Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)

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Dear Friends,
Now a days we are facing a different issue in our office.
Ours is a upcoming software company.
We have a senior employee who stays with us for the past five years.
Now company starts growing , so the senior employee feels in secured and started canvassing the new joiners ( who is equivalent talented) to search other jobs. The senior wants to maintain the situation that the company always depends him/her.
We cannot send him/her out immediately because she/he only sticks in the company others are leaving immediate.

Dear Sakthi,

In terms of conflict, I can say that it is role conflict. Secondly, this case is applicable to 'change management' also.

Situations of these kind arise because in the initial days of any company it is person dependent and not process dependent. As the company grows, the person(s) on whom this company depended hitherto, they feel insecure. The reason why these person(s) feel insecure is that they were not grown to handle the assignments of higher order. Since the competencies for future positions were not developed, these people want the status quo in organisation as they wanted to do in future what they did in the past. Out of this mental inertia, this person has gone to the extent of canvassing new comers to quit company.

So what is the solution? One solution is to give this person assignment of higher order. Let leadership tell him/her strictly that he/she should not meddle out of his/her territory. Second solution is to train this person on "Leading the Change". Third solution is to make your company process-orientation completely. Fourth solution is to trim the powers of this person to certain extent. If he/she is fluttering his wings extra, then leadership should put its foot down and trim those extra wings.

Notwithstanding this, if the canvassing by this senior person continues then your leadership has to think from head and take severe disciplinary action.


Dinesh V Divekar

Dear Shakti,

Dinesh Divekar has given you a sound answer as he normally does. This situation is nothing new. I remember my father recalling his first job as a stenographer. It seems another one used to say to new comers "Why did you come here? This is a dump? I want to quit and am looking for an opportunity; as I am more experienced than you, it has not ben easy for me...." And he continued for a number of years even after my father got another job within the institution.

I will raise questions instead.

How old is the senior employee (SE)? Has the SE worked elsewhere before starting with your comapny? Is the SE senior in position or only by experience? Do the new workers work under the SE? Has the SE undergone any training while with the company? How do you know that he discourgaes them to stay? Have you found this out by exit intrviews?

How do you know that the SE is feeling insecure? Is that your conclusion based on some concrete evidence? Could it be that he is disgruntled that his experience has not been duly recognised and rewarded?

Like Dinesh has aptly put it, you do not seem to be process oriented but dependent upon the SE. I know a similar case where my ex-boss had developed a test equipment and built it himself and had not given any drawing or blueprint for it. So, the company was dependent on him. Whenever it brokedown, only he knew what to do. Thus, once he sent a rumour that he had a new job offer and was going to leave. The management called him and offered a promotion for him to stay with a condition that he produced a blueprint and trained others to repair the machine. He took up the offer. When I was about to leave the leave, he had told me that that's one way of making sure that the company recognises you.

I hope you can provide us with a bit more information to give you more concrete advice.

Have a nice day.


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