The two-year-old Delhi-based creative agency K Factor has introduced a novel concept of assessing its employees’ increments. Termed as I’mpowered Increments, the agency looks at this as a measure towards retaining talent. The concept basically allows employees to decide the right increment for himself or herself.
Talking about the genesis of this idea, Shivjeet Kullar, Promoter Creative Director, K Factor, said, “This idea was born from the fact that one of the biggest challenges in the advertising industry today is to retain talent, and many times dissatisfaction stems from the feeling that one did not get an increment that was due to him. So we decided to play fair and let people themselves decide what they think they deserved as an increment.”
“We gave all employees a good idea of our business and our targets. We then asked them to decide what they thought was a fair increment for themselves. While the process now is complete, it is satisfying to know that we had over 90 per cent success, and in these cases we went ahead with the increments suggested by our people. In fact, to complete the experiment, each employee will be writing out his or her first increment cheque in their own handwriting,” said Rajeev Sharma, HR Head, K Factor.
Besides increments, the focus is also on goals and each employee is encouraged to commit what they would do to earn this enhanced salary.
According to Kullar, as compared to five years ago when advertising was a buyers’ market, it has become a sellers’ market now due to talent shortage. He said, “There have been instances where in a year, one-third of an agency’s people have moved out. Irrespective of all the noises made about employee culture or training, the prime reason for quitting has been money. While I maintain that training and workshops are important, but to retain talent I believe that money is the only motivating factor.”
So how did the employees fare in setting their own increments? Sharma replied, “In the case of the basic management trainee level, people felt that they deserved a 100 per cent increment. But at higher levels, it varied from 30 to 50 per cent.” At the senior level, the agency focussed not on increasing money but at creating wealth for these employees by giving them company shares or by bringing together the increment range to the performance of the agency.
Commenting on the journey of the agency so far, Kullar said, “I would rate the agency nine on 10. All the indicators — whether they are the growth of our business, awards, or the reputation of the agency — are on a strong turf except that we had the pressure of retaining people. I think with the current increment concept we would tackle that too.”