Telecoms firms let best staff slip through fingers

Telecoms
firms are poor at recruiting and retaining high standard employees, according
to a report.

The
study by HR consultancy Watson Wyatt reveals that most telecoms companies have
human resources practices that provide good value to shareholders, but are not
good at attracting and keeping the best employees.

Doug
Ross, Watson Wyatt partner and co-author of the firm’s European Human Capital
Index, said, “It shows that many telecoms companies do not have clear policies
for retaining their better performing employees.

“They
tend to have HR policies which encourage the retention of both good and less
good performers within the organisation. Our research suggests that this will
have a negative impact on their financial performance.”

Virgin
Mobile’s HR director agreed. Lily Lu said, “The telecoms industry has been poor
in the past in keeping good employees happy, but I do believe that the industry
is improving.”

The
study also shows that a significant improvement in key HR practices has
contributed to an increase of more than a quarter in telecoms companies’ stock
market values.

Lu
said, “Staff incentives and reward schemes are now commonplace within the
industry. At Virgin we have a bonus system that every employee is part of.
Individual bonuses depend on the companies performance as well as the
individuals.”

Mobile
phone giant Orange dismissed the report’s findings and claims that it does not
suffer from the retention and promotional problems highlighted by the survey.

A
spokesperson said, “We employ a number of strategies designed to attract and
retain good staff. The company has a commitment to providing career
development, exciting and varied opportunities and good rewards. This has
ensured that Orange has not experienced problems in retaining staff.”

The
HR policies in telecoms companies that help recruit and retain good staff
include sharing information, well-integrated leadership practices and
consistent pan-European HR practices, claims the report.

The
Watson Wyatt European Human Capital Index is based on a study of 200 companies
across Europe. www.watsonwyatt.com

By
Paul Nelson

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