Strategic HR Issue - Breach Of Confidentialy. - CiteHR
Kamalkantps
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Community Manager
Vivian Chandrashekar
Aast. Gen. Manager-hr
Sujeet_rajawat
Learning Change - Practicing People &

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Dear All
Greetings of the day.
My name is Sujeet S Rajawat and I am working for a Manufacturing Industry in Lagos Nigeria.
We are facing a issue where even after signing a confidentiality agreement saying that employee will not join any competitor for a certain period, employees joins a competitor immediately.
The even do not serve proper notice period at times and resign from the Job immediately.
It is becoming a severe HR Issue and I need your expert advice on how to prevent this situation.
We have one idea and I request you all to evaluate the same as well.
We want that the day employee leaves the job we will publish a disclaimer with the photo of employee stating that x-employee has left our organisation and has no relations with us any more.
It will help us to ensure that employee do not use our reference anywhere when he joins our compeititor.
Othe effective inputs are also welcome.
Please advice.

Dear Sujeet,

I don't know much about Nigerian Law but the Common Law regarding it is that you cannot stop your employees to join the competitor. This is again such another clause which you generally find in every letter of appointment but holds no legal sanctity. This is the constitutional right of a person to work for anybody whom he wish to work with.

Although serving the notice period is certainly an issue. The remedy may be to keep 7 to 10 days salary on hold all the time but only after mentioning this clause in the appointment letter:

Please note that your salary for ____ days shall remain on hold at all the times with the management and the same shall be remitted to you while separation from our employment with your Full and Final Settlement subjected to your serving the agreed notice period. In case you leave the service without serving the agreed notice period this amount shall be forfeited as a penalty without prejudice to the right of the management to proceed for any legal action to recover the notice pay.

Hope this would help not only to reduce your attrition rate significantly but also to reduce your absconding cases.

Please revert in case of any doubt. Dont try something which is not enforceable under Law.

Dear Mr. Sujeet S Rajawat,

Have you ever thought of as to why your employees are leaving the organization within a stipulated time span? -- A serious issue, ain't it?

Signing of any confidentiality agreement serves no good in impeding the employees joining competitors. [They even do not serve proper notice period at times and resign from the Job immediately] -- Could you explain, what steps were instigated over the first move to check why these people leave immediately or do not find superior reason to serve a proper notice?

Ascertain to the facts posted by you, this is called Silent Attrition - It occurs because the company is unaware to the employees happiness and the employer has no opprtunity to know the reason of thier leaving, these people leave uninformed or with no explanation. In such cases, there should be a clause defining the notice period should be in interest to the mutual benefit to the employee & employer (as this kind of clause is communally accepted by both parties). Furthermore, if one stupendously falls foul of, then the employee is considered of non-adherence of such clause, so they can be deemed with no releiving or resignation to be accepted. This way the attriton rate can be governed within your company.

Dear Sujeet,
A, ex-colleague of mine works as an HR Head to an IT Firm, in Kenya. He had shared the same challenge. He had implemented a program for employee engagement, where he made sure he kept the employees very close. He is extremely good with legal and expat management. During the events he would informally speak to everyone, only to hear them out and discuss the procedures. Letting the employees know about how far can you go, often curbs the attrition without a very strong reason.
A declaration on News Paper remains self-explanatory, when the reason for leaving includes any fraudulent activity or any other similar dire situation. You would remain the best judge of your situation . Wish you all the best !

Hi Sujit, I head HR for a multinational and am based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Whilst I worked in India in one of the top consumer companies, the COO quit and joined a start up as Managing Director, which was a competition to this large company. The start up was funded by venture capitalists. He took along with him 11 good performers. My company, a large brand, belonging to one of the most respected groups in the world, filed a case against the ex COO and the 11 employees for having breached the terms by joining the competition.

The ex COO immediately resigned from the position of MD in the new company and instead his wife was appointed as MD. All knew that it was a proxy, since she was a dentist and he was from IIM C. But the 11 executives and managers continued. The judgement in every court upto the Supreme Court was that only the COO could be restrained from joining the competition for a period of two years, since he was privy to strategic information. But, even that is subject to appropriate compensation being given to him for such restraint. The other 11 executives cannot be restrained from working in the competition, since it violates the fundamental rights and they are not privy to business strategy.

Since, am working in Nigeria for the past 5 years, the Nigerian laws are similar to Indian laws, since both are common wealth countries and both the laws were drawn by the British and both countries have not changed the laws since ages. Even the fundamental rights of both Nigeria and India are the same.

In terms of publishing the picture, the process you need to follow in Nigeria is to first file an FIR with the police for the employee having committed a crime. The police will register the complaint. You have to attach the copy of the FIR complaint acknowledged by the police and send it to the news paper to publish the picture. And please remember, changing jobs is not a crime. Even you changed jobs. Being a support function, we have the flexibility to change the type of industry, which most line people don't have.

Instead, as suggested by all others here, please try and conduct an employee engagement survey and initiate some OD activities. You will see results in medium term. If you see it in short term, it's good. But remember, your management needs to win the trust of employees as a good employer. The kind of activities you have proposed will make others also run away, just like what happened in the leading Telecom company of Nigeria very recently, when successive CEO's from South Africa and India and all Indian executives ran away, because the management planted canard regarding the Indian CEO who quit. Finally, when 75% of the expats quit, the management realized the mistake and got back the old Indian CEO about whom they spread Canard at double the salary. This act was to give confidence to remaining expats that the management did not spread Canard, but the rumours were false. And they also announced that all former expat employees are welcome back.

So, be cautios in what you plan and look long term.

All the best

Hi all,
I worked in Doha UAE as Manager-HR for short period during which my MD wanted me to have some HR Policy for employees. But in UAE where laws are strict and I don't know what to do. The expat's are not given much importance at workers level. Their quarters are not properly maintained and no proper facilities are provided. Their conditions are pathetic. But these expat's at workers level go out of their Country because of some compulsion and continue to work having come inspite of all odds. Other issue is that many don't understand English properly i.e. in Construction Industry. It is nice to hear that some of the Members shared that they have some program for employees to build their confidence level.

Dear Annonymous and Vivian,
Thankyou for sharing the timely contribution with HR practices from Nigeria and Doha. This adds to our learning along with Sujeet. Trust it helps him in resolving this.
Please allow him to ask any further questions, if need be.
God bless!

Dear All
Thank you very much for your kind support and guidance. I sincerely appreciate the response I received from each of you as they are worth tons of thanks.
Dear Anonymous,
I humbly request you to guide me in detail on how can I address this issue strategically. Also the type of OD initiatives we can take in Nigeria, if you can put some light on that it will be great support.
Dear All
Your kind advice and feedback on the same is highly appreciable.
Warm Regards

[QUOTE=sujeet_rajawat;2039492]Dear All
Thank you very much for your kind support and guidance. I sincerely appreciate the response I received from each of you as they are worth tons of thanks.
Dear Anonymous,
I humbly request you to guide me in detail on how can I address this issue strategically. Also the type of OD initiatives we can take in Nigeria, if you can put some light on that it will be great
Dear Sujeet,
Pls call me on 08058014969 and we could discuss.
Regards

Appreciation and gratitude to our Anonymous contributor. Such timely and relevant inputs will remain priceless. We are certain, the phone call would be a great help to Sujeet. For the benefit of the rest, how would we learn ?
Looking forward to hear from you

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