Alchemy or Attrition
Read an article recently that by the year 2020, 76% of Indian working diaspora, specifically the IT sector, would've completed or at the least contemplated job change. It slightly raised the question of employee loyalty, labelling it a concept of erstwhile era and on ethics.
Why do people quit?
I wanted to complete the sentence before the question mark with a suitable filler. What do people quit from? companies? jobs? or the more popular option - their managers? Better pay is one of the many mirages that makes people gravitate towards job switch. Many a time, the cost of time invested in nurturing a rapport, building a familiar environment in work place, enabling professional relationships often get overlooked while considering a change for making a quick buck.
Is there a right number of years one can spend per org before considering a career change? Those who switch under 5 years obviously loose out on benefits like gratuity and they prepare themselves to start from scratch, while those who stay longer than 10 years more often than not never stay for even a portion of that duration in their second company. From the examples i've seen in person, they get more used to a certain way of work and find it difficult to adapt, with age being a big factor alongside lot of personal variables coming into picture.
Very rarely one comes across cases where people burn the bridge to their past employer, causing a raucous resignation route. As much as the general understanding of the practicality that lies behind in changing companies, people who frequently change jobs are often seen with suspicion and are dumped as low on ethics. To give due credit, its not an unfair argument per se, but definitely cannot be a "one definition that fits all" either. From the individuals perspective, its proven that his skill sets are something which makes him easily employable and hence a validated good candidate. Yet the intention behind the jumps which raises the ethics flag is legally the personal choice of the candidate. As much as one argues in favour of the organization, stating that the amount of time and money invested in grooming an employee, definitely goes beyond the numbers on payslip, is loyalty any longer a factor to be considered as a sacred cow begs a debate in the age of startups and sudden layoffs.
No company explicitly promises that irrespective of its misgivings on business front, any employee would be getting "x" amount as salary or hike year on year and the factors which made the employee, opt for that company would be retained and made better. There are companies that have increased notice period for employees, solely for the reason that, since its only one month in their company, their competitors are able to easily recruit their employees, while they are unable to take advantage of the same as their rivals have multi month notice period clause. As much time as it took for the policy makers to change the notice period, had it been spent on what is the reason that people are quitting en mass , they could've made a positive impact on those who chose to stay.
Attrition is probably that autopsy which every org should honestly perform and understand. Other than selfish reasons of individuals, for which it cannot be held accountable for, its that one process which can lead to soul searching as to what went wrong and how. An employee-employer relationship in erstwhile era dealt with cases where employers are actual people. With that getting replaced with a set of corporate policies, probably the individual attention to detail has long been forgotten is my lament. There is a reason why a person chooses a particular org or vice versa. Its an implicit promise made by both parties on behalf of each other which includes lot of shared goals very little of which is personal. Conducting exit interviews or having a bargaining discussion to retain people are definitely not the positive of approach as the decision to move out has already arisen. Process should be fine tuned to keep the interest ongoing and employees should be constantly spoken to, to understand if the reason why they joined is still relevant.
A note for the employees - When the entire universe is ready to conspire to help you in achieving your dream, rather than alienating, people should include their organizations as part of their universe and give all the chance to continue the relation rather than let go.