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Daily CSR
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This Is How Intel Dealt With Its Employee Retention Issue


Unhappy workers took to anonymous hotline and Intel saw an increment in its employee retention.

Source: flickr.com; (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Source: flickr.com; (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Dailycsr.com – 21 July 21, 2019 – In 2016, Intel was facing employee retention problem as many were leaving the company, while minorities and women formed the majority of the quitting group.
In order to deal with the situation, the company started a “confidential online hotline” wherein employees got in touch with case managers who in turn worked to “resolve any workplace concerns or struggles” before the employees decided to quit.
In the words of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Intel, Barbara Whye:
“We wanted to get on the front end of what was happening in retention and have a proactive way to address employees' concerns before they were ready to exit out the door”.
The WarmLine, the name of the hotline known to the employees, turned out to be effective and had “an 82% save rate”. The case managers, running the hotline, come from “Intel's Global Diversity and Inclusion team” and work with various departments of the company. As per their work description, these case managers at times facilitate “a sit down with a manager” or even finds “additional resources” for those employees who aspire for “more career growth”.
Moreover, the helpline maintains confidentiality and acquires the employee’s consent before “reaching out to anyone else to help fix an issue”. And Whye said:
“A lot of case managers have gone through life coaching training outside of Intel and have an interest in sharing their own challenges and experiences with others. It is comforting for employees to be able to speak with other employees through a more informal process compared to going straight to an HR complaint which they may not be as trusting of.”
Till date the WarmLine dealt with over twenty thousand cases and seen an increment in the employee retention rate in Intel. In 2015, thanks to WarmLine, Intel managed to achieve its goal of mirroring “the diversity of the entire US workforce by 2020 ” two years in advance. WarmLine has provided “career development advice” to employees, who in turn “changed departments and received adjustments in pay” all through this hotline.
While, Whye added:
“...Not every case is about a struggle. It can sometimes be just wanting to know about areas where they can grow professionally.”
At present, the above mentioned hotline is active in “the US and Costa Rica”, while Intel plans to introduce it “globally this year”. Whye said:
“We want employees to have their concerns and challenges heard and know they don't have to work on them by themselves”.
The “top two complaints” received by WarmLine were the “lack of career progression and issues with managers”. As a result, Intel introduced a training programme for thirteen thousand managers wherein they were taught on “how to better create a more inclusive environment”. As per Whye:
“We have used the WarmLine data to not only create training and educational programs but also used it to develop playbooks tailored to every business unit so leaders can understand their organization's top challenges”.
“If you are leading at Intel, yes, you need the technical chops, but you also have to have leadership chops”.