Sistema adopts ‘buddy’ system to curb attrition 

KOLKATA: Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) has put in place a 'buddy' system to try and curb attrition. The Indian unit of Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC is looking to retain talented mid-level managers and junior employees as part of an exercise to boost internal transparency and employee comfort levels. 

Over the past six months, SSTL has assigned an in-house buddy to new entrants at middle management and junior levels for 30-45 days to help them fit in faster and foster a sense of belonging. 

A buddy is usually a member of the same team. "Any person who joins Sistema Shyam is supported by a team member who is slightly more tenured and knows the ways of working for the department and the organisation," Tarun Katyal, chief human resources officer, told ET. 

SSTL runs CDMA-based mobile services in nine regions under the MTS brand. Katyal said the system had reduced attrition levels to a level below the telecom industry average of 25-30%. 

The HR practice targets nearly 95% of the company's 1,750 employees. The system is useful in boosting staff comfort levels and internal communications, typically in large organizations where several people come on board at the same time, experts said. 

The policy could project SSTL as a transparent, professional employer and a fun place to work in if team buddies provide genuine feedback to questions that new entrants invariably have but are reluctant to ask HR, said Sunil Goel, managing director of HR firm GlobalHunt India. 

"The buddy is also equipped to report any serious issues or concerns that a joinee may have to the department leader or HR" for immediate redressal, Katyal said.