Thursday, February 21, 2008

IT layoffs and corporations - Continued

Since I wrote this post, a few people have come to me and said that I have not written the corporation's point of view. I would like to respond to that.
The fact is that post was written because I do not see ANYTHING BUT the corporations' point of view in news media. There is really no criticism or inquiry into whether the corporation is fudging the facts.
We have to note a key fact here - corporations have to be regulated and challenged to be truthful and not to abuse their powers. The truth is that corporations wield enormous power and therefore that comes with big responsibilities and regulation. That is how it works in all developed countries.
Again, these corporations are pretty well behaved in the United States or the UK - only in India do you see them attempt to manipulate the system.
Let me give you a further example - has anybody noticed that the notice period that an employee has to give before leaving keeps creeping up and up? In late 90s it was one month. In some small companies, it now stands at 3 months. In Cognizant it is 2 months, I think. These same companies stick to the 2 weeks notice for employees in the United States. Has anyone wondered why that is? From a corporation's point of view, this is of course, their perfect plan for combating attrition. I would love to see it from their point of view, but their point of view violates all labor regulations.
If left unquestioned, corporations of course would LOVE if employees were bonded labor. There is nothing really like that to combat attrition, is there? What keeps that from happening? Definitely not sudden goodwill. It is labor regulations and the courts that prevent that from happening. Yet, we ignore that it is government regulations that have to force companies to behave. You see postings in online forums all the time about how government should get "out of the way" - but this is precisely why government has to be "in the way".
I know of companies that refuse to give the relieving letter to employees after serving their correct notice periods. Companies that do "creative" salary packages to make sure a part of their employees salaries stays with them if they leave. Let us not pretend that corporations are somehow benign creators of jobs and wealth - it is much more complicated than that.
They have a proper role and that role requires questioning and regulation.


syed said...

I totally agree with this Ram.None of the companies can challenge that they are successfull just because of thier strategies, but the honesty and hardwork of their employees.

When your(company) growth and success are completely depends upon the employees then you must be honest and open to them.

Ram i have a doubt. a company gives 2 weeks of notice period for its employees in US and the same company asks for 2 months of n.period in india, is this we(sons of the soil) who made these problems? (remember all the top management people of these companies for india are indians), is this we who rates our people so cheaply, from the period when British people intruded our country?


Maheswari said...

Hi Ram - I differ from your point of view. Mass layoff or firing is ethical in every aspect and definitely ethical in business environment. The employement is nothing but a contract to trade the skill of the resource which helps in getting revenue for the organisation - no personal gains or pains. If the need is not there then what is the point of deal i.e employement contract with the resource who is not going to give any revenue. You may ask how can you leave a resource who has brought revenue in the past has being left to struggle all of sudden. My ans is the case is same with employer - he spends time,money and effort in enhancing the skill set of an employee but he leaves the company for better prospects. The next aspect is "whom should be laid off" - as you have stated performance is general word i.e i construe it as relativity - which means each person has different perception on the performance on different scenarios - the same person is rated as good and avg by diff evaluators in diff scenarios. So in case of losing business the organisation will rethink whether the cost of retaining the particular employee is worth and obviously it is business proposition [Cost Vs benefit] so i dont find fault again. I also dont support your argument on the notice period because no organisation wants to retain a employee who has decided to quit since the contribution and initiative will not the be same but they should be paid same salary. Basically, the np is determined by the role and responsibilities, criticality and replacement. So obviously the more the resource is crucial the more will be the np and mapping to regional or market conditions is absolutely valid. My opinion in np and termination or lay off is the resource should be paid the salary of np i.e if a resource has np of two months and he has being laid off he should be laid off with two month salary. This is the cause i support.

Destination Infinity said...

It is intriguing to note that the freshers are shown the door.... there are so many ppl above the ladder who earn much more but do much less work (than a fresher with a short training), who should have been fired. Why fire a resource which will do the work for you at a cheaper price??

Destination Infinity