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Case In Point

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Thinking About ‘Green’ Pastures
Various researches have proved that people join organisations and leave managers, and Abhay was a victim of exactly this situation
Abhay’s problems are multifold. He was feeling frustrated because his boss took credit for his idea. Whilst the boss went up the ladder, he remained at the same position despite his hard work and loyalty. When he put in his papers, he was offered a lucrative jump in salary and position, by which time he had lost faith in the management. Finally, he was confused between his values and whether these would work in a corporate context or not.

Organisations are complex units and various factors come together to determine whether the entity is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In Abhay’s case, it was primarily his lack of maturity and the individual greed of his managers that led to them using his contribution to their advantage. One can fully understand Abhay’s frustration at being denied his due and the subsequent helplessness.

However, being forced to abide by the norms of hierarchy should not dampen Abhay’s spirits or restrict his contribution towards innovative thinking. The fact that his ideas were so well-timed and apt that the management accepted them immediately should be a good morale booster for Abhay and he should continue sharpening his axe. He is still a beginner in the corporate world and has a lot to learn before he moves up the ladder. At the end of the day, he is working for the organisation and one individual’s incorrect response should not affect his loyalty as a whole.

Now, it is the organisation’s turn to give him his due credit and value his contribution. It can be very frustrating for a performer like Abhay to see people using him and getting promoted whilst his own contributions go unnoticed.

However, an important point to note here is that having an idea is one thing, while executing it is another. Abhay’s managers have clearly exhibited the strong skills of execution, and this cannot be ignored.

Abhay, as a junior, needs to learn these skills and respect his managers for their strengths. He should ignore their immaturity and selfishness for now, and bring it up for discussion at another, more appropriate time. Result orientation alongwith concern for standards can be the key differentiators for high performers.

Abhay’s decision of whether or not to resign should not be based on the hikes in salary and position offered to him. Rather, it should be based on the response he received from his seniors when he put in his papers. It is not too difficult to find an organisation that is willing to pay you twice your current pay package, but it is rather difficult to find a workplace that values your contribution. If the critical people in the organisation are finally making sure that Abhay not only gets his due in terms of salary and position, but have also made an effort to talk to him and assure him that his case would not be neglected again, then he should surely give his decision some deep thought.

Abhay has to weigh his response in terms of the organisational value system. If the culture is result-driven and ethics are not given importance, then this would conflict with Abhay’s own value system. On the other hand, if the culture is people-driven, then Abhay will have to think twice before moving to ‘greener’ pastures.

Various researches have proved that people join organisations and leave managers, and Abhay was a victim of exactly this situation. Organisations need to make sure that they give enough opportunities for employees to voice their concerns, failing which employees may have to take the drastic step of putting in their papers.

HR needs to propagate best practices such as the ones mentioned below, to ensure employee engagement:

Open Door Policy: Employees can walk into the cabin of senior managers and talk to them freely.
Direct Email/Chat With MD: Access to senior management ensures people at all levels are being taken care of.
Suggestion Boxes: Appropriate reward and recognition will encourage employees to come up with innovative ideas.
Townhalls/Open Houses: Senior management should meet with employees in an open forum and encourage them to voice their concerns.
Grievance Redressal Forums: Organisations should have well-defined policies to deal with the grievances of employees.

Such proactive measures can help organisations retain good talent and maintain a transparent culture.
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