Society & Culture & Entertainment Philosophy

Employee Retention Secrets From a Rural Housewife

I recently learnt a very important lesson in attrition management.
It came from a most unexpected quarter:a middle-aged housewife in a village, tucked away in South India.
My friend and I were helping ourselves to a sumptuous Biriyani treat at her house.
We were on a short vacation-exploring the green beauty of the Western Ghats, the mountains dividing South India.
I remarked that she manages to keep her vegetable gardens trim and well maintained.
It must be difficult for a lady of her age.
She looked as if she was in her sixties.
"0h, I always get the best workers, and they never leave me," she said with a smile.
"How do you manage to keep them with you?" I asked, sniffing the possibility of uncovering a management precept that somehow, Drucker and other Gurus had overlooked.
Here was my chance! I could have MY BIG BOOK out.
I thanked myself for having read up on the attrition problems faced by the giant MNCs.
However, her answer, was quite unexpected.
"The secret son, is in front of you, on your plate!" She said with a triumphant smile.
I could not believe it.
"You feed biriyani to your workers everyday?" How could she balance out costs and returns? "No you dummy", she said.
"I serve them what we make for ourselves.
As much as they want" "Oh, but they are only workers...
you are indulging them, aunty.
" I tried to reason with her.
"On the contrary, I find them extremely reliable, to the point that they will ask my permission to go for work in others' places.
I have had instances of absenteeism very rarely, and they take good care of my plants.
Thats all I need.
" "Wow, that's just great.
Now I know how to get 100% attendance at my office.
" My enthusiasm, however, drew a concerned look from her.
"I think you are missing the whole point, son" She explained," I do not treat them well to get good returns out of them.
It is not a transaction for me.
I do it because I love to do it.
I like to make them happy.
" As you might have guessed, this is nothing new.
People do great work when they are happy.
They are happy when you treat them as valuable individuals.
Note: Biriyani is a dish made of rice, ghee, vegetables, and flavored with spices.
It is taken with onions in curd.

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