“If an organisation fails to retain an employee, the organisation will lose knowledge, experience and also customers who maintain a good relationship with the organisation through that employee,” Sumeet Ghai, HR Manager of Vivanta by Taj – Surya, said here on Saturday.

Inaugurating a national seminar on ‘Employee Retention Strategies’ organised by the Department of Catering Science and Hotel Management of SNR Sons College, he stressed the need for retaining employees because the cost of recruiting new employee was much more than that of retaining an existing employee.

“If the attrition rate in a company is high with regard to new employees who have not completed even six months, the company has to revisit its onboard (selection) process and also pay attention to its hiring policy to assess whether the right person was being selected for the right job,” Mr. Ghai said.

Also, if the attrition rate was high in the first three years of joining, then it meant the company had failed to give a clear picture to the employee about his career advancement.

“Performance assessment should be transparent and appreciation other than in the form of money should be encouraged. These measures are necessary to retain staff in the light of the fact that young employees who are degree holders are keen on taking up higher education rather than focussing on the career.

Diploma holders in catering science are more skill-oriented and have a keen outlook towards their career,” he said.

R. Singaravelavan, Head of the Department of Catering Science and Hotel Management, SNR Sons College, said the seminar was organised because most of the catering science graduates were not passionate about their profession.

It was to create awareness among them about the prevailing industry conditions.

“Only a few of them work in the catering industry, while others take up jobs not related to the domain. Since the catering profession is skill-based and customer-oriented, the employer wants to get his money’s worth from day one. If the graduates fall short of expectations, they are exposed easily,” he said.

G. Sankara Narayanan, HR Manager of Mahendra Holidays and Resorts, Udhagamandalam, and P.R. Chandra Mohan, Training Manager, The Residency, gave an industry perspective.

V. Sridhar, Head, Department of Catering Science and Hotel Management, V.L.B. Janakiammal College of Arts and Science, said that catering science students were not groomed for real-life situations and hence quit as soon as they found it difficult to tackle situations on the job.

Performance assessment should be transparent and appreciation other than in the form of money should be encouraged