered, enabled, and confident in their ability to get the job done.

Promotional procedures

There is consensus that there are no structured systems for evaluating people to qualify for higher positions in management (Powell and Mainerio 2003). Rather than being a fair and just process, cases are handled on a makeshift basis and the promotional process invariably goes un-checked. As a result, biased decisions are made without question. Promotional decisions in these instances tend to be more structured and based on clearly defined skills and characteristics, such as quality education, that workers are equally required to posses. It has been argued that workers are disadvantaged when promotional decisions are made for ‘top’ jobs because decision makers tend to evaluate those they regard as similar to them in a positive way. This is opposed to those they regard as dissimilar, who are consequently less likely to receive positive evaluations. As most decision makers are highly skilled technocrats, they tend to gravitate towards maintaining the status quo. Holzer (1999) characterized the results of such a preference in top management ranks as ‘homo-social reproduction.’ She argued that the primary motivation in bureaucracies is to minimize uncertainty. This is because uncertainty is regarded as risky and has the potential to prove costly to the organization. Thus, the main challenge is to get workers into positions of power in the first place. This is not an exhaustive list of organizational blockages that may impact on the career development of staff in work in general and management in particular. Rather, it highlights the main obstacles within organizational systems that may occur to prevent staff from accessing senior positions in the same way that men do (Holzer, 1999).

The Glass ceiling theory and its effect on retention

The under representation of minority groups in management positions in the Draper Co Ltd has led some people asserting that a ‘glass ceiling’ exists. The minority in this case includes: physically handicapped, less educated and women. The term ‘glass ceiling’ is used to reflect the ability of minorities to view the world above them but the metaphorical ceiling prevents the minorities from accessing the better opportunities they can view. This glass ceiling effect occurs when minorities with equivalent credentials as the other employees, i.e. those who traditionally occupy positions of power within organizations, are prevented from accessing top jobs simply because they have particular weaknesses. Nevertheless, the proportion of minorities in management has increased over the past three decades in almost all countries and legislation in some countries (e.g. Affirmative Action Legislation in the U.S. and Canada) has contributed to this trend. Despite this encouraging increase, recent research by Frey (2005) has shown that the glass ceiling is firmly in place. Nonetheless, the issue of glass ceiling exists even in occupations where minorities predominate. Domination of men in the industry fields poses a challenge for female employees. There is tendency of the women to be muscled out of the positions in the job market. Approximately 55% of sales representatives, for example, are female but male representatives often experience greater career success than female sales representatives (Wong, 2005).

The number of women engaged in merchandising in Draper Co. Ltd now outnumbers men but partners of top merchandise firms continue to be predominantly men. Recent research has highlighted that whilst minority groups that are employed by the Draper CO. Ltd are now achieving more stability in their work due to a recent project to streamline retention by the company. However it is still common thought that they may find themselves on a ‘glass cliff’ (Harris, 2005). According to him, this is because the only way to secure employment positions in the company is when the company is not performing at its optimum level, and needs formidable driver to steer it out of the doldrums. This means that the appointments are made under more risky circumstances which make them more uncertain. This suggests that not only workers experience hurdles to achieving senior roles; they are placed under greater scrutiny and face increased pressures when they do reach leadership positions. The disadvantaged experience of the glass ceiling is an important area of study and has implications for the future development of talent in the Draper Company and the consequent methods to retain employees. Research has shown for example that frustrated by the glass ceiling, many workers quit and start their own businesses. This can have a detrimental effect within the company as competent and experienced minorities remove themselves from the selection pool(Davidson and Burke 2001).

Perceptions on turnover and retention in Draper Co. Ltd.

The personality-centered approach

The first perspective focuses on the ways in which staff differ from others and hypothesis that the characteristics, attitudes, behavior, skills and education of men, places them at an advantage. According to this perspective, gender differences are attributed to men and women’s biological difference and their different socialization patterns. The predominance of men at the upper echelons of organizations is a result of stereotypical beliefs that women lack the motivation, attitudes, commitments and skills to be good managers (Bernhardt, 1999). Women, when compared to men, are regarded as deficient and therefore not as suitable as men for management positions. This, in turn, limits their career development. This has led researchers to identify the ‘think manager, think male’ syndrome (Ragins 2002), which is a global phenomenon and prevalent even in countries with equal opportunities programs and legislation such as the UK and the US. This pattern implies that management is perceived as a masculine role, a role to be performed by dominant, aggressive, decisive and competitive individuals; attributes that are more suited to the male sex. Rather, management should be regarded as a role that can be performed by anyone with the appropriate skills and education.

Although female leadership characteristics, such as interpersonal communication, nurturing, and mutual respect are beginning to warrant more value, they are yet to be regarded as important and effective (Watson 2001). In a study conducted by Powell and Mainerio (2003) the researchers found that undergraduates and graduates still considered that masculine characteristics were predictive of aspirations to senior management. These results surprised the researchers who had conducted the same study 25 years previously and expected to find different results in their contemporary repetition of the study. Millett (2004) shows that female personalities would go for more valuable roles whereas the men have to adjust according to the requirements of the job. Recent studies have identified zero findings on the trends and requirements for people who want to practice as professionals (Powell, 2003). However it has been noted that female employees make slower advancements in their careers in comparison with the men although they may have better qualification. Rather, female managers often complain of having to do better or over-perform at the same level of management as men (Davidson, 2001). Notable experiences are attributed to the minority individuals who consistently experience great alienation by others (Denton 1992).

The organizational perception theory

The next theory, the ‘The organizational perception ’ point of view, suggests that the organizational work environment in which staff operate influences the career development of staff in management rather than their own traits, skills and behaviors. Employees in merchandising are prevented from progressing in the same manner as their counterparts in other industries because they encounter organizational blockages imposed by power elites in organizations. They are held back due to an array of organizational impasse including their lack of opportunity in organizations, tokenism, and lack of access to mentoring and lack of access to organizational networking (this is not an exhaustive list of organizational impasses, rather a reflection of potential organizational impasses). In some cases for example, low skilled staff are denied access to challenging assignments, which may enable them to prove their ability and potentials for more senior roles. In addition, the merchandiser’s inability to engage in challenging assignments means they remain less visible in organizations. Ragins, (2002) assessed of over a thousand executive staff in the U.S. who held titles of vice president or above found that the female executives in their study had managed to navigate these barriers. The researchers found that the workers identified four career strategies that were vital to their career success. These were: consistently exceeding performance expectations; acting in a style with which managers key points from the research show potential barriers merchandisers must prevail over to reach senior positions and raises issues with regards to culture change if barriers for staff are to be eradicated.

Selecting and retaining great staff is key for business success. Talented people who continue to develop skills and increase their value to your organization and to your customers are your most important resource. Here’s how to select and retain these people and create an environment in which they continue to thrive.

The primary elements of any plan to improve the quality of the staff you employ include improving the quality of new hires, identifying and retaining superior employees, and developing employees (especially those with high potential for growth). A performance development approach to providing job expectations and feedback will assist with this process.

Sumsion (2002) hypothesized that whenever minority and challenged staff form only a small proportion of a total category in any organization (less than 15%) they would be labeled as ‘tokens’ because of their uncommonness in the organization compared to their other counterparts. Studies show that according to the developments the industry has resulted to victimization of the token group thus exalting high pressure to the group of minorities. When ‘token’ individuals experience failure, it may be the case that decision makers are less willing to appoint another person with similar characteristics to the same position. Thus, some employees are habitually used as test cases for the employment of future staff at senior levels (Cooley et al, 2002).

Summary

This section has outlined the main literature in relation to how to solve staff retention problem in the Draper Co. Ltd. There are many efforts being made to encourage employees to participate in organizational restructure disregarding their status and although the status quo will, for the most part, be slow to change, advances are being made. Changing family roles and expectations, supportive company policies and practices including flexible working and improved labour market conditions have all opened up new opportunities for staff (Davidson and Burke 2001). To assist merchandising organizations in their growth and profitability, their workforce at all levels needs to reflect the customers they serve and the society in which we live. Embracing diversity and implementing diversity initiatives will ensure barriers for staff and minorities are broken down, thereby harnessing rich talent and adding to the future success of merchandising.

Research Method

The main aim of this study was to investigate career development issues in the retail industry and explore the experiences, barriers and problems to career advancement faced by workers in the Draper Co. Ltd. Findings from this study were used to formulate preliminary recommendations for policy changes and to develop further exploration of these issues. The overall objectives were to:

Investigate two sets of potential reasons for staff leaving the company: firstly, those that cause the exit of workers and staff and secondly, those that impede the efforts of retaining staff in the organization. Identify strategies for overcoming these reasons.

Investigate the feasibility of constructing a company database, documenting the career developments of workers in the merchandise industry. Enhance the picture of the company, on the basis of team cohesion. Encourage the employees to look up to other individuals who have made it in the Draper Co. Ltd. to resolve possible work life balance conflicts. Produce a set of solutions, which can be applied to other merchandising settings. Develop, publish and disseminate good practice guidelines and recommendations using reports, conference presentations, feedback seminars, academic journals and merchandise specialist and national press.

Primary research

Primary data prove its importance when the required information for marketing research/evaluation may not be available from secondary data sources. Due to time constraint, the author decided to avoid open-ended questions and adopt close-ended questions on the interviews. This is because, close-ended questions are easily administered by an unskilled interviewer compared to open-ended questions and it is also much easier and faster for statistical data tabulation and data comparison. In addition, the checklist of responses in the interviews helps reduce difficulty in memory-recall that respondent might encounter in responding open-ended question (Wong 2005). On the other hand, the checklist of responses may not be as comprehensive and alternate responses that appear in the checklist may create position bias, which will cause the respondent to be unable to freely express him or herself, and often detailed information is being missed (Wong 2005).

The data obtained from this research is an indispensable element of almost all research carried out. According to Broadbridge (2000) data possess significant cost and time advantages. This is because, the existence of secondary data can in many instances dismiss the need for potentially expensive and time-consuming field work as secondary data exists aplenty from internal and external data sources (Wong, 2005). Apart from time-saving and cost economics, secondary data is less subject to intentional bias. Also as certain types of information may be impractically or virtually impossible to gather through data approach, secondary data are the only alternative (Wong, 2005). The use of secondary information was valuable when trying to remove any kind of disadvantage that may be implored onto people unintentionally by the author during the development of the hypotheses. Hence in this study, journals from electronic databases such as Emerald and Ebsco were reviewed to aid the development of the study. The use of journals was to serve as a basis to draw the hypotheses of this study.

However, Wong (2005) pointed out that one of the disadvantages of secondary data is that it became outdated easily in an ever-changing environment, and often, there were differences in classification or measurement as well as lack of accuracy. The above appeared true to the author as some of the journals being reviewed appeared to be outdated and inaccurate due to different areas of focus. The author also found that there was limited access to many online research websites and the availability of journals on store atmosphere in the retail context was also limited. Therefore both the retail and service context were being reviewed in the process.

With the difficulties mentioned above, it was anticipated that the secondary research found would not be sufficient to fulfill the objectives of this study. As mentioned by Wong (2005), when problem is not yet resolved with secondary data, the researcher should proceed to primary data. Therefore, the author of the study moved on to gather primary data for the completion of this study.

After redeveloping the interviews, the new interviews process was ready for the actual implementation and data collection. The interviews were being done both online and offline to company part-time and full-time employees as well as their friends, colleagues and family members. Naturally, young respondents are more responsive to the completion of the interviews. This is because they tend to complete the interviews the moment they start it. Although interviews enable wider participation and easier distribution, it is commonly viewed as a waste of time and ignored by receivers. Therefore, there were a total of 85 responses that served as primary data for this study.

Data Analysis

Statistical data captured from the interviews was initially analyzed using the on-line analysis tool from the web surveyor package, specifically designed for this study. Further in depth statistical analysis was performed using Microsoft Office Enterprise Excel application. Categorical data was analyzed using Chi Square analysis to demonstrate differences between groups. Qualitative data was analyzed using the systematic method of content analysis. The technique implements a human based code scripting system that writes either words or phrases, depending on the responses of the participants. The writing of the interview code material is significant as it is carefully taken to be the heart and soul of the analysis process. According to Miles and Hanson (2000) coding is equated to analysis. The coding process was guided by the themes developed from the initial in depth review of the literature. Pre-analysis of the interview materials began with the process of familiarization. This involved immersion in the data where the main objective was to gain an overall understanding of the meaning of the data. As the data analysis progressed, themes emerged and headings were developed to represent the data. Attempts were made to keep individual comments in isolation so as not to disregard any useful data.

Summary

The methodology employed semi structured in-depth interviews to obtain quantitative and qualitative data. The content of the interview was obtained from earlier researches regarding human resource management in general and Draper Co. Ltd. in particular. Quantitative and qualitative data was captured and analyzed to generate robust results.

Secondary data such as journals and textbooks were being reviewed before conducting the actual primary research. A total of 89 questionnaires were hold by the means of on-line surveys, and personal interviews.

Findings

Staff Retention

Staff retention is a process of ensuring that employees are kept within the department, especially employees with valued or needed skills or experience in a scarce /critical field (if recruitment is difficult) and employees from the designated groups (as defined in the Employment Equity Act, 1998) namely women and people with disabilities, using various techniques. From this viewpoint it is necessary to highlight, that the turnover level is regarded to be rather high, and the matter of retention depend on the diversity management techniques. Thus, the retention of talented employees would stay the complex task, until the equality among workers is set. The matter of inequality, and inability to lead the policy of diversity management causes the high turnover rate. The reason is obvious: if someone mentions inequality in the leader-employee relations, the overall mood and relation to work changes. From this moment both workers start thinking over the decision of finding another job.

Employing Strategies to Recruit Workers

Most organizations discuss their methods as either fairly or moderately successful. Some think that their company is very successful in finding ways to attract talented employees who would do well in that company’s regulation structure.

Specific recruitment methods cited included:

Companies should be able to deliver itself as a product for it to be able to sell itself – communicating its attributes (such as inclusive, competitive, fast-paced, goal-oriented, values-based, having high integrity, graceful under pressure, fun, entrepreneurial) in a way that distinguishes the company from competitors;

Targeting intranet postings at current employees so they can see where new opportunities are available;

Promoting employee referrals – often with bonuses for referring new hires that stay with the company for at least a prescribed period of time, sometimes with a difference between the bonus for a full-time and a part-time employee;

Direct recruiting – on college campuses, at community gatherings, from other employers, and at job fairs;

Fit with Company Culture and Values

Each company has its own ways are diverse, ranging of doing things to achieve certain things within it. Each company provides a way of performing things whose attributes when expressed and demonstrated appears to be a significant factor in employees choosing the retail company for which to work. It is also important to company managers who select employees for their temperaments as well as their skills.

In Draper Co the trends and cultural practices are initiated by company founder or leadership (recently or many years ago). In others, the culture is evolving, either as a result of mergers or because of growth in recent years. Most respondents said that they are confident and believe in their culture, as evidenced in a selection of their responses to questions about their business culture; “Our culture is well-defined, fast-paced, and fun. There is a ton of variety in jobs”. ”This company is inclusive and competitive. Our emphasis is on performance and achieving results”. “We support diverse perspectives. We encourage moderate risk-taking”. “We support development and community involvement of the employee. “We are results-driven. Employees are expected to show leadership behaviors and a team orientation”. “Our company is very values-based. We are customer-driven and provide a culture that is empowering to the sales associate”. This is considered as a cultural performance – joint ventures, honesty, client services are important elements of our culture. “My observation is that the employees should exhibit team play and cooperation, and a willingness to embrace differences”.

“This company is not hierarchical. We place an extremely high value on respect, trust, service, and completion”. “The coming together of many societies makes it possible for this company to be, due to acquisitions”. The business institution can be attributed to a sped up growth, with a strong entrepreneur mind, enjoyable, challenging, rewarding, and performance-driven. There is a big teaming element here. We are driven and determined”.

Career Developments

All companies in this survey have visible career developments. Most companies have formal and established career developments, especially at the store/field level. There are also informal career developments. “The workforce should be self provoked”, “we ought to hold on to our cultures” are some responses when company officials are queried about career developments and advancement. Different companies have different ways of structuring how to manage staff improvement, as aligned with the company’s culture, approach to employee communications, size and available opportunities, and management approach. Three different models emerged:

Direct company policy where career developments are formalized and extremely structured. The development from one cadre in the company to another cadre in the career ladder to positions of increasing authority, responsibility, title and pay.

Role specification and creation where the company structures for the employee in merchandise responsibilities tend to enlarge and their earnings increase within the context of the existing position, as opposed to moving “up” to a different position such as buyer or manager.

Putting up of job structures where lower post employees’ advancement corporate structure, the employee’s career development is designed to facilitate the learning of key skill sets for future positions. In this way a member of staff may endeavor into new duties with or without the organizations. The employee may engage in other activities that may improve his growth in career.

The people that we spoke with in the corporation are attracted into knowing more about the process of determining how to fit pieces of a career ladder together, and in looking at specific issues regarding employee advancement and retention in their own companies.

Managing Diversity

The purpose of having different strategies for the company is to create diversity and integration for and/or underserved communities and populations who may be potential retail employees. A representative sampling of survey responses to questions about strategies highlights retailers’ ongoing work to address diversity issues. This is especially prevalent as regards to advancement of business line staff and management. The following responses were arbitrarily heard during the study.

One group of employees suggests an internal diversity program, working with national organizations such as National youth MBA Association, National Non-Asian MBA Association. In addition, we have other activities in local communities”. “We are extremely involved with Hong Kong retail training institute which targets minority students; we have strong minority representation figures”. “We have many diversity initiatives”. “We recruit at colleges with traditionally large minority populations”. “We do lots of work in the community”.

“Our enthusiasm to multiplicity is huge; it’s not just a surface for us. Our Diversity Affairs Group reports directly to chief executive officer. We have outreach and connections to community groups to help with our diversity efforts” as said by one manager. A managerial compliment, “multiplicity in a company is reached by each corporate executive’s creation. Diversity is also built into our succession planning process. We try to mirror the community. Our summer intern program targets minorities. We have senior minority leaders visible on campus for recruiting”. The former added that there is total commitment to diversity, especially in the inner cities. “We participate in job fairs in inner-city churches, for instance”. One member of the supervisory team said, “There was an examination to what we could do to speak (internally and externally) to a more diverse group of people the company needs advertising and other public materials to reflect how much we value diversity”. Another added that there were no special efforts that could reach diverse candidates – the depiction in channels comes from having reachable locations and choosing communities with diverse populations. We are implementing new ways to improve flow and yield, and to ensure that all levels of the store population reflect the community.

The CEO told me that one challenge of being this type of vendor is that people perceive the typical employee as not diverse in terms of race or gender. We are working on this – we just brought on a diversity director at the corporate level to help strengthen our diversity strategies and programs”.

Staff retention strategies

For the successful retention it is necessary to keep in mind the following points:

  1. Once a worker has decided to leave, the emotional tie is broken.
  2. The financial impact of employee attrition and a bad hire.
  3. The managers have to understand the workers and clearly realize what they want to get from this job
  4. Adopt a market-driven retention strategy that begins with the assumption that long-term, across-the-board employee loyalty is neither possible nor desirable.
  5. The goal of HR management to minimize overall employee turnover needs to be replaced with a new one: to impact who leaves and when.
  6. To have impact in this area, you must make truly honest assessments of how long the organization would like workers to stay on board.
  7. Various groups of employees warrant very different retention efforts.
  8. Arrange exit interviews.
  9. Consider hiring outside services professionals to ask questions why people were leaving
  10. Expand strategies that empower the defenses and make conscious improvements to turn to be a less toxic, more beautiful employer create an empathic bond to regulate.
  11. Employee retention is a management responsibility, not a HR responsibility perspective requirements to be made.
  12. People join companies for managerial factors such as salary, incomes, reputation, and then the work itself.
  13. People stay for leaders, particularly in entry-level jobs.
  14. Training first-line managers on trust-building abilities such as keeping promises, apologizing for errors and taking responsibility for company regulations are the first steps to make a culture of trust and worker appointment.
  15. Hold the first-line directors accountable for turnover and authorize them to make a distinction as a systematic means to augment retention.
  16. Need to focus not just on business brands or customer brands, but also on creating employment brands.
  17. Going forward, building employer of choice brands that stand for something specific will be critical in the search for key talent.

There are different problems with current retention strategies, which they generally have found highly successful. Companies may pay a premium, if needed, to retain people who “bring a lot to the table,” that is, they are likely to succeed in the company’s culture. Some companies use intermediary organizations to better screen job candidates, in an effort to predict job success. Several companies are improving their screening tools and processes in an effort to more effectively match job candidates to job requirements, company culture, and expectations. According to one company senior manager, “Each location has a custody strategy.”

The following are findings for the needs of employees: it was observed that working hours should be accommodative of those hours to meet employees’ personal needs as well as those of the company. Above all there should be fairness and equitable treatment. It was also noted that recruitment procedures should be improved;

The study also established that the dealers need to hit a balance between meeting customer needs and managing labor costs. Many managers alluded to the model of the retail wage structure. They discovered that new recruits in the Draper Co. Ltd. are less paid in relation to entry-level positions in other industries, management staff are paid more. To keep their people, the retail companies we interviewed take every opportunity to tell employees about the career developments and opportunities that exist to move ahead and earn more money. There should be better information flow between employees and managers and the information should be recognized. Some managers act together with hypothesis human resources to find out “how things are going” and to “teach them how to manage themselves appropriately for this environment.” In quite a few corporations, analyses are used to obtain employee response and information on job satisfaction. Some companies measure managers on their retention figures. In other companies, acknowledgment of performance is built into regular “recognition meetings” where top-performing associates are recognized in front of their peers. A growing number of retailers use, or are considering using, a very structured set of matrices to measure performance, so that employees are clear on which performance quartile they fall into.

Selecting Employees

One of the reasons of high turnover is the wrong employment strategy. The HR management should use written or documented skills assessment for matching people to positions. Another method would be by networking among employees and customers – e.g. group interview cards given by employees to customers who express an interest in working at the company. Finally the company could also use intermediary organizations which qualify to carry out such tasks.

Retention

Turnover of staff in the industry is recognized by everybody. The study from the World Bank about the welfare of retail employees indicate that when they leave their current job, they will leave the retail industry. Most of the respondents were concerned about company strategies on employee retention rates. While turnover has tapered off somewhat with the current economy, it is still an area of concern. Turnover for the non-management positions at the companies we interviewed hovers around 100%. At the store management level, rates were reported to be at the 15% – 35% range. One company reported a turnover rate of less than 10% for full-time positions at all levels. The turnover rates vary significantly by company and by retail industry, making it difficult to draw any conclusions from this data. Entry-level store turnover appears to be high across the board. It generally decreases as employees move into full-time positions versus part-time positions, and as they grow into management positions. Managers are forced to spend time on recruiting and screening new talent, rather than in growing the business. The impact of turnover also affects the experience levels of employees who are interacting with customers and, therefore, may also impact the quality of service and the quantity of sales.

The company should begin by offering better work surrounding for employees. The company should also ensure equitable pay and fair treatment for all and sundry. They should be keen when demanding results while caring about people working for them. In addition, the company should take the step of providing responses and feedback to issues employees raise. Finally, the company should formulate procedures for discussing and mapping employees’ careers 18-24 months in the future.

Clear and explicit performance expectations, opportunities for employee input and discussion, and performance feedback that is done on a frequent basis, whether formal or informal; there should be company strategies tailored for employees’ career advancement and aligned with the company’s overall philosophy and approach to employee management; moreover there should be recognizable advancement opportunities within the company; the management ought to make known the stated expectation of and rewards for outstanding performance; finally there should be a policy for career Ladders within the company to remove suspicions of bias.

Managers waste too much time and energy concentrating on what they do not like, what they are worried about or what they think needs to be changed. Instead o this, it would be necessary to focus on positive sides of the work, and on the troubles and expectations of the workers.

This is simple but deep shift could change the work groups, the professional contacts, company’s results. The understanding is a purpose of what managers focus on; each and every instance they have a choice about where they place the attention.

It is significant to tackle, face and deal with complexities; nevertheless, managers do not have to preoccupy about the bad employees and let it run. They each can deliberately select to focus on the good stuff and in the procedure, appreciate the employees.

Summary

The results from the analysis of data were presented in this section, and many interesting and current topics were obtained from the analysis. For example, topical issues such as elastic operation, identical pay and culture of long hours were identified.

Conclusion

The main aim of this study was to investigate staff retention at Draper Co. Ltd and explore the experiences, barriers and problems to career advancement faced by the employees at the company in order to obtain issues that might as well create the company’s biggest problem. The study also included merchandising staffers from the surroundings of Hong Kong to determine any barriers employees including the minority groups encounter in the process of accessing available retail management positions. Findings from this study were used to formulate preliminary recommendations for policy changes and to develop further examination of these issues. In this section the main issues identified in each results subsection are summarized, with a set of recommendations developed from the main findings. These recommendations are intended to be advisory and realistic to enable organizations to implement them, and in doing so, to address and successfully rectify areas for development and improvement.

Descriptive research is based on research activities carefully chosen in association with established research practices. This study, however, holds three methodological limitations. First, the study’s survey was only in English. That avoids the misinterpretations of questions when the survey is translated to other languages. While English is not considered the lingua franca in the Far East, it was the best mode of communication since it could underscore the relevance of my study identifying facts that promote staff retention. In addition, English is widely considered as lingua franca in various parts of the world. The survey has been limited to those responders who were competent in English. This event implies that there was ‘self – selection’ of sample. A researcher could be argued that results were only representative for English. To translate the visitor survey to other languages and perform further research, it might be interesting. Secondly, the study’s hypotheses on the respondents who took part in the study have tested by sample. Minority groups who were examined might not be representative in other organizations. Parallel to this, the survey took place exclusively and directly carrying out the survey without permission of other companies that employ the respondents that took place in the survey. Thirdly, although there was need to improve the turnover figures that are tabulated through out the year, the interviews with respondents were only concentrated in the months of June and July of 2008. It is in our opinion that other external factors would provide a different trend of responses from respondents

Further Research

The participation of the local respondents in the making of decisions should clearly contribute to the attainment of sustainable job retention in the Draper Co. Ltd.. Through the interpretations of their career trends, the employees can preserve evidence of a way of life that might be passed on from generation to generation. The future research should concentrate on industry’s aspect in that they are the only ones who know how it has been done from time to time. The aspect of job retention in the future research should hit directly on the industry’s means of preservation of employees and how certain issues have been deliberated from time to time.

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Appendix

Employee Workplace Survey

Below are a few benefits that should be privileged to the employees at their places of work. Respondents are requested to select appropriate entities and provide their opinions by rating the entries according to how each privilege affects them.

Critically Important
5
Important

4

Neutral

3

Unimportant

2

Insignificant

1

A Sense of Achievement O O O O O
Camaraderie in the workplace O O O O O
Clarity of Career Path O O O O O
Recognition and appreciation O O O O O
Work Culture Fit O O O O O
Work Life Balance O O O O O

Personal Details

  1. Gender
    • Male
    • Female
  2. Age
    • Below 21
    • 21 – 30
    • 31 – 40
    • 41 – 50
    • 51 – 50
  3. Marital Status
    • Single
    • Married
  4. Working Experience
    • Less than 1
    • working year 1 – 3 years
    • 3 – 5 years
    • 5 – 10 years
    • Over 10 years
  5. Year of Services in this Company
    • Less than one year 1 to 2
    • working years 2 to 5 working years
    • 5 to 10 working years
    • More than 10 working years
  6. Position:
    • Office
    • Departmental supervisor
    • Manager