November 13, 2008
HR review of IT Industry in India – An environment of mistrust
I was reflecting upon last one year and how IT industry has changed in this duration from HR perspective. Among many thoughts, the most visible one (and the most concerning one as well) was the all-time-low employer-employee trust level.
One year back, we were looking into an industry where attrition was the biggest concern. Even the FAB5 (Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, HCL, Cognizant) of Indian IT industry felt the heat as employees jumped ship at the drop of a hat. It was difficult for them to understand as "What the youth want?". The HR honchos from all over India were hunting for answers even less than six months back. Employers were finding it very difficult to trust an employee. The question was – "Will he stay with me long enough to complete this project?"
And suddenly, the situation has taken a u-turn. Companies are laying off their "talent bank" for which they fought so ferociously. The guy who walks out of office today is not sure, if his job is here to stay when he reaches office the next day. The morale is at all time low. Employees are finding it difficult to trust an employer. The question is – "Will he sack me today?"
This is an environment of extremes and uncertainty. This is an environment of relationship without trust. And, this is going to worsen with every cycle on up-and-down.
So, Who is to be blame? And more importantly, how this cycle can be broken? OR, Can this be at all checked?
In my opinion,
This environment is a result of a number of social-commercial factors, like:
- Employee side:
- Desire for overnight riches and i-want-to-retire-young mindset
- Career objective not properly defined. (Corollary: Objective=money)
- Peer pressure. Comparison of lifestyle. Increase in jealousy.
- Spending more than the earning!
- Gaining experience without gaining competence (i.e. 12 years of experience looked like 1 year of real experience repeated 12 times over! – which eventually remains 1 year of experience)
- Employer Side:
- Inexperienced and poor management
- Unavailability of proper HR professionals (Hint: NOT those people who think HR = headhunting)
- Treating employees as commodities
- Not sticking to the basics
- Lack of strategic insight into one's business
Currently, the problem is in a virtuous cycle, and it is difficult to break it, since it is not based on a tangible outcome. It is purely based on emotions! And, if this cycle is not broken soon, it will intensify and re-occur more frequently.
However, it is very important to solve this problem. Otherwise, it will result in more bankruptcies, more stress, disturbed lives, social crime and poor results. To resolve this, both sides need to take corrective actions (read: be logical in their approach).
I hope, both sides get it right soon.