Sunday, November 18, 2007

Loyalty and Employee Attrition Rate

In recent times I have been reading about "Employee Loyalty" and "Employee Attrition Rate". A lot of organizations worldwide face this challenge of employee attrition, where they hire the best and the brightest in the industry. However, after 2-3 years of stay in the company and learning things people think they know everything and they decide to move on.

Well I do not agree to this behaviour, however, reflecting on my previous job hops it's strange that unknowingly I myself have done the same. "Unknowingly" yes, unknowingly...when today I reflect upon my previous 5 years I see having changed 3 companies already. Which essentially means 1.5 yrs on an average is what I stayed with those companies and I didn't realize till now until I think about it...that, I too moved on thinking I know everything. Strange but true. Well then just a month back I was thinking after a review meeting and hearing something very important from my Boss..."I have to think long term and what I was demanding is a very short sighted demand."

I felt a little disheartened and unsatisfied. However, I then went back to home and started talking to my wife about it and she said...hold on....come out of your present thinking and look at it objectively. Yes, I realized, I was unpractical for a moment and unreasonable too and that's when I decided, ok, let me introspect. Well I don't know it all. I need to learn a lot. And this is the right place and is in the right time over here. So let me re-look at the way I am looking at things.

Hey, I just moved out of the feeling of "disloyalty" which was developing in me...and yes it helped me grow as a person.

Question: What is "loyalty" anyways?
Dictionary: The act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action

Answer: Infosys CEO Narayan Murthy once said:” Love Your Job But Never Fall In Love With Your Company, Because You Never Know When It Stops Loving You."
Well, I am not sure in what context he said that, however, an interesting statement from a company's CEO who runs a company of over 60,000 employees.

So does that mean you should be loyal to your work and nothing else?
Well, I feel if I am loyal to my work, I am loyal to the people who assigned me the work. I am loyal to the people who thought I would be the right fit to do that job. I am loyal to the company who decided to hire me to do that job. I am loyal to my family to whom I promised I will earn and give them a good life.

So does that mean I should be loyal to my work and my company and my family always? Well answer is YES. However, I have 2 questions to ask readers...

What about my company being Loyal to me?
Where does this disloyalty actually arise?

Is it a One-Way-Street? That I keep being loyal to my employer and my employer can take a decision to let me go whenever they want to? Isn’t that disloyalty to the employee that you decide to let some one go and don't even bother to inform him about it, if, any corrective action can be taken?

There were days in my country, India, when people use to join one company and retire from the same company in there entire career. Why doesn't it happen again? Well, it's a 2-way street now. Both employers and employees are disloyal to each other OR is it that we don't communicate enough? Is it that, if we have our issues, we do not communicate them well in advance, to find a solution? I am not sure...what are the reasons...but I feel it can be corrected.

As I always say, communication is the KEY to success. If people communicate with each other about their feelings, about their opinions and what they think is right and wrong, these "Disloyal" situations can be avoided.

However, I have another question:

Have we become so impatient and eccentric that we don't have the time and patience to talk and be honest?

May be yes. We do not have patience to help people. We are bothered about our own growth. We are bothered about "what's in it for me?” So essentially, it's neither the employer being disloyal to the employee, nor the employee being disloyal to the company. It comes down to Individuals. We as individuals are responsible for our actions and our decisions. And if we are taking these decisions based on our attitudes towards looking at things, as self centered people, we are more or less bound to take irrational decisions.

There are so many companies out there, which have survived for over 100 years. Have they had people taking decisions based on there attitudes and self centered behavior, today, those companies would have died, because, the success of companies is due to the people who work there.

So what does this all mean? - Loyalty is nothing but an individual's decision based on his attitude? Yes, I feel so, and if that is the case, I, as a person should spend most of the time on keeping my attitude the best and I can make most of the work done well, and I can be "Loyal" to my work, my company, my family. I need to communicate and help others communicate about any issues. I need to keep the channel open and try to keep my attitude positive and healthy always.

I can always sit and talk about it instead I will take action and work on my attitude and communicate whenever required.

Lastly, a healthy positive communicative attitude from an employer and employee can help solve these attrition / loyalty / disloyalty issues easily. Nobody should wait, instead start acting on this.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about it.

1 comment:

sachinuppal said...

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