Service sector organisations build their competitive advantage using their employees. In such organisations, human resource professionals have a noble responsibility of ensuring that they attract and retain employees who have the highest competency levels. This process calls for the professionals to devise a plan for effective human resource management. In the Singaporean airline industry, customers constantly seek to see improved service delivery. The airline is the largest organisation in Singapore’s air transport sector.
It has a strong operations presence in the South-eastern, Eastern, and South Asian markets. The airline assumes 15th position in a list of the best global air carriers across the globe based on the revenue it generates per kilometre of travel. In terms of the carriage capacity, it falls in the 10th position. It is ranked the second position globally in terms of market capitalisation, which currently stands at $14billion. This observation suggests that the organisation has established an immense industry leadership not only in the Asian operational routes, but also in the global airline industry.
Much of this success is built with the help of Singapore’s airline employees who are in close contact with customers during the process of service delivery. The capacity of the Singaporean airline to retain its employees who have enabled it to build global its leadership is critical for continued sustenance of the position. The current paper conducts a literature review on the employee retention approaches that can support Singapore Airline to retain its leadership position in the air transport industry. Besides, it shows what the airline’s performance implies to HR managers.
Literature Review: Retention Approaches for Employees in Singapore Airline
Organisations that do business in the global market contend that human resource strategic initiatives are important in ensuring that they gain success both in the short and long term. The HR department is established to handle issues that relate to employees, including enhancing motivation and developing conflict resolution mechanisms.
The noble functions of the HR segment are inspired by the perception that people who work for any business entity act as the source of competitive advantage. Ollapally and Bhatnagar (2009) support this assertion by noting that employees cannot be optimised using economic theories in the same manner as other factors of production such as capital and land. Organisations that use people as the source of organisational success seek ways of retaining the most productive employees while ensuring growth and development of the less talented. Employee turnover is expensive in service sector organisations such as Singapore Airline.
It leads to additional costs of running the business. Such expenses include the cost of retraining new employees, their recruitment, and even overheads that are associated with low productivity of new employees before they can cope with the new organisational culture. Expanding this school of thought, this paper presents a study on employee retention approaches that can support Singapore Airline to retain its leadership position in the global air transport operation. It also clarifies what this process implies for HR managers, not only in this organisation, but also in other global companies.
Defining Employee Retention
Employees may consider quitting their work in organisations under different circumstances. In the quest to ensure that an organisation continues to enjoy the services of its talented employees, it has to seek strategies of ensuring that its labour force does not consider quitting either voluntary or involuntarily. Hong et al. (2012, p.63) define employee retention as ‘policies and practices that companies use to prevent valuable employees from leaving their job.’
Recruitment of highly talented employees is incredibly important for any organisation, including Singapore Airline. However, although retention is crucial, it is a challenging activity. According to Ahrichs (2000), many organisations do not estimate correctly the costs that are incurred due to high turnover levels. Retention helps in reducing turnover costs, including retraining, recruitment, induction, and relocation among others (Kotze & Roodt 2005).
Retention policies ensure the reduction of hidden organisational costs such as those that are related to low employee morale and negative perception of an organisation. These elements reduce customer satisfaction levels with services or products that the organisation in question sells. An organisation that deploys employees to build its competitive advantage primarily focuses on developing the appropriate retention programmes through its human resource department.
Employees’ retention also refers to programmes that seek to motivate employees in their work so that they do not consider seeking job opportunities in competing firms or in other industries. They also ensure that an organisation does not experience a shortage of requisite talent potential that is valuable to its operations. The main concern of employee retention is to ensure that the high performing labour force in terms of creativity and innovation level does not leave (Shaw & Fang 2009). Hence, the level of competitiveness in the industry grows.
Different Employee Retention Approaches
Singapore Airline can deploy several strategies to increase its employee retention. They include employee empowerment, employee training and development, development of effective compensation strategies, and developing employee appraisal programmes. These strategies can also increase employee commitment to an organisation. Employee devotion to an organisation is an important aspect that determines any turnover intents (Farndale et al. 2011).
Employees can be empowered by engaging them in decision-making processes. Empowerment also entails delegating authority or responsibility that is necessary for executing a specific task. Hong et al. (2012) reckon that empowerment also embraces the involvement of people in the process of establishing various goals and/or taking part in the development of motivational programmes. The purpose of empowerment is to ensure that employees participate proactively in the activities of an organisation, particularly those that lead to the achievement of goals, objectives, and missions.
Empowerment fosters the retention of employees by creating a sense of ownership and belonging to an organisation (Hong et al. 2012). This way, Singapore Airline employees need to be empowered to become confident in their assigned tasks as a way of ensuring optimal performance. The company needs to ensure optimal customer satisfaction. In the Singaporean airline industry, employees are in close contact with customers. Since empowerment increases customer satisfaction, the approach is not only crucial in reducing turnover, but also in ensuring that Singapore Airline retains its leadership in the industry.
Amid the significance of empowerment in enhancing employee retention and increasing their productivity, it is not appropriate in some situations. For example, Scott and Snell (2005) assert that incorporation of employees in decision-making as an empowerment strategy should be considered in an organisation when pay ceases to be a source of motivation and hence a job satisfaction element.
This situation happens when employees become interested in self-actualisation and recognition. According Hong et al. (2012), incorporating employees in decision-making processes makes them develop cognitions and perceptions that they have a share in the ownership of an organisation. This realisation makes them endeavour to perform their duties such that the organisation does not fail.
This plan raises the organisation’s productivity. However, empowerment through delegation of responsibility is inappropriate for new and inexperienced employees since it may compromise the quality of service delivery in Singapore Airline. Low-quality service may make Singapore Airline customers seek the services from the competitors. Consequently, the organisation may risk losing its market leadership because of the reduced market share.
Training and development equip employees with upgraded skills, which enable them to cope with the demands for organisational change and competitiveness. Training and development foster growth by enabling employees to utilise their potential to attain their individual goals in addition to the organisational objectives.
The chief purpose of any training and development programme encompasses raising workers’ self-esteem and enhancing job satisfaction, creativity, and enthusiasm to effectively carry out their jobs (Sveiby 2009). Professional and management development training nurtures leadership talents and sense of responsibility among staff members. Consequently, Singapore Airline can develop the capacity to carry out a performance review that is relevant to its development goals without prejudice.
Effective training for any service sector organisation concentrates on specific aspects of enhancing workforce performance. Such aspects include enhancement of employee career development, mentorship, talent management, and informing recruitment and selection processes of an organisation. Career development involves a continuous process of refining and/ or enhancing acquisition of knowledge and skills. It also involves efforts to enhance mastery of job techniques together with professional development while not negating efforts to enhance career planning (Sveiby 2009).
For Singapore Airline, effective career development programmes are crucial in enhancing people’s ability to execute organisational tasks with greater precision. Professional development transcends above knowledge and skills that are required for employees to perform their job descriptions. Such development is pivotal in aiding employees to develop capacities to perform their jobs better and in enhancing customer satisfaction.
Singapore Airline is not immune to the effects of changes in technological operations environment of an organisation. As new technologies and other changes in the operations environment of an organisation occur, an appropriate change is required in the career development programmes. Sveiby (2009) supports this assertion by noting that due to the consistent changes that are encountered in the modern organisational operational environment, career development programmes require employers to put in place strategies for enabling their employees to conduct reviews of their goals and objectives in their career lives.
The goal of the human resource arm of Singapore Airline is to deploy talent pools and employee potential to enhance its competitive advantage. Therefore, effective career development programmes should focus on areas of development of employee career lives since these areas are vital to the realisation of an organisation’s mission, future growth, and performance anticipations in a bid to retain workers in the long term.
Employees value jobs that advance them. Therefore, in the attempt to retain them, it is important to perform performance appraisals, which form the basis of making decisions on the requisite mechanism of advancing them. Hong et al. (2012, p.65) assert that performance appraisals ‘evaluate the individual overall contribution to the organisation through an assessment on his internal characteristics, working performance, and his capability to pursue higher position in an organisation.’ To reduce labour turnover plans in Singapore Airline, it is important for its HRM to consider developing strategies for ensuring that the airline succeeds in a turbulent environment. One of the ways of achieving this goal is by measuring the performance of its employees and rewarding them consistently with the amount of effort input.
Research on HRM suggests that the top talent is critical in enhancing industry leadership. However, as Denvir and McMahon (2002) confirm, the manner in which such talents are managed determines the extent to which an organisation attains a competitive advantage. Making management decisions is perhaps impossible without having the means of measuring the current performance for Singapore Airline.
Performance appraisal is a tool that provides the medium for enhancing communication between the workforce and the HR. Hong et al. (2012) support this assertion by claiming that effective performance appraisal leads to employee development coupled with enhancing their satisfaction with organisations. Indeed, as Edmans (2012) says, satisfaction with ones’ job reduces turnover intentions. Nevertheless, performance appraisals should not form the only tool for monitoring and/or measuring employee performance.
Pfeiffer and Gellar (2008) claim that work stressors may result in ambiguity of performance appraisal, thus leading to conflicts, high dissatisfaction, and subsequently to high turnover. This situation implies that HRM for Singapore Airline needs to properly deploy performance appraisal by eliminating respondents and the evaluators’ stressors. Negotiation stress should also be eliminated to ensure positive job performance for the organisation to retain industry leadership.
Organisations that retain their top talents seek mechanisms for enhancing employee motivation and commitment to their work. One of such mechanisms is a review of employee compensation. Compensation implies money or any valuable thing that is awarded to employees, either due to successful completion of a given task or damage that is incurred while working.
Hong et al. (2012) observe that compensation, as a tool for reducing turnover in organisation, should not take the form of cash only. It also comprises benefits such as ‘pension, life, and health insurance, retirement plans, and allowances, including company cars or subsidised transportation to the places of work’ (Hong et al. 2012, p.65). Compensation also acts as a tool for attracting and retaining employees when the remuneration enables them to access a wide utility of goods and services that are offered in the free market.
Traditionally, most of organisations compensated employees depending on their hierarchical positions in the organisational structure. However, some organisations such as Singapore Airline nowadays compensate their employees depending on amount of input they make to the organisational processes and functioning. This plan means that they use performance pay systems to inform their pay systems. Satisfaction with salary and wages depends on how employees feel they deserve to earn in relation to their present pay.
Glisson and Durick (2003) demonstrate that earning lower than what one expects leads to automatic dissatisfaction, as opposed to earning higher than expected. The dimension in which people look at the nature of jobs may influence their performance. Job satisfaction can be realised differently based on individual worker’s interest on certain components of a job. For example, some employees give more significance on good relationships amongst themselves at work while others value salary over all other components of job satisfaction.
Factors that lead to Employee High Turnover in the Organisation
Factors such as poor job satisfaction, poor management of fun in workplaces, poor handling of employee grievances, and poor training and development practices may lead to high turnover. Job dissatisfaction may arise from different issues. For example, in Singapore Airline, personal job dissatisfaction occurs due to reimbursement matters, work precautions, employment independence, and dreadful associations with superintendents (Jones 2006).
In case employees are happy about their working situations, they portray higher efficiency and effectiveness levels. In this context, Glisson and Durick (2003, p.65) inform, ‘over the years, many employers and employees alike have held to this belief and placed a great deal of emphasis on making sure that employees are satisfied with their jobs to trigger the desired outcome.’ The desired outcomes depend on the goals and objectives of an organisation.
In service the sector industry organisation such as Singapore Airline, the desired outcomes may include the high service rate and service quality. The general contention in research on job satisfaction and organisational success holds that satisfied employees have the capacity to produce and deliver higher quality products and services. People remain in organisations, which ensure higher job satisfaction.
Jobs satisfy employees when there is good job-personal life fit. From the paradigms of Maslow hierarchy of needs, people are most likely to perform better in tasks if a job satisfies their fundamental basic human needs followed by social needs, and much later in life, self actualisation. Research on job satisfaction identifies various factors, which increase employee commitment to their jobs and hence satisfaction. They include remuneration levels, degree of delegation of responsibility, and organisational culture among other factors.
The ability for job satisfaction to ensure industry leadership for Singapore Airline depends on its capacity to increase its employee job performance. Indeed, scholarly evidence suggests a direct correlation between the two elements. For example, after eliminating all data miscalculations, Judge (2001) revealed a rise of the correlation factor between the magnitude of job satisfaction and the degree of job performance by 0.30. In spite of the consensus by various scholars that productivity level is a function of the extent of employee satisfaction, Jones (2006) asserts that the relationship is frail. The researcher subscribes to this position on the premise that the definition of job satisfaction ignores the subject matter of life.
Singapore Airline needs to consider various factors when looking for mechanisms of increasing job satisfaction. These factors include the nature of job, worker personality attributes, and the nature of work environment. Judge (2001) supports this argument by claiming that job satisfaction depends on whether workers like or hate what they do. Workers might like their jobs, but not the environment of the organisation in which they work. In determining the extent of job satisfaction, Glisson and Durick (2003) reckon that workers evaluate their anticipated roles, the amount of remuneration, internal relationships, and strategies of their endorsements and control.
Lack of effective training and development can fuel high turnover in service sector organisations such as Singapore Airline. Effective training and development programmes incorporate perspectives of employee career development for various reasons. Lombardo and Eichinger (2008, p. 143) claim, ‘the current information about the organisation and future trends helps employees create more realistic career development goals.’ This claim suggests that any effort to enhance the success of an organisation in the unknown future starts with the development of preparedness to embrace change.
Change is well implemented when the labour force has the requisite skills and knowledge for successful execution of its organisational duties in new ways. Career development also sets the foundation of employee promotion, which is crucial since mechanisms of lateral movement of employee profiles within an organisation are important in career satisfaction (Cohn, Khurana & Reeves 2005). Where employees remain in one job position, chances exist that they may consider taking up new and better rewarding job positions in other airline organisations that operate in the same as industry as Singapore Airline.
Inability to handle employee grievances can increase labour turnover in Singapore Airline. Hence, conducting negotiation requires an enormous ability to bargain with labour unions to arrive at a package that is possible to implement while ensuring that the cost that is associated with factors of production is balanced so that an organisation remains profitable both in the short-run and in the long-term. Lack of the ability to negotiate positively with employees to arrive at win-win situation may create the perception of negligence to employee affairs.
This situation makes employees consider an organisation as only pursuing its interests at their advantage. Such a perception lowers their motivation to work (Leopold & Harris 2009). In other words, the move increases turnover intents. Through adopting requisite bargaining skills, Singapore Airline can bring to the attention of labour unions that salary or wage increment is only possible if it is accompanied by an additional output from employees so that additional profits can go into fulfilling the tabled demand. This move can induce more work commitment in an effort to secure higher pay in the future.
The capacity to handle grievances is a noble skill that is necessary for Singapore Airline’s HRM. Bratton and Gold (2003) support the significance of these skills in helping to handle employee grievances through their unions. The authors says ‘the grievance process is an integral part of administering the collective agreement, a grievance being a formal dispute between an employee or unions and management involving the interpretation, application, or alleged violation of the collective agreement’ (Bratton & Gold 2003, p.67).
It is important to note that employee unions file their grievances with Singapore Airline’s HR department with the anticipation that the department will spearhead the efforts to ensure that their concerns are addressed proactively. Any instance of failure to address them lowers their commitment to the organisation (Farndale et al. 2011). This situation might lead to low productivity, and hence misfortunes of the organisation in terms of maintaining industry leadership.
Poor management of fun in workplaces leads to high turnover. Lamm and Meeks (2010) study the effects of fun in workplace on turnover in the hospitality industry. The authors reckon that the hospitality industry is known for possessing high levels of employee turnover. Their study focused on fun aspects such as celebrations, socialising, and engagement in activities that are not related to their daily work routines.
They utilised a sample of 205 employees from medium-sized restaurants in New York. The employees were drawn from 18 different hotels. 80 percent of the sample comprised Caucasian while 73.2 percent represented women (Lamm & Meeks 2010). An assessment of the effects of fun, managerial support to ensure fun in workplaces, engagement in socialising with various co-workers, and engagement in different fun activities such as play and jokes was conducted.
Multiple regression analysis was then conducted to determine the effects of this variable on voluntary turnover. Lamm and Meeks (2010) found that fun activities such as cerebrations within workplaces reduced contemplation of voluntary turnover among employees. Hence, Singapore Airline needs to introduce the aspect of fun as a strategy for retaining its employees. It is important to note that poor management of the employee retention approaches as discussed in the previous section also increases turnover.
Results of Employee Turnover in Fiscal and Non-fiscal Aspects
Airline and other service sector organisations utilise employees as the primary source of success. Workers act as the point of contact between an organisation and customers. Indeed, several studies support the assertion that effective human resource management has positive impacts on an organisation in the services industry.
For example, Huselid and Becker (2011, p.426) show how ‘HRM practices can be leveraged to improve employee skills, increase motivation, and foster commitment to a company by linking certain types of HRM practices to lower voluntary turnover.’ The researchers also claim that human resource management has the capability of increasing the financial performance of an organisation and market share by enhancing employee effectiveness. This observation suggests that employee turnover has negative financial implications to an organisation.
Non-fiscal aspects such as bad organisational reputation influence the fiscal performance. When Singapore Airline customers perceive the organisation negatively, elements such as their loyalty and hence their use of its products and services decrease. This situation translates to reduced sales volumes, which correlate directly with the company’s profitability levels. Other non-fiscal results of turnover, which also reduce the company’s fiscal performance, include low work motivation, ineffective utilisation of labour, work conflicts that are experienced before newly recruited employees become acquitted with the organisational culture, and poor performance that is associated with low experience levels of newly hired employees.
Strategies to Promote Employee Retention
For Singapore Airline, employees are charged with the responsibility of directly interacting with customers during the process of service delivery. This claim suggests that the level of service satisfaction depends on how employees handle these interactions. This assertion is perhaps valid since scholarly researches show that employees are valuable sources of competitive advantage or the capacity of organisations that operate in service sector to retain industry leadership.
Indeed, HRM has positive impacts on the performance of food service and airline industries (Wright & Gardner 2005). HRM comes in handy in organisations that have a high level of employee diversity (Crook 2011). Besides, organisations that are involved in the general manufacturing and/or businesses that specialise in the automotive assemblage and manufacturing have to deploy HRM strategies to run efficiently (Takeuchi & Wang 2007; Youndt 1996).
The human resource management arm of an organisation such as Singapore Airline that seeks to gain leadership in the global operations should focus on effective management of diverse workforce to mitigate incidents of turnover. In the globalisation era, physical boundaries between nations have been made porous so that organisations employ people from diverse nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The impacts of free movement of people, goods, and services across different nations have seen Singapore Airlines handle people from different regions. This situation has introduced the challenges for the HRM in minimising workforce negative experiences that are attributed to differences in workforce cultural diversities.
As a strategy for increasing employee retention in the service sector organisations, effective management of workforce diversity has the ability to improve workforce productivity, enhance workforce engagement, and/or reduce staff absenteeism while at the same time decreasing workforce turnover by about five-folds (Dessler 2004). In fact, the HR has an obligation to handle all issues that influence the company’s performance negatively while at the same time encouraging those that have positive impacts on employee performance.
Singapore’s Airline can benchmark from Google approaches in managing employee diversity to enhance the performance and retention of global leadership in web search. Google Company recognises that workforce diversity management is critical in the endeavour to increase the ability to address the various needs of the diverse Google customer base. The company incredibly gains from the various view points of its diverse workforce in that such a labour force provides an increased problem-solving capacity whilst enhancing creativity levels.
This realisation is critical for the success of the organisation in the future unknown dynamic business environment. In this context, proper management of Google’s workforce makes the organisation gain immensely in the sense that it ends up establishing a central position in the competitive market just as Singapore Airline aspires. Indeed, Pfeiffer and Gellar (2008) reckon that organisations that have captured the trust of their employees have low turnover levels.
Pursuing effective management of workforce as an organisational policy can enable Singapore Airline to maintain its continued growth in the competitive market. Indeed, establishing a match between strategic initiatives and the HR approaches can make the airline company acquire competitive advantage, which leads to the attainment of a magnificent market share.
Market share is important since it measures the penetration levels of an organisation in the target market in comparison with its competitors (Leopold & Harris 2009). Diverse workforce is not only appealing to the enhancement of the growth of top organisation’s talent, but also attracts a wide range of customer patronage that stems from all persons who are interested in buying goods and services from the organisation.
While based on the case of Google, HRM approaches are found to have a positive influence on the retention of employees. They create a work environment that enhances employee job satisfaction. However, uncertainties also exist on the manner in which some HRM approaches influence the performance outcomes of an organisation. For example, scholarly clarity is not available on the impacts of HR managerial approaches on voluntary and involuntary turnover.
Such clarity is important in determining the roles that Singapore Airline’s HRM can play in ensuring high employee retention and the use of employees in retaining industry leadership. Most importantly, Singapore Airline needs to review its compensation schemes, incorporate them in developing organisational growth strategies, address proactively the emerging conflicts between the organisation and its employees, and/or derive effective strategies for their motivation.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Singapore Airline employs more than 21,500 people. Labour unions such as SIASU, SEEU, and SATSWU represent them. These unions and others have had a bad relationship with the management of the airline following pay cuts, incidents of retrenchments and forceful early retirement. These incidents have had negative implications on employee work morale. This situation has increased turnover. Turnover can have negative ramifications on Singapore Airline’s ability to maintain its industry leadership, which has taken a long time to build. Consequently, it is important for the organisation to engage in developing strategies of fostering employee retention.
Singapore Airline should develop mechanisms for addressing employee grievance through their respective labour unions that strike a win-win situation. While the organisation may be compelled by operational dynamics to explore policies such as early retirement and retrenchment, it is important for the labour unions to be involved in the process of making such decisions so that they can explain to the employees the necessity of such policies, especially when they are necessary to prevent the organisation from collapsing. Technology keeps on evolving. To ensure that Singapore Airline customers are contended with the offered services, the company should invest in continuous training and development of its employees on the use of technology to enhance customer experience.
Job satisfaction is a key component for enhancing work motivation. It also reduces turnover intentions. It is recommended for Singapore Airline to develop strategies for increasing job satisfaction. These strategies can include reviewing compensation schemes after conducting performance appraisals and the creation of employee empowerment programmes. Particularly, empowerment programmes are essential since they create a sense of belonging to an organisation so that employees feel they own a stake of it. Consequently, they can develop intensive work commitment so that all their actions are geared towards protecting the organisation’s prosperity and sustenance of its global airline industry leadership.
Implications for Managers
Commentators insist that HR managers are key players in the creation and execution of organisational policies. The mounting importance of the HR department has inspired most organisations to include HR managers in the decision-making processes as part of organisational strategies. The HR department plays a central role in retaining employees since they are involved in monitoring the relationship between the employers and employees, the welfare of the workers, and/or how employees interact among themselves.
A high number of workers decide to willingly relinquish their jobs. For instance, in the United States, about 23.7 percent of employees choose to quit their jobs. It is important for a HR manager to understand why employees opt to leave their jobs whilst others resort to stay. Moreover, HR supervisors should know how they can prepare an effective retention plan that can control turnover in the organisation. As an HR manager, that one can introduce a number of practices to control employee turnover and/or retain workers. These practices include communication, proper recruitment and selection process, proficiency development, as well as retention rewards.
The nature of employees that a company hires is crucial for the long term benefit that the organisation will get from them. A HR manager plays an essential decision-making role with regard to who is hired and/or who is not hired in a company. If a company selects wrong employees, this act will indeed reflect in employee turnover. Moreover, pessimistic new employees have the potential of affecting the moral of other employees and eventually increase the employee turnover, thus making it difficult for a company to retain workers.
In Singapore Airline, recruitment and selection process is a crucial step for the company’s HR manager to consider. It provides an opportunity for the managers to ensure that they pick the right candidates with the appropriate character and competency. The recruited employee should easily blend with the traditions and atmosphere of Singapore Airline. Furthermore, hiring the right individuals reduces the budget of training workers to perfect their skills. Observers have noted that companies that hire good workers enhance employee output, increase organisational performance, and/or limit employee turnover.
According to Edmans (2012), one of the effective techniques of testing whether a candidate is good for a company such as Singapore Airline is through pre-employment tests. Once candidate passes such tests, the HR manager can be assured of the employees’ allegiance to the company. Nonetheless, other issues, for instance promotion, which may arise in the future, may influence the employees’ commitment and morale. If the HR manager does not conduct this process with transparency and fairness, employees may be left discouraged.
Moreover, an employee may be promoted to a position where he or she is under-qualified. In the absence of proper training and competency development, the employee may become distressed by the huge responsibility and resort to quit the company. Thus, HR managers in Singapore Airline should be keen to review the company’s policies and regulations in relation to staff promotion and work structure to ensure that they encourage employees to join and stick to the company (Farndale et al. 2011).
Another crucial step after a successful step in the recruitment and selection process is socialisation. New workers in Singapore Airline are likely quit their jobs as compared to old employees who have stayed for years in the organisation. This observation is quite disturbing considering that the company might have spent a lot of finance and time in hiring new employees, most of whom might have passed a pre-employment test. However, the cause of this high turnover is poor socialisation plan within the organisation.
When Singapore Airline HR department does not have a clear and effective orientation programme, new employees find it hard to acclimatise to the new environment, thus making them insecure. Eventually, they resort to seeking to other secure working environments. HR managers should institute a socialisation programme that can make new employees interested in learning the organisation’s culture and practices. There are various ways through which socialisation can be applied to retain new entrants.
The HR manager should merge experienced organisation staff members with new workers so that they (experienced workers) can train, educate, and mentor the new entrants. New entrants should also be allowed in various projects where they are carefully guided, monitored, and informed whenever they go wrong. The phases of the socialisation process should also be clear so that new employees and the HR team can check the progress as noted by Farndale et al. (2011).
According to Edmans (2012), communication is an essential tool in any institutional set up. Effective communication has two dominant effects, namely trust and increased productivity. Proper flow of information from the various levels of the company shows employees that they are trusted. Thus, they develop a feeling of recognition and belonging.
The labour force is motivated to fully utilise their potential, which will directly reflect in the organisation’s output. Employees can make well-informed decisions when they receive all the relevant information, which eventually helps them to progress in their various skills. Workers always want to have a response on how they are performing and/or influencing the company. They also need to identify their shortcomings so that they can rectify them.
Employees want to know that they are progressing in the career. Failure to guarantee this progress may alter their motivation in Singapore Airline. Communication creates a transparent platform for workers to operate and/or strengthen the relationship between staff members and their employers. Despite the numerous benefits of proper communication in Singapore Airline, most HR managers fail to maintain the flow of information between the labour force and employers, thus increasing turnover. Most organisations are reluctant to share certain information with staff members because they fear the risk of making the workforce powerful, a power they are likely to use against the company.
Moreover, there is a belief that information that is shared with the employees can easily reach their rivals. This occurrence may harm the company. Nonetheless, scholars have insisted that communication has great benefits to the organisation, provided it is done correctly. HR managers must strive to build a positive information sharing culture in the organisation. Sharing information should not only entail instructions from the management, but also knowledge. When employees are confident to share their knowledge with other workers, they boost the general staff competency and relationship.
Healthy relationships among the workforce and/o between employees and their employers reduce turnover. Proper flow of information can be boosted through precisely explaining to workers the goals, strategies, and objectives of the company, thus allowing them to access various departmental reports and involving workers in policy formulation processes. Furthermore, the HR department should create an atmosphere whereby staff members can state their grievances and misdemeanours from senior employees without trepidation (Farndale et al. 2011).
Most HR managers resort to rewarding their workers in coherence with their performance, a notion which is viewed by many commentators as the most effective. Rewarding employees according to their contribution motivates them to work harder and/or create a feeling of satisfaction. Studies also show that proper employee compensation has a positive link with a company’s productivity.
Most companies that do not reward their employees properly remain stagnant whilst organisations that have good rewards progress. This notion is grounded on the reasoning that employers who get proper rewards feel satisfied with their organisations. Thus, they can utilise their potential fully. The feeling of satisfaction also makes it easy for HR managers to retain their employees as noted by Khatri, Budhwar, and Fern (2000).
Nonetheless, HR managers should ensure that the reimbursement and rewards are consistent with the organisational goals and vision. Moreover, employees should not operate in a way that will only need the effort of the HR to monitor their behaviour. If employees adopt this move, they may become resilient and less loyal and eventually increase the turnover. In this instance, reimbursement policies will be harming the company, rather than being a benefit.
Employee turnover is an impediment to the growth and development of an organisation, particularly in organisations that rely on employee knowledge and skills for good performance. Singapore Airline lies in this category. When the company experiences a high employee turnover, much of the skills and know-how goes with the workforce, thus leaving the organisation in detrimental position.
Considering the importance of employee retention, most managers prefer to use employee compensation strategies to retain workers because they are effective. Through various studies, it has been established that attractive wage plans enhance devotion, which enables an organisation to keep talented workforce. Thus, Singapore Airline HR managers should introduce attractive wage plans, as well as rewards, for their labour force.
The essence of proper wage system is that it triggers and maintains motivation among workers. A proper wage system comprises tax relief on workers’ salaries based on their performance appraisal and various allowances such as transport and meals. The allowances should be distinct from rival companies so that they can attract and keep employees. Moreover, incentives should not only be limited on salaries. Rather, they should also include travel opportunities and promotions.
A HR manager is responsible for the welfare of his or her workforce. This welfare comprises several things, which include employee health and safety. Most companies are reluctant in providing a safe and healthy environment for employees. Moreover, health and safety policies in most organisations are said to be ambiguous in lessening the burden of the company in terms of protecting its labour force. However, the absence of clear laws is the prime cause of high employee turnover in many airline companies. Indeed, workers should feel protected by the organisation they works for to boost their confidence.
HR managers should introduce policies that can guarantee the wellbeing and safety of Singapore Airline employees. Studies have affirmed that a healthy and secure atmosphere can be an easy move of keeping employees (Khatri, Budhwar & Fern 2000). Moreover, job security is another policy that is effective in employee retention that HR managers should consider. Job security cultivates confidence among employees. Further, it promotes dedication and allegiance. HR managers need to assure the staff members that their jobs are protected.
Such employees will in turn gain confidence and dedicate their energy to accomplishing the goals and visions of the company. It is easier to work with employees who are confident in their workplace than those who are not. Job security in Singapore Airline can be showcased in various ways, which include identification of challenges that employees may be undergoing, offering solutions the problems, and enhancing high level of union programmes within the organisation (Farndale et al. 2011).
According to Farndale et al. (2011), retention and employee turnover are also largely affected by the nature of supervision that the HR team offers. Under poor and harsh supervision, many employees, including the experienced ones, may opt to quit their jobs. It is important for Singapore Airline supervisors to learn to maintain a cordial relationship with their workers if they desire to keep them motivated and thus reduce employee turnover.
HR managers should encourage their supervisors to apply various leadership skills that will earn them appreciation from workers. Moreover, the HR managers should create policies whereby supervisors are liable for employee turnover. Abusive supervisors should be fired from their positions. Retention of workers is essential for any company that desires to have progressive growth and development.
HR bosses play a key role in retaining employees, considering that they are in charge of matters that affect employees. This report has provided some of the ways through which the HR managers can retain their workers. Some of these ways include provision of incentives, job security, socialisation, proper recruitment and selection processes, and the maintenance of a good flow of information in the organisation. If Singapore Airline HR managers put these strategies into considerations, the company can retain its workers and hence maintain its leadership in the airline industry.
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