Monday, July 02, 2007

Managers and Attrition

I was reading an article recently in BusinessWeek which quoted some senior HR leaders across industries saying that employees join companies and leave managers. I have heard that statement in all the people management workshops. But, I am not sure I completely agree with the statement. It may be true in more mature labour markets like US, UK etc, but in emerging markets like India, the scenario is not really true.

In my experience, employees decide to leave because either a "push" or a "pull" effect. Let me explain. A "push" effect is when a person is 'pushed' away because he/she does not get sufficient opportunities, salary, job role etc in his existing job. Push effect is a demonstration of employees leaving managers rather than companies. A 'pull' effect is when a person is 'pulled' away by opportunities,salary,job role etc that is available in other companies.

What I have seen is that in emerging markets like India, the 'pull' effect is much much more predominant. Good people are fewer in number as related to the growth in job opportunities. So, the demand for good people are huge. Companies are competing with one another to hire good resources and jacking up the salaries offered. This results in people switching jobs for a significant salary improvement.

There is very little that a manager can do when employees work in an environment where employee's think of working in a company as long it suits them or till they get a better offer. And, the search for a better offer does not happen due to any "push" effect of the manager but more due to the "pull" effect.

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