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Azim Premji,

Every company normally faces one common problem of high employee turnout atio. People are leaving the company for better pay, better profile or simply for just one reason' pak gaya '. This article might just throw some light on the matter......

Early this year, Arun, an old friend who is a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, charismatic man often quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Arun was sent abroad for training. "My learning curve is the sharpest it's ever been," he said soon after he joined. "It's a real high working with such cutting edge technology." Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Arun walked out of the job. He has no other offer in hand but he said he couldn't take it anymore. Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently.

The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover. He's distressed about the money he's spent in training them. He's distressed because he can't figure out what happened. Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary? Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called First Break All The Rules.

It came up with this surprising finding:

If you're losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he's the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them. Often, straight to the competition. "People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. "So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay, better perks and better training - when, in the end, turnover is mostly manager issue." If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away? Beyond a point, an employee's primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he's treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere.. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find - you guessed it, another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one. Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees. HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted.. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job. When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information.

Dev says: "If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don't have your heart and soul in the job." Different managers can stress out employees in different ways - by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit - often over seemingly trivial issue. It isn't the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It's the 99 that went before. And while it's true that people leave jobs for all kinds of reasons- for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons, many who leave would have stayed - had it not been for one man constantly telling them, as Arun's boss did: "You are dispensable. I can find dozens like you." While it seems like there are plenty of other fish especially in today's waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented employee.There's the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement. The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime. The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry. The loss of morale in co-workers. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others. Plus, of course, the loss of the company's reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse. We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees have left to tell their tales.

"Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee," Jack Welch of GE once said. Much of a company's value lies "between the ears of its employees". If it's bleeding talent, it's bleeding value. Unfortunately, many senior executives busy travelling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home.That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.
18th May 2005 From India, Mumbai
There is a lot of truth in the article.

Unfortunately , the example refers to a SOFTWARE OPERATION.
From my knowledge, very many of the IT firms promote
people based on their technical competency/ years of experience
and not management ability.
Either they should be nominated for the managerial position
based on management talent or trained in management
skills/ techniques, before promoted.
18th May 2005 From India, Mumbai
hi Azim Premji!
have you worked on effect of perceived family support on job satisfaction(life and job satisfaction) or have any idea of it. i would appreciate if you guide me or send some material on it.
5th December 2007 From Pakistan, Islamabad
Dear Azimji,

This is good topic to discuss, but still there are so many factors those are important also in job profile.

India is a hub for software industry, but how many software engineers are working in thr domain. They have talent but they won’t be able to show that.

An employee always looks forward to see good company as well good package to grow and satisfy for his future requirements. Everywhere we find that employee is not satisfied and they will try to see outcome and what they are doing in organization and what they are doing. When comparison starts then thr is end and employee start looking for other opening.

Thr is a way to stop your employees from leaving [according to me]

Understand employee first

Understand his requirement

Understand his interest of domain

Understand what is his view he may not be comfortable with HR. Ask his best friend if necessary

Understand his nature

Understand his problems

Understand how much time is devoted to his family

Understand his family problems

Understand his any financial issues

Understand what he is thinking about his manager or team lead

Understand any exploitation

Understand any mind teasing is any

Understand how is lead manager

Understand how much pressure he can take

Thr are so many to thk over it to stop employee from leaving organization

Apply this and see the results, I am sure that you will find less employee leaving

Rajesh Chalke

9th January 2008 From India, Pune
The matter of high labour turn over is a serious issue of private sector. I am worried why it is confined only to private sector alone whereas those employed in government departments and public sector undertakings and bamks work till their superannuation???? My finding is the job security. Whatever be the industrial/ employee relations in such organisations, employees are forced to work because they have a feeling that they are employed. In many parts of India, especially rural India, even after the emergence of private giants in employment sector, employment means a government job and that gains 'market'. Perhaps salary may be less but the recognition given by the society is the ultimate decider.
23rd July 2008 From India, Kannur
Respected Mr Premji,
One answer to ur quote=an employee leaves becoz he is not satisfied with his current job/company/profile/remuneration/colleagues beh., if there is no serious personal problem,
26th July 2008 From India, Belgaum
Why on earth is Azim Premji (CEO-Wipro) being addressed or questioned in this post???
He has not posted this article...its his thoughts/article that has been posted here by nehya01.
:-P. He is not going to go thru or answer.
20th August 2008 From India, Mumbai
Hello All,
This is a woderful piece of article on why empolyees quit a company.
Awesome information given by Azimji...
There is a huge subjectivity here where we need to understand the employee in all aspects...the provided information and views are very useful to each and everyone who deal with employees and understand them better.
Sharing knowledge is 'DIVINE' ...Learn and make others learn.
I take this opportunity to appreciate one and all who are contributing their valuable time for the advises given.
Thank you,
25th August 2008
Facts About WIPRO Tech


Azim Premji may be good person and a good manager. But at WIPRO it sucks. I was into an account and I will tell what the actual situation is - That account is one of higest revenue at Wipro Tech and it had some really good employees. Now:

1. The General Manager comes from a PSU and have no idea on how a software system is built. I agree that you need not know techie stuff to be a GM. But if you are in an ecosystem, you need to know that ecosystem well. Will you accept a Petroleum Manager to lead a Hostpital. You can imagine it will be disastrous.

I will not go how he got in there. In India, language based recruitment rules. Only when the company founders or someone who is really good (mostly from good institutes) takes your interview than it is a different matter. Othewise, if someone speaks Latin and the interviewe speaks latin, then that person is recruited.

2. In my entire stay and that was substantial, the GM never ever gave a talk to the team. And he is the CEO of that account. You can imagine the kind of inspiration he drives.

3. In almost every team the GM will have a spy, based on lingustic identity. How I knew? When I was about to leave, the GM told me that some XYZ manager is keeping a tab on me and I am not fit for the position I am requesting. Well some 4 other companies were ready to give me the same offer.

4. Project managers use abusive languages - of course on fun basis. Sala, Harami (they are south indians!) etc and get away with it. As they are the saying it funnily. Abe Chupe Kar, Kamine etc also goes on.

5. Project Managers have no idea on management. They send FYI mails from one person to the team and every monring you come you will see many of them. It does not have any analysis, direction or input.

Just FYI or FYA. Good lord, I have never seen this kind of people.

6. Techinicality be damned. The account is for some 15 odd years and the work is not substantial. It is all the time politics all the way. The managers can not even create a Project Plan using MS project. I have first hand experience on that.

7. People who are good anyway keep on learing. But when politics rules, technology is not valued, management is imbecile and language based, then how long a good employee will stay??

8. The HR team (they call it TED) is one of the worst. First the HR manager is rarely on phone and even if you ask, you will not get a reply 99% of the time if the question is tough.

9. Ethics and Morality: It is something Premji is fanatical about. But it does not exist at all there.

10. The people who are there for 5+ years carry a red tag and think they have seen the world almost. They have not proper knowledge (people who are good have left) but are put in management. They have no certification like the PMP or Prince2 or do have any proper lanuage skills like Java or C++. They continued palmling the hands of their superior and of course, the language factor.

So how come I joined?

well, I thought that here is a company which talks of ethics, integrity, a CMM5 and PCMM5 and worlds first at that, something must be there. It is not. But I stayed as I had client commmittments.

So how they get so much revenue?

1 USD = 50 Rupees!

I stand my all comments and I have proof in the form of emails from Wipro's manager and their imbecility.
6th November 2008 From India, Bangalore
Yes you are right, and ur thaughts are valuable, but how many of us really understand or want to understand this............
the fact is that......"Its employee that make the organisations and not the organisations that make people talented".........
one should try to retain good emloyees........
but we need to know the facts and requirements to retain good employees and that is needed to practise....
21st March 2010 From Nigeria, Abuja
there is lot of truth in this article. Even i faced this also. I joined in a good private company and thought that i got a permanent job because i heard positive talk about the company in media. When i joined in that company, i found that it is entirely different from what the media is writing. after i worked there for 1 year, i got promotion as a TL because of my hard work. when i was in training, i am searching for an issue and if i learns that both company and i will be benefited. one day when i was reading that , one Senior TL came to me and shouted on me when he found that i am reading another one. He seriously asked me some technical questions regarding the training and answered all. Then he went seriously and with in 10min i got a call from my higher management and asked about the issue. I explained every thing but for my shock they gave me a memo mentioning that i am not doing well in training and they removed me from the TL post also.

What can i do. I simply left the company and joined in another company.
22nd March 2010 From India, Hyderabad
Very good article.
I wish this article 'a must' for every manager, HR executive, HR manager, CEO, CMD etc. Though there are certain other factors of leaving a job, but daily humiliation & torture creates disappointment, annoyance and rivalry with superior(s). In many companies, seniors are elected as managers without knowledge of human resources / without the understanding of how to handle manpower / no MBA degree or detailed study of physiology of the juniors. Poor juniors or subordinates however, do not dare to report this fact to anybody, but keep on sustaining the stress and this pressure causes ill-effects on his daily life and family life. Even I've personally seen so many cases of this type and also experienced this as a junior.
Hence, a manager should be elected with great care and special training be given to him.
9th June 2010 From India, Thana
Your case seems to be of "Office politics" where seniors fear for the intelligence of a junior and they believe that in near future, that junior may overtake his manager.
You took the right step, but before leaving, you should have reported this to the HR manager, and then leave.
9th June 2010 From India, Thana
Dear Anonymous,

I totally agree with you, and very much with your point no.7 & no.10.
Frankly speaking, this problem is something which every company (no matter how small or big) has, and cannot eliminate, only control the extent. I've changed 4 companies, personally faced and also heard similar experiences of my friends who have been in other big national and multi-national companies.

Very sad, but truth. All the responses of seniors or 5+ year tagged people towards their juniors are totally personal and I also agree that their attitude spoils the company's name. They are also promoted on the only basis that they are older in the company and hence poses better exposure for at least that company.

Possible (or the only option) solution: Leaving the company is the last option, but before that, one has to report this kind of behavior to the higher management. They might not take any action at the first because they themselves are corrupted, but it is their responsibility & HR manager's responsibility to take needful action. They shall try to settle the matter temporarily by talks, but if this continues and if some others also report such complains, then the matter gets heated. In some companies, there is also called a section known as ethics code counselor where such information can be secretly submitted and they take necessary action.

Make sure that before resigning, report such information to higher management over mail, keeping HR manager or ethics counselor in CC.
9th June 2010 From India, Thana
Dear Mr.Premji ,

Ive just got out of college and i wanted to hunt down a job of my own,without any recommendations . So i go to this Wipro placement drive conducted by I.P.S.R on 7th of july in my hometown Calicut. Sorry for the rudeness sir,but i have to say the interview was a mess, there was just one interviewer to have 400 of us interviewed.. im glad that he atleast asked me to say something about myself, but again cutting me of even before i could complete anything,Wipro is a beautiful well organized company is what i hear from some of my near ones working with you. but after listening to similar conditions of people who came there, i've started to think otherwise. When i went for further clarification with the HR present there (Mr.Anil Thankan) He blew me of saying that earlier i had MTI in my language as well did others and now its not my language ,but my attitude that has got a problem.Taking up matters privately and in person with the authority to me seemed to be the right thing to do. I have been if not an employee ,a consumer of your products all these years .Will taking a registration fee of 100 from each of us unemployed youth gain your company in any way? or is this the way of making extra perk income by your not so loyal employees. Im deeply wounded by todays incident and will go up to any extend to get me my justice. IM PLEADING U FOR JUSTICE.
7th July 2010 From India, Amritsar
it is good to say People leave managers not the company, but only the manager not the HR policies? what I have experienced in my org, most of the people leave because of lack of HR policies.
27th August 2010 From India
Greeting from deepak d joshi from mumbai.India.

very important question raised by shri.Azim premji.

Thank you sir.

as per my experience the real reason why employee leave organization after he/she has put,integrity,hard work,and dedication.He/She has not been lookafter.not taken care of their basic need.such employee look up to company chairman or MD or even director to comeforward to help them.but this thing does not happen eventually employee starts leaving or deserting org & finally it is a lose to organization in terms of goodwill and business.

I have been working in optical industry for 30 years now I am 51 started at age 21.,build up a decent goodwill in this trade. where 3 bitter experience has jolted my life.the last one has taken life of my mother.

since then I constantly keep praying almighty GOD to Inspire people like Shri.Ratan Tata,Shri.Anand Mahindra,Shri.Azim premji,Shri.Kishore Biyani,

Shri.Venu Srinivasan to venture in optical business retail and Lens lab business.& look after their employee who in turn will look after their investments & rightly said by HCL CEO Mr.V nayyar first employee & second customer. ( NUTS & GUTS BOOK ALSO SAYING THE SAME ) I firmly believe in doing business with ethically & professionally with Integrity.

My sincere Thanks to CITE HR.COM allowing me to express my views and suggestion which is very vital & most important human aspect taking care of organization where promoters and share holders have invested their precious money and TRUST.

Thanking you,

Yours Truly,



0-99870 84400.

18th September 2010 From India, Mumbai
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15th August 2012 From India, Delhi
Please give an idea to prepare leave policy for those employees whose family is staying out of station. So that employees can give time to his family also.
10th February 2015 From India,
The simplest way to know the reasons of attrition of employees can be found by putting a box to called as BB(Bonding box) inside toilets of the company. In it employees should be encouraged to put in unsigned typed grudges and suggestions. The genuine problems projected by anonymous should be redressed so that employees may have trust in the system and it does not become a junk box.The top reliable person should only have access to unlock the BB. The real reasons will be forthcoming soon.
11th February 2015 From India, New Delhi
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