Attrition- Employees leaving in distress

In the last article on attrition, in which I covered the other perspective viz. employee driven attrition, there was a suggestion that I also touched the aspect of the employees leaving in distress.

The reason for an employee getting distressed are as wide and varied as individual personalities! Some of us are hypersensitive and can take the extreme step of quitting the job at the slightest provocation caused by the boss’s displeasure at some act of ours! And mind you, it may not necessarily be humiliating firing by the boss, but just a subtle expression of displeasure! But on the contrary, extremely impersonal and curt attitude by the boss that leads to vitiation of office atmosphere, remains the single most important reason causing distress to employees and their ultimate attrition. And this I am writing from my personal experience! Many employees in my department sought to change jobs because of humiliation and suffocation caused by their immediate bosses, the team leaders! I used to tell such employees that this did not warrant such an extreme step, because bosses came and went and were not permanent. To the bosses, I used to advise them to be more patient, approachable and humane ( of course not telling them to emulate me as every boss considers himself/ herself to be unflawed). But we generally tend to blame organisations and their policies for high attrition rates, whereas the fact is that even in highly demanding professional organisations, good natured bosses can soothe the nerves by absorbing some of the top management pressure at his/her level. Many diktats from the top are for the consumption for senior managers not to be passed ad verbatim to the junior team members, who are already slogging hard on day to day basis.

PMS and year end appraisal are the next big causes of distress. After working hard for the entire year, employees expect, and rightfully so, good rating as all the year end benefits and promotions are a function of year end assessment and rating of the employee. While it’s true that performance based differentiation is a must for any organisation to encourage high performing employees, the fact is that several not at all bad employees fall victim to the forced bell curving that organisations indulge in to comply with certain prefixed metrics. We generally observe high distress, disappointment and attrition in the period immediately after year end assessment

Transfer to an undesired place or department, reduction in the scope of work or realm of responsibility, denial of leave or some other privilege and pressure of business targets and the ways and means of follow up thereof by the supervisors are a few of other reasons causing distress.

It’s important that employees overcome the instances of personal distress by learning and adopting stress management techniques and adapting to the prevalent conditions. Disappointments relating to rating, increment, bonus, promotion, boss’s behaviour should be taken as temporary aberration rather than as end of all. They should quit only for a better job.

5 thoughts on “Attrition- Employees leaving in distress

  1. Very well written. Every body cannot be cool like you. I am sharing with you an instance of high handed ness of seniors. In Hindi it is called दंभ और घमंड and there is no appropriate english word for this.
    At the time of merger of associates with SBI in 2017 the then Chairperson Ms.Bhattacharya issued a circular showing her apprehension that Associate bank employees may not be able to adopt SBI work culture. Though I had taken VRS from e-SBBJ in 2001 I took exception to her unwarranted remarks and wrote to her that she and other SBI employees have not come from mars and what wonders they do hich associate employees cannot do she should take back her words and apologise to Associate bank’s employees challanging her to prove her words giving example of our colleagues being CGMs, GMs and even MDs of subsidiaries and one of us was MD and Chairman of United Bank of India. You are right such people come and go but the institutions remain.

    Liked by 1 person

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