Literature Review

Meaning of Employee Retention

Employee retention is the process of encouraging employees to stay with the company/organization for the maximum possible time or until their retirement. Retention is advantageous for both the company and the employees. Employers should build and promote such an environment that promotes its existing employees to stick to the organization by having policies and procedures in place such that it attends their diverse needs

Employee Retention in the Today’s World

Today it is not the company which determines the movement of its employees but the market simply because in the world of internet that provides easy access to information, no company can protect its employees from learning about the attractive vacancies and opportunities which are out their in the market. Today's labor force is different. Supervisors/managers take responsibility for their own employee retention. A wise employer knows how to attract and keep good employees, because in the long run, this workforce will make or break a company's reputation. Now a days, new supervisors adopt a more collaborative, supportive, and nurturing way of dealing with their people. The old style of "my-way-or-the-highway" style of management is passé. Most new supervisors are now trained in order to understand what it really takes to retain employees. Employee retention involves being sensitive to people's needs.

Retaining its existing employees is a very major challenge faced by most corporate’s today as a result of shortage of skilled labor, economic growth and escalating employee turnover. Attracting the best talent has become a tough job, but retaining these employees is even harder. And with rising globalization, this has become even more complex, as more and more employees are ready to relocate their jobs as well as their homes to any part of the world if provided with a good designation and handsome salary. The problem of employee retention can be tackled if we thoroughly understand what employees really want from an organization. Retention of your best people requires constant employee involvement, employee engagement, proper reward and recognition, development, pay based on performance system etc...

What Employees Want From Their Jobs

Below are few factors that employees seek from their jobs

§ Full appreciation for their well done work

§ Good wages

§ Good working conditions

§ Interesting and challenging work

§ Job security

§ Promotion/growth opportunities

§ Personal loyalty to workers

§ Feeling “In? on things

§ Sympathetic help on personal problems

§ Tactful disciplining

Why Employees Stay

§ Better prospects and career growth opportunities

§ Stimulating and challenging job profile

§ If their work is carrying great weight, making great contribution to the organization.

§ Great colleagues at their workplace

§ Being part of a group

§ Good manager/supervisor.

§ Frequent rewards and recognition for achievers, performers

§ entertaining job

§ Autonomy, sense of control over their work

§ Flexibility – for example in working hours and dress code

§ Fair compensation and benefits

§ Encouraging management

§ Brand name of the organization.

§ Conducive work environment

§ Location

§ Job security

§ Family-friendly

§ Cutting edge technology.

Why Employees Leave

There can be many reasons as to why employees leave their jobs, few reasons are mentioned below however the most common reasons as to why employees leave their jobs are if they are not provided with a good compensation with attractive, benefits, alternative work schedule, further education support, career growth opportunities than they will easily switch if they are getting all this elsewhere. In order to reduce employee turnover the employers should focus on the total work environment that they create for their employees, it should be employee friendly, the policies and procedures should be simplified, clearly communicated at the right time to all its employees informing about their entitlements, rights etc. Although there are many reasons why employee leaves, but mainly we need to understand the reasons behind these two aspects of employee turnover:

§ What makes good employees leave, and

§ What is catching their attention in other companies?

Reasons inside the firm that drives good employees away

Ø Work goes unrecognized/unappreciated

Ø Little chance to move ahead

Ø Unhappiness with job demands/requirements

Ø Friction with supervisor or coworker

Ø Disliked management or supervisory style

Ø Dissatisfaction with company policies

Attractions outside the firm that is attracting these employees to other companies

Ø Availability of better training/career opportunities

Ø Easy availability of more interesting work/better designation

Ø Desire to return to school – further studies

Ø Easy availability of equal or better paying jobs

Employees who leave a company are generally unhappy with some of the following aspects of the company like:

§ Company policies and procedures are not conducive

§ Poor quality of supervision

§ Unfavorable and unpleasant working conditions

§ Relationship with the immediate supervisor, uneasy relationship with peers or managers.

§ Corporate culture

§ Training

§ Work environment

§ Pay and benefits/for higher salary

§ Communications

§ Feedback – lack of proper timely feedback

§ Leadership

§ Corporate vision- not aligning the company’s vision and mission with the employee’s growth.

§ Career growth/no growth opportunity/lack of promotion

§ For higher education

§ Misguidance by the company

§ No personal life – no work life balance

§ Physical Strains and many more...

Effect on organization when its employee’s leave

§ Loss of productivity

§ Replacing qualified employees

§ Poor retention creates a “revolving door? culture within the organization lowering morale and confidence.

§ Cost of overtime or temporary help

§ Cost of Recruitment

§ Cost of Interviewing candidates

§ Time spent in orientation

Reasons Why Employees Are Attracted Towards Other Organizations

Employees are generally attracted to other companies because of the following reasons/aspects, that the company’s offer:

§ Better Working Atmosphere: wherein the employees have access to all basic needs in order to carry out successful completion of their tasks. One that has good pleasing work environment with comfortable chairs, table, desktop, AC, calling instruments.

§ Better Work Profile: like for example, people generally prefer inbound call centre to an outbound call centre, similarly the product or service they sell also counts like insurance selling!! For example if the employees have to work under very high pressure of targets, deal with abusive, rude behavior of their team leaders/supervisors than also employees tend to leave their jobs simply because they cant adjust to their manager’s/supervisors leadership or management style. Thus the type of work plays a major role in attracting employees.

§ Salary Hike: better money offered elsewhere.

§ Better Designation: offered elsewhere.

§ Future Growth Prospects: organizations wherein employees see that they can become Team Leader/Managers in near future in the same organization. Like for example in a start up the growth is much quicker...

§ Lateral Movement: Employees sometimes want to work in some particular department as they have interest towards it and therefore would look for an opening in that department.

§ High Stress Levels: employees always look for a job wherein the stress level is not too high like for instance if they are selling/servicing a sub standard product, the product might have too many complaints, which would increase their stress loads.

§ Family Issues: mother, father, sibling illness, marriages, or even location issues.

§ Health Issues: Some people are not able to cope up with the night shifts because of health while others have sore throat after they speak for few hours etc.

§ Young Employees: average employee age 24 -25 yrs, less responsibility, so does not consider stability as the major force driving their career at this point.

§ Peer Pressure: If one of their friends/colleagues has moved to another company, and if they are working in a team under the same team leader than they all will move, to keep with their old friends. This happens mostly in telecom companies if a team leader leaves he takes away all his team members where he has joined as this way they perform better as they already know each others way of working. They save up time on training the new members and getting use to their management styles.

§ Food and Transportation at Subsidize rate: Pick up and drop Facility, many organizations provide transformation facility to its employees, even the lunch provided is at a subsidized rate.

§ Company Rent Accommodation: many companies provide shared accommodation for its out of station employees, for example some BPO’s also undertake to pay electricity/water bills for shared accommodations. Companies do so in order to assist its employees to have a more relaxed live and have a good work life balance.

§ Recreation facilities: many companies provide recreation facilities like they have crèche, pool tables, chess tables, cafeteria, gymnasium, ATM, caretaker facilities etc.

§ Company Credit Card: at Wipro they provide their senior level employees with credit cards wherein they can use the same to make payment for all official purposes like air tickets, hotel bills etc.

§ Mobile Phones / Laptop: TTSL provides all its middle and senior level employees with mobile phones and laptops for business purpose, the company pay’s part of it and the rest of the amount the employees have to pay from their salaries. Employees are accountable for its maintenance and safety.

§ Regular Medical check-ups: Employees are provided with the facility for extensive health check-up. All employees at TTSL are provided with regular medical check-ups.

§ Loan Facility: Many companies provide loan facility on different occasions like if the employees are getting married or having financial crisis at the time of medical emergency, sometimes new recruits are also given with interest free loans to help them in their early payments at work location.

§ Educational Reimbursement: many companies reimburse education expenses of its employees spent towards schooling fees, exam fees or buying of subject book for pursuing different management qualifications.

§ Flexible Work Timing: many companies in order to support employees personal life needs considers flexi time at the time of baby or parent care, critical health situation, maternity, official learning program etc...

§ Flexible Salary Benefits: many companies offer a tax-effective compensation structure by corresponding the monthly net income, annual benefits and income tax payable. The compensation which includes base salary, DA, conveyance allowance, mobile allowance etc. Flexible benefits like house rent allowance leave travel assistance, medical reimbursement, special allowances.

§ Work Culture: companies offering great work culture wherein employees have frequent get together and cultural programs, wherein employees are given a chance to display their talent in drama, acting, singing, dancing, sports etc. They organize cricket, football, basketball matches with teams of their organizations as well as others.

§ Employee Referral System: many companies encourage their personnel to refer friends and relatives for employment in their organization.

Different Ways to Retain Talent

Although there are different ways to retain your existing talent, retention starts right at the very beginning for interviewing candidates how you present yourself and the company to training where the employer should make the new recruits feel welcomed, this can be done by simply offering them a welcome tea and some snacks wherein the new employee gets to meet with his colleagues, his desk can be made ready with his visiting cards, id card, a family photo and other frills. Opening meetings by higher ranking employees should highlight the core values, mission and vision of the organization also discussing the sadness/suffering that the organization has been though also helps to connect the employee with the organization. Employees should be informed clear-cut about their KRA’s, expectations and employers should make sure that the employees must have the required information, equipment, time and instruction and training needed to do their work well. Managers/supervisors should be accessible at all times to clarify and simplify their reservations; Managers should ensure appropriate allocation of work is done. They should also give the liberty to take their own decision within a framework then the employees will excel. Distributed-Leadership should be practiced. Managers should strive to make the work atmosphere so friendly, conducive and encouraging that employees just love being at work every day

§ Employee Engagement - The idea of keeping talent is to make sure employees give their finest to the company, thus top management must actively involve in the company like for e.g. CEO’S should have lunch with the employee in the canteen and not at their desk, doors should be open to any/all employees, Coffee with COO/CEO sessions should be organized wherein they can talk about their issues with the head on a one to one basis, all these aspects have long-term impact on the staff. A very common complaint at the time of exit interviews is that the employee strongly feels that their top management never knew that he/she existed. So Managers should take time out to meet with new employees in order to learn about their ability, potential and skill sets. Conferences should be held periodically, it is very significant to help people feel welcomed, recognized and reliable.

§ Fair Rewards – Employees in any organization must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated, for a job well done, as it is a major facet on the employee’s mind. There should be no inclination towards any cast, creed or sex. Meritocracy should be the benchmark of measurement. Preference should be given to performance management not compensation management. There should be new pay-packages that include Flexi timings, health management and learn while you work options etc. monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts results in appreciation. Organization should give hikes for phenomenal achievements, giving commissions and bonuses raise motivation and helps retain staff. After all job is regarding the money and most individual want more...

§ Development – many companies support its employees financially for pursuing further education, improving their technological skill sets, honing interests in other fields like art, music & sports etc that helps out to set free true potential of the employees. The leave during that period can be counted as work experience for determining promotion. Job assured when he returns. These tactics not only instill a sense of pride of their work place in the mindset of the employees but also foster loyalty & a dedicated sense of purpose towards the company in the minds of its people.

§ Different Programs – like informal and formal ways that companies can adopt and implement in their respective organizations to ensure people are looked after very well like for instance:

  1. Guiding - are those higher-ranking employees who provide guidance to the younger staff by encouraging them to perform better by talking about ways & means to better their productivity.
  2. Injustice Chamber – is a place where employees who are treated wrongly can confront the manager’s verdict & keep challenging the same gradually to the higher authority.
  3. Great Idea Place – is where the suggestion from the staff to improve efficiency, modify current work culture, job environment and other areas are welcomed. It should be made compulsory that each suggestion if not applied must at least be accepted. Whether or not the employees can speak their minds freely or not within the company is a key factor in employee retention.
  4. Celebration – it should not be that only big success calls for a party NO! Surprise tea parties, small outings, sporting events, employee birthday bashes helps keep the spirit alive and maintain vibrancy at work.
  5. The quality of the management in terms of supervision from his manager/supervisor that an employee receives is vital to employee retention. Regular employee complaints are about the following issues:

§ Lack of clearness about expectations,

§ Lack of clearness about earning potential,

§ Lack of response about performance,

§ Failure to hold planned conference,

§ Failure to give a structure within which the employee perceives he can be successful.

Reducing Employee Turnover

Factors that influence employee turnover varies from sector to sector, however a common trend indicated that poaching by other companies is a major problem. And this is the main reason in telecom industry in India as the competition is so fierce, poaching works best as this way they not only get to know about their competitors hot inquires but also get access to their competitors customer data, their way of working, strategies implemented, their upcoming products along with their features, prices and all the confidential information about their competitors.

Employers should keep in mind that employees value workplace harmony and job quality, they should thus focus on adopting a management/leadership style such that it doesn’t come across as offensive to its employees, meaning they should never look down upon its employees, use harsh and abusive language in order to get their job finished. However, managers can cut down employee turnover in lots of ways, few are listed below.

§ Select the right people in the first place by using various behavioral-based test and competency tests.

§ Also, don't forget to hire people with the inborn talent, ability, and those who are smart enough to work in more or less any situation even if you don't at present have the "best" match available for them. Hire the smartest people you can find to lessen employee turnover.

§ Provide an attractive, competitive, benefits package with components such as life insurance, disability cover and flexible hours. Better reimbursement = reduced employee turnover.

§ Give a chance for people to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentation, mentoring others and team assignments.

§ Show employees that you value them. Pay attention to them totally; use their ideas; never mock at them or dishonor them.

§ Engage employees in decisions that involve their jobs and the overall track of the company. Involve them in the discussion about company vision, mission, values, and goals.

§ Identify excellent performance, and above all, link pay to performance to decrease employee turnover.

§ Staff sufficiently so overtime is minimized for those who don't want it and people don't wear themselves out. Too much pressure or too much work load also makes employee leave their jobs.

§ Offer the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and learning, demanding coursework and more accountability.

Employee Complaints That Contribute to Employee Turnover

Knowing what makes your employees sad is half the battle won. Organizations should listen to their employees and provide a chance for them to converse with company executives. If employees feel secure and comfortable, they will be honest about what’s on their minds. Company’s work culture must cultivate and promote trust for successful two-way communication. Below are the few major employee complaints that are prevalent in most of the organization regardless of the industry they belong to.

Salaries not paid as per the market rate: pay is the number one thing in which employees look for change.

In-house pay Inequity: employees are predominantly concerned with pay compression, the degree of difference in pay among the new and longer term employees. For example in organizations with the normal annual pay increase for employees around 4%, employees perceive that newcomers are better paid than they are.

Entitlements not communicated properly: many employees are not informed or communicated about the benefits they are entitled to or/and are not communicated at the right time that is during induction itself. Benefit programs like health and dental insurance, retirement, paid time ff, vacation days are of great importance to the employees.

Over-management: is another area where employees are the ones who suffer and thus seek change...this distracts their work makes their work confusing.

Lack of Merit based compensation system: reward system must place greater importance on merit and contribution. As many employees find pay systems in which all employees get the equal pay raise per annum, very upsetting. Such pay systems hit hard the motivation and loyalty level of your top employees as they feel treated unfair!!

Perceived Human Resources Department as to not responding to employees: The HR needs to be more responsive in terms of being more accessible and approachable to employee queries and apprehension. In many companies, the HR department is perceived as the policy making, policing arm of management.

Favoritism: Employees want the perception that each employee is treated equally with other employees. Employees want a fair dealing of things if there are guidelines, behavioral rules, way for requesting time offs, valued assignments, opportunities for development, everyday communication or about any other work related decisions.

Communication and Accessibility: Employees want face-to-face communication with their immediate boss as well as their senior managers. Doing so helps them feel acknowledged, valued and important. Managers/team leaders should be accessible to their all their reporting employees/team members at all time.

Heavy Workloads: in many companies many Departments are short-staffed and employees feel as if their workloads are too heavy and their time is increased excessively.

Lack of Proper Facility & Hygiene: Employees like a hygienic, organized work environment in which they have the basic equipment to execute their jobs well.

Measuring Employee Turnover

By measuring employee turnover we get a fair idea of the degree of damage that has been caused, this can be done by taking into account the entire quantity of employees that left the organization in a supposed period. This must consist of retirement, redundancy, and the sacked employees, those who leave on their own will. At hand less than 10% of companies analyze employee turnover (Mythili Kolluru, Employee Retention). The expenses to be taken into consideration are administration costs, recruitment costs, selection costs, induction cost of new employee and cost of covering during period of vacancy.

Employee turnover is expensive, including both tangible and intangible expenditure. too much employee turnover is often mentioned to be the key obstacle to offering high quality service. Turnover decrease the output of the whole work unit/team, particularly as a result heavy workloads and extra hours of work with no pay, employees feel stressed and tensed because of turnover and as a result a there is a decline in company morale.

The costs of employee turnover can be projected in a number of different ways, depending on whether the computation includes both direct and indirect costs. The direct costs of turnover include partition and replacement costs as follows: partition costs like severance costs, unemployment insurance premiums and outplacement fees. Replacement costs like advertising costs, training costs, interviewing time, pre-employee appraisal, relocation costs.

The Indirect costs consist of the hard to measure components like the loss in organizational knowledge and skills, reduced corporate expansion through lesser productivity and the pessimistic impact on organizational commitment that regular turnover can have among the employees who stay with the company. These indirect costs are a lot be bigger than the direct costs.

We can measure employee turnover by the basic standard formula which is: The total number of employees resigned/total number of employees in the organization.

And total number of employees resigned*total years of work experience/ total number of employees* total years of work experience. This formula will show us the loss of man years.

What People Really Would Like From Their Job

We all have different reason to work and the reasons are as different as each person is. But at the end of the day we all work to gain from work what impact our self-esteem, motivation and the quality of life, below are things that people desire from their jobs/work:

§ Work is Regarding the Money

Some people work for love, some work for personal fulfillment, some like to fill up their time with productive action, others like to achieve their goals that is very important to them, while some people have their own personal missions and they do this through doing some consequential work, , while some like the companionship and interaction with customers and coworkers. Some employees like to revolutionize, test oneself with different problems. But no matter what their personal reasons for working are, the main thing is that almost everyone works for money. Fair benefits and pay are the keystones of a successful company that recruits and retains committed workers. To draw the best employees, employers should pay more than their average-paying counterparts in the market. Employees want to be valued and respected for well done work by their senior management.

Below are few things employees look out in their jobs:

§ Decision Making and Autonomy of their work: employees want to be in charge of of their work and have the capability to impact decision concerning their areas of work, setting clear and measurable goals, having job enrichment, recognition for achievement.

§ To Get Timely Information – receiving communication regarding decision making; team and meeting contribution occasion; and visual documents and posting of work progress and happenings.

§ Chance to Grow and Career Development: providing education and training; career progression, cross-training; and tours to booming workplaces.

§ Acknowledgment for Good Performance – employees want recognition for a job well done, this recognition should be tied with pay for their performance. Many employees find non-performers should be fired and failure to do so by the organizations is one of the most demotivating actions organizations take.

Motivation as a tool for Employee Retention

Keeping your employees motivated is half the battle won, the correct way to motivate an employee is to win his mind!! Motivation has been defined as the mental and emotional process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995). According to Buford, Bedeian & Lindner motivation is a inclination to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995). Another definition according to Higgins it is an internal force to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994). Motivated employees are needed in every organization as they are more productive and thus help organizations survive, thus managers should keep in mind that as employees earnings raise, money becomes less of a motivator (Kovach, 1987) because as the employees grows older exciting work happen to be more of a motivator to him. Motivation for employees is defined as the internal force that drives people to achieve his/her personal and organizational goals simultaneously.

Motivation Theories

Below are five major theories of motivation

  1. Maslow's need-hierarchy theory,
  2. Herzberg's two- factor theory,
  3. Vroom's expectancy theory,
  4. Adams' equity theory, and
  5. Skinner's reinforcement theory

Maslow's Theory states that employees have five levels of needs (Maslow, 1943): physiological needs, safety and security, social, ego, and self- actualization. Lower level needs have to be fulfilled before the next higher level need would stimulate employees.

Herzberg's Theory classified motivation into two factors: motivators and hygiene’s (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction.

Vroom's Theory stands on the belief that employee attempts will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Rewards may be either positive or negative. The more positive the reward the more likely the employee will be extremely motivated. On the contrary, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated.

Adams' Theory states that employees do their best for fair treatment between themselves and other workers. Equity is achieved when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965).

Skinner's Theory simply states those employees' behaviors that lead to positive outcomes will be repeated and behaviors that lead to negative outcomes will not be repeated (Skinner, 1953). Managers should positively support employee behaviors that lead to positive outcomes. Managers should negatively highlight employee behavior that leads to negative outcomes.

Different Ways to Motivate Employees

Employee motivation is improved when organizations properly employ a large amount of motivators. Below are few areas that powerfully impact motivation:

  1. Monetary Rewards: Money is the most important motivator. While basic salary remains the biggest share of the total cash shelled out, cash incentive plans, special accomplishment incentive rewards, spot bonuses, and cash-equivalent rewards can all be included. In many companies, stock-based incentive plans, once only meant for the top executives, are now also presented to all employees.
  2. Promotions and relocation to desired place: promotions carry fundamental social and psychological meaning, recognition and sense of accomplishment for many employees, which for them is much more important than extra money or benefits.
  3. Providing Chance to Grow: The chance to improve one's self is very important for motivation. Organizations that give this benefit are in a win-win company with their employees. The company creates and preserves a talented workforce to use as a competitive weapon, and the employees sharpen their own competitive edge as they self-actualize.
  4. Providing a Challenging and Inspiring Job: The nature of work as a source of motivation differ with different character. As for some employees, in depth work involving technical tasks can be a turn-on; for others, fast-paced work with varying goals, roles and challenges is their ideal job.
  5. Autonomy in Job: liberty to take action, to make decisions, to work by yourself, is one of the most important factors that most employees value. Autonomy is essential to achieving a sense of self-worth. Autonomy strongly persuades the decision of the individuals to stay or leave the organization.
  6. Management Style: mangers motivate employees by actions and words, their management style, way of dealing with things, problems and in different situations highly influence their employees or team members, they look up to their managers and want to become like them in future. Managers show their employees a clear sense of purpose, offering a vision which is worth a go-getting; managers have the power to instill a sense hope, passion and willpower in their employees.
  7. Relaxed Psychic Rewards: constructive feedback from their boss, peers, lower level employees and others colleagues have a long lasting impact on motivation. Such rewards are more strengthening and prove to be an incentive to its employees who want to feel cherished for what they do and who they are.
  8. Aspirations: aims, objective, ambitions are great motivators.
  9. Fun: when employees sometimes clown around in the offices they are not always wasting time but rather just increasing and maintaining their high spirits. Many offices are sadly kept away of smiles and laughter, but they fail to understand that some humor here and there works a long ways in brightening their day and instilling positive spirit into the work culture.
  10. Boosting Morale by Using Humor to keep employees: as increasingly more and more organizations are restructuring, right sizing, down sizing and as a result of all these employees have little control over making rules which affect their job description, job expectation, reporting managers etc all this results into sense of powerlessness that the employees feel and this results into high stress levels, demoralization, unhealthiness, more absent employees each day resulting into lower productivity all of which impacts the retention of the employees. so in order to keep up the Spirits, continue to work effectively and maintain healthy and sanity in such a situation/environment, workers/employees choose to laugh. As they can only cry for so long so it’s better to laugh it out. As laughter is a positive choice, it makes us feel good.

Retention Strategies

§ Training

Businesses should plan training programmes such that would match employee’s know-how with current development. For example Price Waterhouse, Hewlett Packard and Ernst & Young initiated a new online training and counseling programme that drastically brought down the turnover rate. IBM set up a career centre where career development programmes were given emphasis to.

§ Effectual Mentoring

Another reason for turnover is lack of effective mentoring skills. Lack of proper counselors demotivates the employees.

§ Challenges

Employer should help employees to prove their worth and bring out their talent potentials, and avoid cost point.

§ Autonomy

Providing employees with demanding accountable tasks, as well as giving them the freedom to work by themselves in their own ways motivates them.

§ Good Relationships

Healthy relationships among the line members and staff members inspire employees to stay on in any organization.

§ Better Pay Package

Compensation plays an significant role in attracting, motivating and retaining employees. Thus in order to avoid substantial loss of human capital, decreased efficiency levels and depressing performance levels, pay packages should be good enough and better than the industry standards.

§ Use your team for Recruitment

By implementing team recruitment strategy organizations can increase their team of applicants for selection, add value to their interview process, enhance employee loyalty, build loyal peer relationships and thus improve retention rates simultaneously. There are four steps in the team recruitment process:

  1. Defining manpower needs,
  2. Finding and attracting quality candidates to respond to those needs,
  3. Interviewing and selecting the best applicants, and
  4. Orienting newly chosen employees into the business.

The most effective team-recruitment approach will include employee’s at all four stages of the process.

§ Consultation & Coaching as a tool for Retention

Training services add to the abilities of the managers/team leaders/supervisors in reaching larger employee engagement activities, productivity levels and business results. The coaching approach studies the current practices implemented and thus discover new strengths that can be built upon quickly to obtain maximum results. Employee Retention Strategies helps leaders bring into line their daily management actions, which will be most useful in building morale and retention.

Coaching includes the following activities:

  • Skill-building activities for attaining best practice in creating valuable teams
  • Prioritizing “people? problem and anxiety while balancing organization and consumer priority
  • Approaches to mutual communications with staff, solving problems, customer-retention challenge and build successful interpersonal relationships
  • Accepting systems and bring about change that is effective and lasting
  • Grouping among senior director, middle executive and front-line supervisors to improve organizational effectiveness.

§ Training as a tool for Retention

Training is a vital function in every organization, as it not only helps employees perform far better than they currently are but also reinforce the psychological contract that is vital to the success of a genuine, sustainable win-win relationship that can blossom. Successful planning and implementation of employee training programs helps organizations in reducing the employee turnover, as it also helps the organization in retaining qualified and competent employees who give their talent and creativity to the firm and also increases its value. Thus increased staff retention will not be possible through training alone but through a culture that values and responds to the needs of its workforce. People value time spent in the organization, and thus as a result more and more people will stay with a company that respects individuals for their diversity, their skills and their contribution.

Some More Retention Strategies

  1. The ability of the employee to talk his or her mind freely in the organization is another key factor in employee retention.
  2. Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor your key employees seek in your workplace. As a motivated employee wants to give in to work more than or outside of his specific job description.
  3. The perception of fair and impartial management and dealing is very important in employee retention.
  4. Your best employees, those employees whom you want to retain, hunt for frequent occasion wherein they get to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge wise and sharpen their skill sets. A career-oriented, valued employee must see and undergo growth opportunities within your organization.
  5. Senior managers should take time out to meet with new recruits and acknowledge their talents, abilities and skills. Meet with each employee once in a while as it is very important to help employees feel welcomed, acknowledged and loyal.

Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL)

Company Background

Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) spearheads the group’s presence in the telecom sector. Incorporated in 1996, Tata Teleservices was the first to launch CDMA mobile service in India with the Andra Pradesh Circle. It operates under the brand name Tata Indicom in various telecom circles of India. In November 2008 Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo picked up a 26% equity stake in Tata Teleservices and in February 2008 TTSL announced that it would provide CDMA mobile services targeted towards the youth in association with the Virgin Group on franchisee model basis.

Tata Teleservices provides mobile services under 3 Brand names:

Ø Tata Indicom (CDMA Mobile operator)

Ø Tata DoCoMo (GSM Mobile operator)

Ø Virgin Mobile (CDMA Mobile operator)

The company acquired Hughes Telecom (India) Limited [now renamed Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited] in December 2002. With a total Investment of Rs 19,924 Crore, Tata Teleservices has created a Pan India presence spread across 20 circles that includes Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Gujarat, J & K, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Mumbai, North East, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W), Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

Having pioneered the CDMA 3G1x technology platform in India, Tata Teleservices has established 3G ready telecom infrastructure. It partnered with Motorola, Ericsson, Lucent and ECI Telecom for the deployment of its telecom network. The company is the market leader in the fixed wireless telephony market with a total customer base of over 3.8 million.

Tata Teleservices’ bouquet of telephony services includes Mobile services, Wireless Desktop Phones, Public Booth Telephony and Wireline services. Other services include value added services like voice portal, roaming, post-paid Internet services, 3-way conferencing, group calling, Wi-Fi Internet, USB Modem, data cards, calling card services and enterprise services. Some of the other products launched by the company include prepaid wireless desktop phones, public phone booths, new mobile handsets and new voice & data services such as BREW games, Voice Portal, picture messaging, polyphonic ring tones, interactive applications like news, cricket, astrology, etc.

Tata Indicom "Non Stop Mobile" allow pre-paid cellular customers to receive free incoming calls. Tata Teleservices Limited along with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited have a subscriber base of 36 million customers (as of April 2009) in more than 5,000 towns. Tata Teleservices has also acquired GSM licenses for specific circles in India Senior Management - The Board of Directors for TTSL includes Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata, while the company is currently headed by its Managing Director, Mr. Anil Kumar Sardana. Network - Tata Teleservices operates primarily on the CDMA network. Tata Indicom’s enterprise solutions work on the CDMA 3G-1X technology.

The total tower strength of Tata Indicom is currently at 18,000 towers nationwide. Rural Telephony - TTSL also maintains a distribution network across villages , where in people are appointed and trained by TTSL – who visit villages on a bicycle or a two-wheeler at defined times on defined days of the week, selling recharge vouchers and servicing equipment; each runner covers between 200 to 300 customers. The company joined hands with Tata Chemicals, Tata Kisaan Sansar network, disseminating information through these centers and using them as local distributors. Retail - The Company’s retail business has around 3,000 outlets nationally, comprising 600 TTSL owned stores and around 2,500 stores in the Franchisee format. Tata Indicom already covers the top 700 towns in India in terms of population through Tata Indicom Exclusive Stores. Tata Indicom also maintains an online portal for its customers I-choose where the customers can buy Tata Indicom post-paid connections and prepaid recharge vouchers with an upfront commitment of activation and delivery of the handset within 72 hours. Value Added Services - Tata Teleservices, in October 2007 launched Tata Zone, an infotainment portal on Tata Indicom BREW-enabled mobile phones, in Hindi. This service has applications, pricing details, downloads and browsing instructions in Hindi. The rationale behind this was simple: - 66% of all Indians speak Hindi, while less than 5% understand English. Under its VAS bouquet, TTSL offers services such as News, Games, Faith and Prayers, Ringtones, Streaming TV, Fun Shows, Video Zone, Song Download Express, Cricket, Internet Surfing, Astrology, and Mobile Office among others. Tata Indicom plans to provide m-commerce, mobile advertising and social networking under its VAS offerings.

HR @ TTSL: is one of the few companies to develop a formal HR policy which viewed employees as a means of achieving long-term growth and profitability. It is considered as one of the most employee friendly companies in the world because of its innovative HR practices which aim at achieving maximum employee satisfaction. Employee Retention is one the significant aspects of TTSL HR policy. It has striven hard to maintain good relations with its employees. Further I have listed down the best practices employed at TTSL in recruitment, selection, training and development of employees and the Retention strategies at TTSL.

Employee Retention at TTSL

Is a significant aspect of TTSL’s HR policy. Commenting on the significance of retaining the employees At TTSL they make every effort to maintain good relationships with their employees. The employees (those who have spent at least 18 months in TTSL) who have quit TTSL are allowed to join back if their new job doesn’t match their expectations. The company developed an exit interview which is administered online. The interview asked the employees details about their new jobs: the compensation offered the job profile and more. The employees are asked to explain why they quit their job at TTSL and whether or not they were willing to work again for TTSL if provided an opportunity. The information collected through the exit interview is stored to enable further analysis regarding job trends and to identify internal problems if any. By employing this process the management also ensured that the employees quit the organization on good terms and carried a favorable impression of TTSL. At TTSL they try to ensure that people don’t walk out the door with a bad taste in their mouth or their final memories to be of a bad experience with TTSL.

At TTSL apart from salary, the employees are also offered several exciting perks. The company’s compensation package is also supplemented by rewards and recognition programs. These programs are devised such that both the individual as well as the team efforts are recognized. Apart from regular rewards, the management also presented cash awards to recognize exceptional instance where employees contributed to the company’s progress.

Over the years, TTSL developed several innovative HR programs that has served as a benchmark for many organizations. These programs not only yielded financial benefits for TTSL through improved employee productivity levels, they also enhanced the reputation of the company as an employee-friendly, service-oriented organization.

Methodology

This study is intended to find out the challenges faced in retaining employees in telecom industry therefore the research will take a phenomenological approach because it is about finding out the challenges faced in retaining people. The research will be carried out through using quantitative approach. The research will be carried out by producing a questionnaire survey in order to disclose the areas which are challenging when it comes to retaining people. Here I will be using two different sets of questionnaire one for the employees and one for the HR Department I will get an overview of the employees perspective as well as the HR people at TTSL and than after that do my data analysis using SNAP 8 software and also Excel which will give accurate data analysis. A questionnaire is basically a prepared set of questions which respondents or interviewers record answers. There are basically two types of questions in a questionnaire open-ended and close ended. The open ended questionnaires have no limitation on their respondents and so as a result the respondents are free to answer in their own words. It is used in exploratory and qualitative studies, also in personal interview surveys involving small samples. As the data being in narrative form it can be more time consuming and difficult to code and analyze. In the closed-ended questions the respondent is given the option of choosing from a number of preset answers. As closed ended questions help the respondents to make quick decision to choose among the several alternative before them. They also help the researcher to code the information easily for subsequent analysis. Closed-ended questions are typically used in quantitative studies, although the close-ended question is more difficult to design but it simplifies analysis.

The two most common data that are collective for investigative research are primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected for the first time and so it is original and it is collected for a specific purpose or in order to solve a specific problem. Primary research is usually expensive and more time consuming and also more focused than the secondary research. For example when the company researches for a new project the primary data will collect all the information and than the secondary data has to establish what work have been undertaken so far and than they have to find out all the information before they have to start a research design ( Clark et al, 2003).

The research for this proposal is based on primary research method and/or quantitative methods. There are many ways of conducting a primary research such as:

Ø Interviews

Ø Questionnaires

Ø Observations

Ø Focus groups

Ø Surveys

Ø Product tests

Ø Projective techniques

Careful planning is essential to a good interview; the interview can range from structured to unstructured. In unstructured interview, the interviewer ad-lips (make up questions as you go along) a good portion of the discussion, to a completely structured in which the interviewer basically reads from a writing, which has been written earlier. All these research techniques can help us get information from the customers although they have their own advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of primary research are: it is more applicable and usable, more accurate and reliable and it is up-to-date. On the other hand it has also got some drawbacks like it is very expensive, also not immediately available and also not as readily accessible. The quantitative research is more structured and numeric. All quantitative data is based upon qualitative judgments and all qualitative data can be described and used numerically.

Secondary data is the data that has been gathered previously. The most important advantage of secondary data is that they can be collected from various sources more quickly and reasonably than the primary ones. Secondary data are advantageous because they have already been collected they also provide a realistic measure. Also secondary data can be useful as a reference base in order to compare the research findings, thus even for a relatively unique research situation scanning the secondary data would possible offer useful insight. In this report, secondary data was obtained from journals, articles, previous dissertation, textbooks and websites. The secondary data obtained from journals and articles and past dissertations they are more accurate and reliable. Generally people use textbooks for secondary data, which provides definitions and some relative concepts, data derived from textbooks are about strategies and causes for retention. In my research the secondary data will be collected through various databases available from college library, journals, articles and research theories will be accessed from Emerald full text, business source premium, EBSCO HOST research databases, Swetswise database and various other white papers. I will be using internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo for my research and also electronic databases.

Sampling Method

My sample consisted of approximately 80 people of different age groups including both male/females. I decided to do so because by doing so, I would get a better analysis as my research would not be overly biased by any specific gender thus giving me an overall response from diverse group of people.

Questionnaire Design

I will be using a questionnaire simple because I think it is the best method for my research and also because it is more useful and suitable for my research that is finding out what are the challenges faced by employers in telecom industry to retain its people. My questionnaire is first started with more general sort of questions relating to work life and job satisfaction and than later came to more specific ones, as the questionnaire proceeded I used likert scale questions. I have also used more of close-ended questions in which the respondents are offered with alternative choices and just need to tick or circle one answer, which they believe best suits them. The reason for choosing close-ended questions in my questionnaire was because the respondents would not be willing to spend their precious time for too long and would get bored with my questionnaire and thus would find it easier to answer my questions. The close-ended questions offered them a simple choice of saying yes or no or choosing one answer from a multiple choice. These were followed by some demographic questions which included information such as gender, age, income, occupation etc this section had a mixture of open-ended and close-ended.

Pilot Testing

Pilot testing the questionnaire was necessary before writing a final questionnaire and therefore I distributed 10 questionnaires and requested a feedback from those people. I asked those ten people to say how I could improve this questionnaire and did they come across any errors or anything that they were not happy about answering in the questionnaire, also by asking them about the quality of the questionnaire, what did they think about it? By doing all this, I was able to produce a much more effective and a better questionnaire. By doing this preliminary test, I was able to identify my faults/mistakes within my questionnaire and was able to rectify them, this helped me to produce a better questionnaire.

Data Collection

I was planning to use postal and telephone surveys for my data collection in the initial stage but because my questionnaire was there pages long I thought it is not a very good idea as the respondents would not be ready for this long questionnaire and thus the response rate would be very low and it is well known that telephone surveys are difficult to conduct due to people not wiling to take part in the survey. Even with the postal survey the public are either too busy or lazy to reply, unless an incentive is offered. Both of the above methods that are telephone and postal surveys are expensive and time consuming. So my method of survey for my data collection was distributing questionnaires to the employees during their lunch time at TTSL, this gave me a captive audience for my research. I had also emailed few questionnaires and thus got some of the respondents to answer my questions. Thus using email enabled me to collect data in hand within a few hours time.

Data Analysis

What would make your work more meaningful and satisfying?

Figure 1

Out of 80 respondents, 75% of respondents in the survey strongly agree that their job is more meaningful and satisfying to them if it makes good use of their skills and abilities, while 25% agree with the same. None of them are undecided or disagree with the same.

Figure 2

63% of the 80 respondents agreed that clearly defined duties/KRA’s makes their work more meaningful and satisfying. Whereas 25% strongly agreed clearly defined duties/KRA make their work satisfying. Only 13% are undecided about what exactly makes their work more meaningful and satisfying.

Figure 3

This diagram shows that nearly 41% of 80 respondents agree to that work life balance makes their work more satisfying and meaningful, and 31% strongly agree with this statement. 15% of the respondents disagree whereas 13% are undecided about what makes their work more satisfying.

Figure 4

This horizontal diagram represents the role of proper reward and recognition in making one’s work more meaningful and satisfying. Here 56% of respondents agreed that proper Reward and recognition is essential, while 20% respondents strongly agreed and only 13% were undecided and not sure whether proper reward and recognition makes their work more meaningful and satisfying.

Figure 5

Looking at the chart above, 50% of the respondents disagree that feeling of personal accomplishment makes their job satisfying and meaningful while 17.5% strongly disagree and 15% of them are undecided. Only 12.5% agree that they feel their job is more satisfying if their get a feeling of personal accomplishment.

What conditions would cause you to seek employment elsewhere?

Figure 6

From the above chart it is seen, that almost 60% of the respondents out of 80 agree that they seek employment elsewhere for better prospects and career growth. 31% strongly believe for the same only 9% are undecided whether they would seek employment else for better prospects.

Figure 7

This diagram shows that, 88% of the respondents strongly agreed that Better salary package makes them to seek employment elsewhere. And 13% of them agreed that they would seek employment elsewhere if offered better salary.

Figure 8

These results show that out of 80 respondents almost 46% disagree that they would not leave TTSL for any other brand name, which means that are quiet satisfied working for a company with a good reputation and a good brand name.

Figure 9

Here 48% of the respondents said they disagree that better working environment and better organization culture would make them to seek employment elsewhere, which indirectly means they are quite satisfied and happy with TTSL working environment and organization culture. 24% agreed that they would consider a move if provided the same.

What is it that keeps you from seeking other employment?

Figure 10

From the above graph it is visible that 31% of the respondents strongly agree that it’s their relationship with their immediate manager or supervisor that keeps them from seeking other employment. 23% agreed with the same while 14% respondents were undecided and 12% were disagreed.

Figure 11

From the above graph, it is seen that 36% of respondents agree that pay package is what keeps them from seeking employment elsewhere. While 20% agreed with the same. 14% disagreed while 8% were undecided and 2% strongly disagreed.

Figure 12

From the above bar diagram it is obvious that 38% of the respondents agree that it is the conducive work environment that keeps them from seeking employment elsewhere, while 18% strongly agree.

Figure 13

Almost 35% of the respondents agree that the job profile is what keeps them from seeking employment elsewhere, whereas at the same time 26% are undecided. 11% strongly believe that the job profile is interesting enough to keep them grounded and 8% disagree.

Figure 14

Career growth is what keeps 33% of the respondents from seeking employment elsewhere, as they strongly agree with this, 27% agree and 13% are undecided and 7% disagree with the same.

Figure 15

55% of the respondents strongly agreed that it is the company brand name that keeps them from seeking employment elsewhere. 36% agreed with the same. Tata is a reputable brand and the employees wanted to be associated with it.

What changes need to be made in your work environment?

Figure 16

It is seen from the above graph that almost 60% of the respondents disagree which means job security is not something they would like changes in, in TTSL.

Figure 17

Here it is seen that majority of the respondents almost 43% disagree with changes in work place hygiene which means employees are happy with the way it is, they are quiet satisfied and find the place up to the mark.

Figure 18

This diagram shows that more than 53% of the respondents agree that they wanted better facilities, like crèche, recreational areas, a well equipped gym etc while 28% strongly agreed with the same and 20% of respondents were undecided and not sure regarding the facilities offered at TTSL.

Figure 19

Here it is seen that 61% of the respondents agree and want a better work life balance, 23% strongly agree and 13% are undecided regarding better work life balance.

Figure 20

From the above diagram it is seen that 61% disagree that Job Clarity is not something they wanted changes in, which means their jobs are pretty well clearly communicated to them.

Figure 21

Here it is seen that majority of the respondents, 51% disagree with the current salary offered to them at TTSL and 41% strongly disagree with the same.

Are your talents/Skills/Abilities being used fully?

Figure 22

From the above pie chart it is seen that majority of the respondents almost 52% agree that their talents are being used fully while at the same time 20% strongly agree with the same.

Do you think your feedback/suggestions will be implemented?

Figure 23

From the above pie chart it is seen that 53% respondents are undecided regarding whether their feedback will be used or not. 21% disagree that their feedback / suggestions are not being implemented

(Please Tick ONE ANSWER in each line across)

Figure 24

From the above graph we can see that most of the respondents almost 48% agree that they are provided with the necessary equipments/materials they need to do their work right. Only 4% respondents disagreed with the same.

Figure 25

From this diagram it is seen that almost 64% of the respondents agreed that they were very clear of what is expected of them in their job, this shows that TTSL had communicated job clarity very well.

Figure 26

Here most of the respondents were agreed and positive about the future of TTSL with almost 46% agree and 26% strongly agree wit the same.

Figure 27

From the above diagram it is seen that 58% of respondents agree and 28% strongly agree that their group works well together to accomplish their organizational goals.

Figure 28

Almost 51% agree that they receive adequate technical and non-technical training on time as per their job requirement. And 25% strongly agreed with the same.

Figure 29

Majority of the respondents almost about 44% were undecided whether they were happy with TTSL as an organization or not? 26% disagreed and 24% agreed, this shows that the employees were highly confused or reluctant to share their true opinion or experiences.

While working with TTSL, please rate the following factors as per their importance in your professional and personal life. (Mark most important factor as 1)

Figure 30

Here it is seen that more than 50% of respondents marked salary package as one of the most important factor in their professional and personal life. After salary it is the future prospects and career growth that mattered the most.

Would you recommend employment at TTSL to your friend?

Figure 31

As seen from the above more than 50% of the respondents said they would not recommend employment at TTSL to their friends and family.

Years of Experience in this company

Figure 33

Majority of the respondents that is the employees have been at TTSL between the 0-5 years, followed by 24% between 5-10 years of experience at TTSL. Only 4% of the respondents were there for above 15 yrs.

Are you:

Figure 32

There were 67% of male respondents and 33% of female respondents.

How old are you?

Figure 34

From the above pie diagram it is seen that more than 50% of the respondents fall in the age group of 20 to 40, followed by 14% of them between 40 to 60 years.

What is your monthly Gross salary (in Rs)?

Figure 35

From the above pie diagram we can see that majority of the respondents were in the salary band of more than 15100 Rs per month. With only 10% less than 10,000 and 36% between 10100 to 15000 bandwidth.

Conclusion & Recommendations

The research question of finding out the challenges faced in retaining employees in TTSL, was answered by doing a survey at TTSL interviewing the HR as well as getting the employees point of view on the key things that matters most to them when talking about retention. For this I used a set of questions and from my findings it can be seen that the key reasons why employees left the organization were because they were offered Better Salary and better designation elsewhere in the market. When asked about the reasons why they would still like to work for or be associated with TTSL, inspite of them paying low as compared to market rate, most of the employees said it is because of the Brand name and company reputation, as Tata is a trusted name, also because they had a good relationship with their immediate supervisors/managers, unlike their competitors at TTSL they don’t use abusive and harsh language. Also because they found the work environment at TTSL to be very conducive, the policies and procedures were simple to follow, all their entitlements were communicated clearly and most importantly at the right time which many other companies according to the employees fail to do so or the HR are very choosy and partial towards some employees and inform them about their entitlements while the rest remain uninformed. Career growth was another major reason why employees wanted to continue working here. When posed about what changes they would like have in TTSL as an organization, almost all of them said they wanted a better pay package and better facilities, more recreational initiatives like unwinding zones, a crèche, gym, baby sitting areas to name a few.

When asked them about whether they would recommend employment at TTSL to their friends/relative more than 50% of the respondent refused to do so as they are not the best pay masters in the industry as work is all about money at the end of the day, if not for all, atleast for most of us. According to Mr. Macwan, HR Manager, TTSL, Ahmedabad the successfully planned and implemented employee training programs at TTSL has helped them in reducing employee turnover. It has also help the organization in retaining qualified and competent employees who will in return give their talent and creativity to the firm and also increase its value.

When asked Mr. Macwan, about their Talent Retention initiatives, he said they are now trying to give better salary and designations as compared to before, also they are now providing career growth to deserving candidates. Also practicing more and more employee engagement activities like they have Coffee with COO sessions for all level of employees wherein they get to meet their COO over a cup of coffee on a one-to-one basis, this is a great platform to share their say directly with the COO, then they have a weekly magazine called “Kem Chho? for its internal customers, an online Library for all its internal customers, Birthday Bashes as the end of each month where in they celebrate all birthdays that fall in that particular month. Painting competitions for their kids, they have one annual event each year wherein they acknowledge great contributions and honor all its hard working employees, star of the months etc. That’s why they are now focusing more on Employee engagement activities as it helps to nurture social ties among employees, peers, subordinates, managers.

TTSL puts tremendous effort in finding and screening prospective employees to ensure excellent individual performers to constitute a team. TTSL practices making team work foundation for individual performers to give their heart and soul to make the company successful, this is done by building up teams at work level and also formation of social groups outside the work place. TTSL aims to create strong social ties among its employees by encouraging them to form employee clubs such as literary club, cinema clubs and game squads which consists of employee’s family members and close associates.

When asked Mr.Macwan about the importance of employee retention, Macwan said, being in the midst of such cut-throat competitive situation, employee loyalty happens to be very low so it is very significant to us keep our workforce happy and satisfied in order to make an environment where employees would love to come to work everyday.

The recommendations I would make to TTSL, according to the questionnaire surveys I found a majority of respondents citing the reason for leaving TTSL was because of the pay package that they offer. TTSL will need to offer a better compensation and benefits package as otherwise they will fail to retain their existing talent, as the same failing to attract new talented people, it is very crucial to retain worthy talented candidates as they will otherwise go somewhere else if they are getting a better paid job so in order to stay in the market TTSL will need to offer a better compensation and benefits package probably one that is even above the market rate.

Reference

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