Monday, December 11, 2006

Attrition, Hikes and Happiness

“If in another 6 months, I don’t get a transfer to x-branch of the company, I would quit.”

“There is no challenge in this job profile. I want them to put me in x-project, where work would be interesting. Else I would put in my papers.”

“They are paying only x.x lakhs per annum to freshers…Company Y pays double that. If in my next appraisal I don’t get at least z.z lakhs per annum, I will join Y. In fact, Y has already made me an offer to pay my bond money also. Besides, I have three other offers also to consider.”

These are the kind of words one gets to hear from the younger software engineers. Not that I am old, but that’s the feeling I get when I talk to these people. I remember back in 2004 when I passed out, when the industry was beginning to look good, recovering from the 2000 dot com bust, my batch mates considered themselves lucky to get a job. It is not that we all were angels and never cared about the money, but I feel we at least give our jobs more respect than ‘I-sell-myself-to-the-highest-bidder’.

I don’t think the young engineers alone are to be blamed. In this boom of software industry when every company is in need of a large number of ‘resources’ (I hate the term resources – makes it sound as if people are just another computer – maybe ‘talent’ could fit better), they have been blatantly throwing ethics to the winds, openly encouraging prospective recruits to just vanish from their current positions without any notice. That’s just once side of the story. The other part is that while on a recruiting spree, every company fails to keep track of its current workforce, often paying lateral entrants much more than the employees who had stayed on for many years. Thus, loyal employees too are forced to look for greener pastures outside the company. Also, most companies refuse to give proper raises during appraisal meetings – whereas, in resignation meetings there is a better chance of being granted a hike. While most IT/ITES companies are constantly whining about high attrition rates, had they spent half of what they spend on luring others to the company on hikes to existing employees, the attrition rates could have been better managed.

Again, the dreams and aspirations of the youth is very constantly changing – if my previous generation was happy buying a car/house in the mid forties, this generation is still not content buying every ‘kool’ gadget under the sun using their credit cards. If the nth batch was happy with x lakhs per annum as salary, the (n + 1)th batch is not content with x.5 lakhs per annum. Somewhere along the road to economic prosperity, we’ve lost the key to happiness. As my generation becomes increasingly consumerist, I wonder whether with many times more salary than our previous generation, we would be at least half as happy as what our parents were. 


  1. Deleted my post instead of editing it :D...

    The reason for this constant clamour for "good work" might be because when people join the industry, they are still idealistic and hope to get such challenging work (The defenition of "good work" changes from one person to another).

    It would take some time for reality that not all get to do such work to sink in. And this maybe the reason why you don't see many people who have been in the industry for sometime do this.

    The only reason for a person to contiue at a boring job would be pay. If that too ain't great (compared one's class mates in other companies), then whats the point for that person to cotinue at this job???

  2. This is totally crazy. Bullshit advice. I'm a manager myself and I find such comments totally greedy, self conscious, lacking loyalty, issuing threats, arm twisting, black mailing attempts.

    Managers are the greatest asset to the organisation because we have been with the companies for long. Newbie software engineers are disloyal from day one.