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Being startup company, How to stop our employees joining competitors. We suspect One of the employee joining our competitor. Please advise
17th June 2013 From India, Chennai
We suspect one of the employee joining our close competitor. When we ask him for reasons for relieving, he tells some personal family problems.
How to convince, retain him.. How to make sure, he is not joining our competitor. Please advise me on the industry practice.
17th June 2013 From India, Chennai
Dear Mohan ji, You can not stop any body joining anywhere. My answer to you in one sentence since I want this discussion to continue by other members.
17th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Venkatesh Mohan

Employees quit their job for many reasons.The root cause to leaving the organization by the employee(s) is specify below

Relationship with boss

Employees don’t need to be friends with their boss but they need to have a relationship. The boss is too much of an integral part of their daily lives at work for an uncomfortable relationship. The boss provides direction and feedback, spends time in one-to-one meetings, and connects the employee to the larger organization. To have a toxic relationship with the person an employee reports to undermines the employee’s engagement, confidence and commitment. A bad boss is also the number one reason why employees quit their job. Here's how to get along with your boss.

Bored and unchallenged by the work itself

No one wants to be bored and unchallenged by their work. Really. If you have an employee who acts as if they are, you need to help her find her passion. Employees want to enjoy their job. They spend more than a third of their days working, getting ready for work, and transporting themselves to work. Work closely with employees who report to you to ensure that each employee is engaged, excited, and challenged to contribute, create, and perform. Otherwise, you will lose them to an employer who will.

Relationships with co-workers

When an employee leaves my company, every email that is sent to the whole company, to say good-bye, includes a comment about passionate coworkers who the employee cares about and will miss. Second only to an employee’s manager, the coworkers with whom he sits, interacts, and serves with on teams, are critical components of an employee’s work environment. Research from the Gallup organization indicates that one of the 12 factors that illuminate whether an employee is happy on their job is having a best friend at work. Relationships with coworkers retain employees. Notice and intervene if problems exist.

Opportunities to use skills and abilities

When employees use their significant skills and abilities on the job, they feel a sense pride, accomplishment, and self-confidence. They are participating in activities that they are good at and that stretch their skills and abilities even further. Employees want to develop and grow their skills. If they’re not able to do this in your jobs, they’ll find one where they can. This includes opportunity. If an employee can’t see a path to continued growth in their current organization, they are likely to look elsewhere for a career development or promotion opportunity. Make sure that you’re talking with them and that you know their hopes and dreams.

Contribution of work to the organization’s business goals

Managers need to sit with each reporting employee and discuss the relevance of the employee’s job and key contributions and deliverables to the overall strategy and business plan of the organization. Employees need to feel connected and that they are part of an effort that is larger than just their job. Too many managers assume that the employee will receive the communication from executive staff and make this leap. They don’t. They need your help to understand and connect their job to the bigger picture. If they’re not part of it, you’ll lose them.

Autonomy and independence

Organizations talk about empowerment, autonomy, and independence, but they are not something that you can do to people or give them. They are traits and characteristics that an employee needs to pursue and embrace. You are responsible for the work environment that enables them to do this. They are responsible for doing it. A colleague presented a session about the Oz Principles at a recent company event. He pointed out that by creating a culture of accountability, you create empowerment as employees own and execute their responsibilities. Without this, your best employees will leave.

Meaningfulness of job

Ah, yes, meaningful work. We all want to do something that makes a difference, that isn’t busy work, or transactional work, and that contributes to something bigger than ourselves. Ambitious and doable. But, managers must help employees see where their work contributes to the execution of deliverables that make a difference in the world. With some products and services - cancer research, feeding the hungry, animal rescue, diagnosing and curing illnesses, producing milk or crops - meaningful is obvious, but everyone’s work needs the same meaningfulness. Help employees connect to why their work has meaning or they will find an employer who will.

Organization’s financial stability

Financial instability: a lack of sales, layoffs or reduced work hours, salary freezes, successful competitors highlighted in the news, bad press, employee turnover, mergers and acquiring companies, all lead to an employee’s feeling of instability and a lack of trust. Employees who are worried tend to leave. Make every change and potential change transparent. Let them know how the business is doing at all times and what the organization’s plans are for staying on track or recovering in the future.

But, the most important issue here is the employees’ trust in and respect for the management team. If they respect your judgment, direction, and decision making, they will stay. If not, they will leave. After all, they have the financial stability of their families to consider when they decide which executive they will follow – or not.

Overall corporate culture

While it’s not the top item on employee lists, the overall culture of your company makes a difference for employees. Does your organization appreciate employees, treat them with respect, and provide compensation, benefits, and perks that demonstrate respect and caring?

Is your work environment for people conducive to employee satisfaction and engagement? Do you provide events, employee activities, celebrations, and team building efforts that make employees feel that your organization is a great place to work? Employees appreciate a workplace in which communication is transparent, management is accessible, executives are approachable and respected, and direction is clear and understood. Your overall culture keeps employees – or turns them away. Which gets you what you want and need for success?

Management’s recognition of employee job performance

Many place employee recognition further up the list, but this is where recognition scored in a recent Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) survey of employees. While recognition is important, it is not among employees’ chief concerns. A lack of recognition can affect many of the above factors, especially culture, but it’s probably not the deciding factor in an employee decision to leave your organization. Provide a lot of genuine appreciation and recognition as icing on the cake for employee retention. But, pay attention to the more significant factors, the cake, if you wish to retain your best employees. Make recognition the way you live in your organization to keep your best talent.

And the question is why employee(s) joining your competitor might be possible that your competitor is providing them best scope, perks & working culture. So, try to understand the working culture salary structure, bonus & incentive policy and other facility provided by your competitor. These things help you to find root cause to join your employee(s) in other organization or your competitor organization.

With Regards
17th June 2013 From India, Ranchi
Dear Venkatesh,
You may implement a Non-compete or Non-Disclosure agreement. However, it will remain a paper tiger , unless you work on deeper issues.
Why is the employee so motivated to join your competitor ? You may not be able to influence external factors such as money or even brand name. However, Loyalty remains a different game. What have been your stumbling blocks towards it ?
If you put yourself in the employee's shoes what reason do you see ? Looking forward to hear from you
17th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hi Venkatesh Sir,
There may be many reasons for your employees to join the competitor..
I want to know whether your competitor are also new to the industry. Then coming to your issue,in our business to we came across such issue now.
whether employee who is leaving now was in a powerful situation now.Whether he know the nuances of your business.do reply me so that i may give suggestions what we did aftr tat issue.
18th June 2013 From India, Coimbatore
Why do people leave?
1.Poor Management style
2. Lack of career growth.
3. Poor communication.
4. Lack of recognition of work
5. Lack of training
6. excess work load.
7. lack of tools and resources
8. lack of team work
9. underpaid
Its time that you do a employee satisfaction survey to identify the reasons for attrition. Please note that this survey should be confidential and no employee name should be asked, else you will not get the real picture.
18th June 2013 From India, Chennai
Dear Venkatesh,

I see some suggestions for a non compete or NDA. We had the same problem. We also had a Non compete and NDA. One of our senior employees joined a competitor. We sent him a legal notice and then went to court, thinking he would quit. But the competitor decided to fight the case on behalf of the employee. The courts verdict was that no one can restrain anyone from joining the competition. And in case there is a restraint, then it has to be time bound which can be restrictive for a maximum period of two years. But this restraint can be there only if the employer can prove that the employee was part of a strategic long range planning committee in the company and was part of evolving strategy. A person implementing strategy cannot be restained from joining the competition, since he will not be privy to the overall strategy. We also had to pay a fine and pay the employee an amount of Indian Rupees 5 lakhs for the harassment that we caused to him. He had asked for one crore.

So all these companies which sign a NDA or Non compete agreement are committing an act which is not illegal. When challenged in court, they would be reprimanded. The media did not publicize the case much. So these NDA and non compete agreements can only be a mental barrier, but in true sense are not implementable when one goes to the court.

So, we came up with one scheme, wherein we built in a variable component in the compensation. According to this a sum equivalent to a minimum of 4 months of compensation is deferred and we pay 2 months in July and 2 months in January. This is based on the performance of the company. We call this EPLIS ( Employee Performance Linked Incentive Scheme). This amount can go upto 10 months equivalent salary in a whole year. In the first year, 50% of the EPLIS declared is retained by the company. It could vary between 2 to 5 months depending upon the performance of the company. This retained 50% is paid as rollover in the following year and the next years 50% is retained. This retention is for a period of 4 years. After 4 years, we do not retain anything.

But, we being in a very specialised industry, people skills are extremely critical. Apart from the statutory gratuity, we have our own ex gratia scheme. For an employee who has competed minimum 5 years of service, we pay them an amount equivalent to one month last drawn salary of ex gratia for every year of service rendered when they separate. The upper cap is 12 months last drawn salary in case an employee completes 12 years of service or more. This is paid when he leaves the company or when he retires from the company. But this is subject to he not joining the competition. When he retires or dies, it is paid instantly. While, when he resigns from the services of the company, then there is a waiting period of 6 months. At the end of 6 months, it will be paid in case he has not joined the competition.

We had to rework our entire compensation package in such a manner that we absorbed the above elements, on account of we losing the case in the Supreme Court.

In fact there is a live case in Singapore which gained wide publicity. The Country manager of Adidas resigned to join Puma. Country manager is a senior position. There was a non compete and a NDA also signed and taken. Adidas went to court. But, this employee, who was an Indian took a stand that all overall strategies were done in the Head office, while he implemented them locally and hence he did not have access to overall strategy, but had access to only some local short term strategies which were created in his office to complement the parts of overall strategy.

The court raised a query as to whether Adidas had built in an amount equivalent to two years of salary for him to not join the competition when he separated from the company. The answer was no. So if the employee was not willing to compensate him for the two years of lay off period, then they cannot expect him not to join the competition. This is violation of the fundamental right to employment. We in India also enjoy this fundamental right.

If you look at globally, if a company gets a person to sign a non compete agreement, then they ensure that enough compensation is given to him during the lay off period.

One of the land mark cases was of that Mark Hurd, the CEO of HP. He joined Oracle as Co President. HP went to court, but it was thrown out. The reason was that the person had joined the competition, but the division that he had joined and the role he had in Oracle was where he cannot use the strategy information that he gained from HP in his role. Mark Hurd had joined a division which was in a business different from HP.

Now, this is indeed a landmark judgement. This means, the court clearly states that in a non compete agreement, while the company can state that he cannot join the competition, they have to prove that the employee has joined a role which will create a material loss to the previous company where he worked.

I find, that, after the above judgements, the NDA or Non compete agreement can only be enforced at a very top level where a person has access to all the strategy and his exit and joining a competition can cause material loss to the company. Guys at senior, middle and junior level do not get affected by such agreements since it is null and void. Knowing a part of the strategy does not restrain him from joining the competition. Such NDA's and Non compete agreements is made out of desperation to retain people, since there is non availability of talent.

Ultimately, it boils down to have good HR policies where you make the Place of Work a Place of Joy, so that the employee does not leave.
18th June 2013 From Indonesia, Jakarta
Dear Kumar Malay Kishor
Please excuse me for taking your post as an example to inform other members how to post copy and paste messages to avoid plagiarising or violating copyrights. As my wont, I checked on the web to see if what you have posted has already been posted there. I found, not to my surprise, that it is the work titled "Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Quit Their Job: A Checklist for Talent Retention" by Susan M. Heathfield. It was found at
Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Quit Their Job
I would have briefly stated that there are 10 reasons as explained by Susan M. Heathfield and given a link to the website above.
18th June 2013 From United Kingdom
Dear Mr. Mohan
Possible ways to cut down on such exit are as follows:
i. recruit through known references. This way, the candidates would be loyal to you.
ii. recruit candidates whose family background is with low profile.
iii) Implement the Non-Compete & Non-Disclosure Agreement and initiate action against violators
iv) Ask them to surrender their educational qualification certificates right from 10th standard onward till the highest qualification and it should be as if they are in dire need of a job and they are volunteering themselves to surrender their certificates for this job, which they want to make it as their career on the long run.
v) Last but not the least, identify the privileges that other corporate companies are offering and then try to match with them.
Good Luck
18th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
My comments are as under:
Not necessary.
I do not agree with.
Legally you can not do with every one.
You can not do it. It is not ethical.
There is no guaranty that people will not leave. But you have to do it.
18th June 2013 From India, Mumbai

Malay and Anonymous have given all the answers.

I am just saying it in a different way.

Only those organizations those are not able to hold on to talent are the ones who use arm twisting methods to keep employees.

People do not just move on from a challenging job, a person who is engaged in the company in which he works very seldom moves on.

What does a person look for in a job?

1. Good work culture

2. Good work environment

3. Good prospects of advancement

4. Challenging work

5. Appreciation for work done

6. Social status

7. Happy family

8. Good compensation

These are basic things that all HR managers must ensure in an organization.

If this cannot be done then employees will leave that goes without saying.

This topic was hottest during the IT boom during the years 2000 to 2006; many leading IT companies took a relook at their HR policies and work culture. This was the time when good HR managers were in demand and got excellent compensation.

This was the time of good work culture, excellent salaries, great employee welfare schemes and many such things. I saw and experienced it myself.

This was the time when all employees pointed fingers at HR if things went wrong; all employees looked up to HR for solace.

Then the scene changed and job seekers were more than the job available and so employees were no longer treated as they were before. Things changed.

It is up to the HR managers to ensure that companies retain talent.

I am sure they are all working towards that goal.

Best Regards
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
practical way is write to competitor companies not to take employees without concent of both companies and you will also follow the understanding
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
I just came across a very good article on Interviews. It is not directly related to the topics being discussed but it does lead to hiring good employees and thus leads to less attrition.
I hope you all like this article.
Best regards
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad

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I want to begin by saying, "I really feel sorry for the company for losing trained resources to it's competitors."

Having said this I quickly wish to add that the problem that you are in is not a new phenomenon it's been there for ages. And each of the companies that were hurt by this "poaching" act, devised means and methods to counter this menace and succeeded in their own way. That may not have happened unless they did some serious introspection and thinking to generate the right strategies to stem the rot if not eliminate.

The point that I am trying to make is that there can be several reasons that one can attribute to this happening with respect to your company. If I might say, "you perhaps choose potential people and give them good initial induction training to make them productive," then that seems to be the one that has led to your competitor's being attracted to hire people who choose to leave your company.

That apart there may be something that is missing in your company - it could be the management or the policy that precipitates acts of exit.

There are several reasons cited already here as apart of the discussion and the theory world over would have these and they would have added a few more.

This is valid, and can be true, which I may choose to repeat

Unhappiness with the "Boss"

Inadequate compensation

Nature of the work itself


Recognize outstanding work

Offer professional development opportunities


Years ago, I read this on the Internet, the source of which I am not sure, and so I'd acknowledge Source - Anon

I'd like to narrate a story which highlights the point the original write was trying to make

A frail old lady was waiting at a bus-stop with load of bags hanging on her shoulders apart from the one's in her hands.

After along wait a bus came that way and stopped to pick the waiting passengers. As soon as the bus stopped, young students, rushed into it and as the old lady was struggling to make her way on to a vacant seat in the end row, she got pushed and she fell down.

Reacting to this incident were some of the passengers, " How rude, these days young kids are, didn't their parents teach them any manners," yelled a lady who was a teacher.

"Such people should be booked under law and be punished, " yelled a man, who was a lawyer.

"Oh! No, she would have probably broken her shoulder bones, she needs immediate medical attention, " was a shrill voice who happened to be a doctor.

Like these each one was passing his/her comment but no one really went close to the lady to help her get to her feet and then to her seat, nor inquire her about how she is feeling till one person actually did this, by helping her stand and then made her sit on the vacant seat, and he turned out to be a Welfare Officer in a local manufacturing company.

This story clearly narrates how people's thinking and behaviors shows up according to their professions - the teacher, the lawyer, the doctor, and the welfare officer acted or reacted to help a frail old lady crying in pain. The passengers forgot the fact that they are human being first and then professionals. This may just seem like a story, but professionals get greatly influenced in their thinking and behavior by the profession which they are in.

Keeping the HR part of it aside for the time being I would want to suggest that you try creating an "Employee Branding Exercise"

It'll be useful for you all as the company's management team to ask the following question and to get answers for that which will define the roadmap for brand builidng.

SWOT Analysis

• What are your strengths as an employer? Your weaknesses?

• How does top talent rate you against your competitors?

• What do your competitors offer that you do not?

• What do you offer that your competitors do not?

• What do employees like about coming to work for you?

• What do employees dislike about coming to work for you?

• What drives job seekers to apply to your jobs?

• What prevents job seekers from applying to your jobs?

• Are you offering competitive pay?

• How could you better position yourself as an employer of choice?

• Where should you be advertising your jobs?

After this done, and all of you have a consensus findings, plan a "branding exercise

1. Defining Your Message

2. Communicating Your Brand

3. Evaluating Your Message’s Effectiveness

4. Assessing Your Employment Brand

This is slightly time-consuming but really worth the effort. Companies that were not there fifteen or twenty years ago have indulged in this, and companies that have been their before that have been established as leading brands, more because of the product's utility and it quality. Names have become house-hold names, "thanks to branding."

The last word from me would be "Be Human in your touch with Employees" and if they still desert you, take it that they don't deserve good people like you. Let them feel guilty for leaving you while you don't have to feel sorry they left you.

This will go a long way in solving the problem on hand, and who knows the competitors will have to work overtime to retain their employees.
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear TSK. Raman ji, Great sharing. Great learning. Unfortunate thing, today’s HR Professionals, majority of them are lacking in Human Touch. I am sorry say it.
19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
TSK Raman really hits the nail on the head. I enjoy reading his posts they make a lot of sense and are rewarding.
After reading his post I recall one incident that happened to me, when I was leaving a company and at the going away party my manager said some thing very special. He said, "We do not permanently employ good people we just borrow them".
A lot can be read from this statement. The way a manager or a company looks at their employees. Why should someone stay forever with a company,
Why should a company expect an employee to stay with them forever; is it a marriage "till death do us part" or is a transition in the employee's journey up the ladder.
Give it a thought and more answers will emerge.
Have a great day
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Thanks to all seniors who shared valuable knowledge.
I believe that, Good HR policies help to avoid such situations, employer has to give freedom to their HR team.
careful recruitment will help to identify future risk.
19th June 2013 From India, Pune
My humble thanks to Mr. Keshav Korgaonkar and Mr. Ronald de Saran, for their appreciation, however, the larger part of the discussion is that we are all thriving or trying to thrive in a "chaotic" set up. Not all employers are good or bad, not all employees are good or bad, but yes the challenge often is how to be good both as an employer and an employee. We need to eliminate pain points from our workplaces, and be sincere to those who employ us, as much as remembering to be good advocates of those whom we serve. We should keep our "internal customers happy" and to make that possible we as HR people will have to work closely with everyone from the CEO to the last in the line to make things happen. We need to be utterly transparent… be more open and honest than any of our competitors to enable our employees feel proud to be working with us. The management has to be as simple as possible, and for that elimination of "policing policy," if there is one, is a must. We should care for their "Work -Life Balance" so that we all end up on the winning side.

And this is one bit of an eye-opener for CEO's and management's of companies..."Experts advise young people these days, not to bet their career on a company that hasn’t relooked or changed its business model since it came into being." Please take cue from this. If your company needs to keep pace with times, relook at your business model.

Another option Innovate or perish.
19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
After 45 year\'s of experience in Hr Field I realise that Hr is getting neglected in most organizations.There is a lot to be desirable in this field.It has become a bread earner for the business not a responsibility. It is high time that in India We make sincere efforts for Hr branding to retain our talent.Let every organization measure itself on the following scale:1. CLARITY OF JOB EXPECTATIONS

19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Yes, there are companies which come to a mutual understanding and sign up an anti poaching agreement. But, I have seen with experience that one of the companies lands up breaking this rule, by getting an employee to resign and keep him at home for a few months, while paying his salary, before he joins the competitor. They do this out of desperation.

We need to accept the reality..

In this way, I appreciate Reliance industries. They keep creating Bench Strength. They were the first company in India to explore gas and started cracking them to make Polymers. No skills were available in India. At that time, they brought in expats, but simultaneously they went ahead and created a bench strength by training engineers. Over a period of time, they had the best Polymer specialist in the world. But, inevitably these guys got poached in the Middle east. And many Indian companies like even Videocon went into gas exploration in other countries, especially Africa and the middle east. And these Indian companies felt comfortable to work with Indians. Their obvious choice were employees from Reliance. Reliance did not bother, since they created a bench strength and their engineer trainee scheme became one of the best in the world.

Poaching no more bothers them. In fact my company poaches from Reliance very aggressively. But, it does not matter to them on account of strong bench strength policy. They in fact anticipate turnover.

That is how institutions are built.
19th June 2013 From Indonesia, Jakarta
Dear Mr. Snisonko,

Firstly my humble appreciation and acknowledgement to you Sir, a senior pro Snisonko whose views, not only me, but every reading member of CITEHR will fully endorse. The views expressed by him are to be etched in our minds as I can see his anguish of things drifting, and the virtual plea to do whatever we can to restore pride in the profession and to salvage lost ground.

I too have about 40 years or working experience of which nearly 25 of it has been in IT. I have seen changes in every aspect - technology to people. It was a "challenge" to understand what the technology people were speaking as most of it would seem "Greek and Latin."

I have been consciously keeping pace with the changes and have ensured that I keep my mind free and open to learning. That has helped me upgrade myself, at least of the technology movement front. I must admit that I have had the good fortune of working for companies where things were happening on all aspects - business, technology, people, branding and growth. HR which owes its birth to IR was getting more and more scientific and analytical - thanks to the technology influx.

While this was good, it sort of began to remove the human element slowly. The speed of technology development increased with the appearance of "internet" (about near twenty years ago) have contributed a lot for the changes that we now see.

Does human resource get the priority it’s worthy of?

Not always, not everywhere. Survival of the fittest’ might seem to be a merciless reality. But, it’s becoming all the more true in the current circumstances, where competency means everything. While the solutions providers and systems integrators in India have scaled up in both in terms of technologies and market reach, where do they stand when it comes to human resource management?

This question might be tough to answer, but one thing is certain. The results are clear signs of need for improvement. It’s very important to consider HR as something beyond just a drop in the bucket as it makes an organization ‘fit’ for growth.

The sheer volumes - business, people, transactions added with the dimension of geographic distances and the various divisions made in the ways HR has been split (Recruitment, C&B, L&D, HR Ops, HR Admin. HR Welfare etc., and the list goes one, with load of people in each of these areas, serving people flung across locations - domestic and abroad) makes it not only a "Frankenstein Monster," but has taken away the human element totally. Companies work to keep pace with the competition to enable investors earn bonus shares, dividends etc. To keep the wheel moving they pay "above the roof salaries" to their "producers" viz., Techies, and pay a much lesser salary for those who enable these functions moving smoothly calling HR as a support function. In the parlance to business HR and Admin are not money earners and so they are several rungs below and are not supposed to compare themselves with anyone - not techies but even Tech. Support people. The dividing lines are made, and so it's merely transactional. This is the scene in large multi-nationals, which however is different from SME (Small Medium Enterprises), where one gets more satisfaction in being and doing hands on HR. However the challenges are to manage and match - Branded companies, attracting the right talent for Recruitment, working on cutting edge technologies for Retention, big-fat Compensation, and all other +'s Plush Working Spaces, Food Courts, Snack Bars, Perks (non-existence Gym. HelathClub, Memberships to elite clubs, etc.). Weekend Bashes, Fully Paid Annual Excursions to exotic places. etc.

There's a lot to say, but I would only submit, "there is a lot to do as well."

It all begins right at the top.

The Promoter/CEO, has to make it a priority to treat each employee as an entrepreneur. Apart from trusting on his own skills, the Promoter/CEO should also have confidence on the potential of his employees. Concisely, treat every employee as a partner. He does not have to share the ownership with employees, but he can definitely co-share power. After all, each employee is a potential ambassador of the company.

The next thing that the Promoter/CEO, should do is to stop assuming that he/she knows everything, and so go on to appoint professionals who will run the business and on the top of this list should be HR. After doing this they should empower them sufficiently to enable them carry on the business of running a successful company. On technical aspects they consult tech. specialists, likewise on the people front they should "consult" HR which acts more in an advisory role.

On the other side, my humble request to HR folks would be "Hold your head high, do not fall for small favour and accept things just because it comes from the top. Know that you are responsible as you hold a trust worthy position, as the same time pelase remember you are meant for the "people" so your allegiance is more for them."

Some might think this is a pipe dream or just for theory, but I am a living example of having fulfilled my role in this the HR position with great dignity and respect. Some of them who were hired then today are "entrepreneurs" in their own right, and this gives me is the greatest pleasure today, for at that time I only hired a programmer" with potential and promise, but today it turns out that they have become leaders in their own right.

Believe in your abilities, be human as there is no power beyond a human and here is a Chinese quote to support what I said, "The fishes, though deep in the water, may be hooked; the birds, though high in the air, may be shot; but man's thoughts are out of our reach. The heavens may be measured, the earth may be surveyed; the heart of man only is not to be known to anyone except him.".

19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
I support Keshav Koragaonkar's appreciation on the piece written by Anonymous. Apart from factual instances, there is enough facts and references to support his contention; with which I fully agree.
I too, wish more of such high quality, in depth inputs from our members. I learned quite a lot, from this post.
Warm regards.
19th June 2013 From India, Delhi
Dear Venkat,
Anybody could seek job in any kind of organization and no law or external forces could control any one to join any organization. If anyone is trying to restreict any one to hinder anybody in joining any organisation is a crime and violation of human rights.
Nowadays many young and moderately experienced engineers are very quickly changing their jobs in the soft- ware and related industries.. i.e., IT AND ITES. Can any one block anyone from joining the same industry, terming it as competitors organization?
Please do not allow your thoughts and your company's (management's) thoughts in an unproductive manner.
If you do anything such, you will certainly under legal clutches. It is a violation of Human Rights altogether.
19th June 2013 From India, Pune
Well, the better first analyze why you employees moving to your competitor for the salary & perks, facilities, policies or what and based on that do needful also try to discuss your employees who are moving and negotiate and convince them to continue with your company......or also you can go for a contract or bond but employee satisfaction and welfare should be on priority.
19th June 2013 From India, Lucknow
Hello every one,
This is a very good thread.
Plenty of views have been exchanged.
In my view the following observations, expressed previously, stand out.
Agreements do not provide any solution.
Have a robust training programme( or bench strength if the company could afford it)
20th June 2013 From India
One person going to competitor is not a challenge. But when it become repetitive you need to really probe into the Root cause analysis of it. I would rather suggest it adopting 2 way strategy one going for a E-SAT survey and checking on to various dimensions. Secondly hiring external agency to work upon benchmarking exercise in comparison to your competitors making comparison of tangible and intangible benefits.
through E-Sat survey you get to know internal environment and action plan to be designed to address the priority issues.
Through Benchmarking exercise you will realize the gaps in form of tangible and intangible benefits.
based on this 2 reports collectively you will get clear idea for designing future strategy to retain best talent. Moreover you can further introduce better measurability criteria to check the on going performance.
If you believe in your self change will happen.
Make it. Best of luck.
Rahul Mehandiratta
21st June 2013 From India, Faridabad
Dear Anonymous, Really appreciate your suggestion, this can really help various employees who are working in such organisation following these companies unethical practices. Regards Megha
21st June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
It was very informative and technically correct but I have a suggestion which I once applied and got good results. If you want to retain your employees all the things are ok but you may talk to your competitor and reach a two party agreement that none of them will ever hire the competitor's employee as the competitor also must be facing some challenges of manpower turnover.
21st June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Vishal, Please read all the messages; such agreements with competitors may be illegal in addition to being unethical.
21st June 2013 From United Kingdom
When reading Kumar Malay Kishor's post, I too had a doubt whether this is his own contribution or copied. But not researched to prove my doubt clear. However, thanks to Nashbramhall to bring the reality out and also appreciate for this investigation.
I suggest if a post gets appreciation points and later proved it is a plagiarised one, can the moderators take out these appreciation points. Because in general one is being appreciated for own efforts & contributions and not for eating someone else’s cake.
Here the above members’ post got around 13 appreciations just only for making a cut & paste work. This is not to punish the member but to train be sincere to oneself.
22nd June 2013 From India, Pune
Dear Ventakesh,
This is one of the major concern employer faced especially start up companies.
You need to understand various motivational factors working for different employer. For one, money is everything, for others working environment , culture plays an important role.
Have a one to one feedback with your employee to understand his decision for joining your competitor. This should be done regularly with all the other employees. If there is a disconnect try to resolve it.
Also, if your employee finally decides to quit your company, have a good exit interview in place.
24th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
The need for proper employee engagement surveys cannot be highlighted more than what is being said in these posts.
An organization must feel the pulse of its employees. This is best way to know what is going on in their minds.
If an organizations wants to keep its employees it must know how to keep them and must know how the employees feel about the company.
Do not be an ostrich and bury your heads in the sand hoping for the crisis to end.
The HR team plays a very important role in this and must convey the importance of such surveys to management.
All good companies have good HR and companies with good HR are good companies.
24th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Mohan
We can approach this one in two different manner. First, if we appoint them at an executive or Manager level, they will have tendency to swith over as they will not have affection or loyalty towards organization.We need not care about those persons.
Secondly, if we appoint a person at the bottom level and give them a slow and steady progress in the package. To come at a higher level, they would have put many years of service. After that hey will have constraints to switch to another company like seniority,relocation problems due to family situations. This is traditional way but better effective method
25th June 2013 From United Kingdom, Oxford
]Dear Mohan
We can approach this one in two different manner. First, if we appoint them at an executive or Manager level, they will have tendency to swith over as they will not have affection or loyalty towards organization.We need not care about those persons.
Secondly, if we appoint a person at the bottom level and give them a slow and steady progress in the package. To come at a higher level, they would have put many years of service. They will have constraints to switch to another company like seniority,relocation problems due to family situations. This is traditional way but better effective method
25th June 2013 From United Kingdom, Oxford
Legally you can’t do anything. Just provide good benefits, salary, culture etc,
26th June 2013 From India, Pune
Dear Venkatesh,

Many useful insights have been shared by the senior members of this forum. I would like to add a few things to this discussion:

1. Instead of spending your time on Non compete and NDA, try to strengthen your Exit Interview process which will give you a clear picture on why people leave your organization and what makes them to do so. When I say Exit Interview, It should be very professional and not be prejudiced and It should be done by third party who does't have direct connection with him so that, people will be comfortable enough to share their thoughts. I am not trying to say it would give 100% result but it definitely give a clear signal on what can be done in the days ahead.

2. It is very common thing in all Companies that people will try to join the competitors where they will be treated as a ready-made product so that, they can demand many things and shine in their field as soon as possible. It may be very high in your company as its a startup one and the perfect systems may not be there in place.


26th June 2013 From India, Madurai
True! You cannot stop people joining competitor.
Introspection is the best way.
Ensure that your organization takes care of the points suggested to you above by many people. If you are good, the employee would like to remain. In tsead of stopping - which sounds negative - think of attracting and retaining talent - which is positive.
So all you need to do is - change the attitude of your Company / HR.
26th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
You can't stop.But you can ask people to stipulate condition in your appointment order that they won't join with competitior company with two years or three years once after relievel from your company.
T Muralidaran
99404 97328
27th June 2013 From India, Hosur
Dear Mohan
If you can, Please speak to HR of your Competitor or any high authority there and have mutual agreement with them that not to hire your staff and you will not hire from them.
Else have a clause in your appointment letter stating that after the resignation he/she should not join in the same line of business oriented company say for 1 or 2 years. It is legal too.
I think either of the suggestion should help you.
27th June 2013 From India, Chennai
Gentleman, You have not read the entire thread. There is enough data provided in the thread stating that such agreements are invalid in law. Regards
27th June 2013 From Indonesia, Jakarta
Dear Murali
Why should this be in the appointment letter? Do you want a bonded labourer or a contributing member to work with? If you can not provide an atmosphere (in all respect) for an employee to contribute so as he / she and the organisation grow together, why you want to chain him / her?
Keep in mind if an organisation is successful in creating a bonding between the organisation and the employee(s) from heart , then there is no need of any bond or fear of leaving. There are many organisations succeeded in and it is not a mere theory.
27th June 2013 From India, Pune
First of all, there should be sound policies for the welfare of employees as well as rational policies to engage them in working with innovations. Timely meeting required regarding discussion for positive as well as negative things and how could we overcome.In this way they would never leave their organization.
27th June 2013 From India, Delhi
Dear all senior members,

I have posted my original with heading as given below:

"Whole team wants to join Client's new local branch by leaving current employer"

and due to similarity of my query with this thread I was advised to participate in this thread. Please go through my original post to understand situation completely.

After reading all views I have understood that, no company can restrict any employee from joining competitor and I hope same thing would applicable for joining client companies too. Please confirm.

Below are my queries and are based on my original post:

Question 3: We are keeping things deep secrete and do not discuss, chat, mail about in it in office environment to avoid keeping any traces behind. But in case somehow, if our employer comes to know about the plan, what action can be taken against us?

Question 4: How much risk is involved in all this and what additional care we should take to avoid any unwanted circumstances.

Also please consider the fact that, major resource of income for our current employer is billing of our team and if this billing stops completely, company may not be able to survive for long.

Thanks & regards,

24th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
You do not have to worry on this matter at all. In fact in the 70's, such a coup happened in Chennai. You would know the famous advertising agency in Chennai by name R K Swamy & Associates. Mr. R K Swamy was the branch manager of the Chennai branch of J Walter Thomson. It is now known as Hindustan Thomson Associates. Mr. Swamy on his own floated a company called R K Swamy & Associates and while pitching for business for JWT, was parallelly pitching for business for his own company. He got some good accounts. He then took some of his senior colleagues into confidence in the branch and they engineered one of the biggest coup in the Corporate world.

The lease of the building in which the JWT office was housed was expiring and so he spoke to the owner and took the lease of the building in the name of R K Swamy & Associates. One fine day, he made appointment orders for all the employees with an increase of salary by 50% and one level higher. He came to the office and called everyone for the meeting and told them that the building is now in the name of R K Swamy & associates. The telephones are in their name with new numbers. The furniture mostly in advertising agencies are hired and hence the furniture was theirs, since they changed the hirers name. He made an open offer in the group meeting and stated that they are all welcome to join his new advertising agency at a 50% higher salary and also one level higher. And in terms of advertising accounts, they have got prestigious accounts such BHEL, BEL, HMT and other such Public sector accounts and the revenue budgets are huge and the total revenue would plummet R K Swamy & associates to be one of the top 10 agencies in the country in the very first year. He spoke about a great career if all joined him. And those who desire to stay with JWT are welcome to leave the office.

All employees except 3 of them took the new offer. The three were asked to leave the office. All others were issued appointment letters and there was celebration with beer and lunch on the house. He then arranged to send telegrams in the name of each of the employee to JWT, HR department submitting their resignation and seeking immediate release.

The three employees went to a Post office and booked a trunk call to Mumbai, since there were no STD facility those days. After a wait of two hours, they got the call and informed the seniors in JWT as to what had happened.

The then CEO of JWT Mike Khanna rushed to Chennai. They consulted a lawyer and he was advised that nothing can be done, since the building lease had expired. The furniture was on rental and was now in the name of R K Swamy & Associates. All the papers and documents pertaining to JWT was neatly packed and kept aside and a telegram was sent to JWT asking them to pick up their property. The only thing available was the typewriters and the telex machine. But, they had some prestigious accounts such as Spencers, Ponds etc and they had to save them. So they immediately took a space in Hotel Connemara business centre and started servicing their clients. Emergency staff were flown in from other offices, till such time the vacancies were filled in.

Later after a couple of weeks, JWT went to court. But JWT lost the case, since the employees had complied with every clause of the terms of appointment and also had sent in cheques of one month notice period pay, which obviously was paid for by R K Swamy.

Though, unethically done so by R K Swamy, they were protected by law, since law has no emotions. So, as long as you are complying with the law, you don't have to worry.

Incidentally, R K Swamy's grandson is Arvind Swamy, who acted as hero in the famous Indian movie called Roja.

SInce you say the major billing is with the client, the company may go to the client and the client may decide to compensate them or fight it out in the court. It does not matter to you. You comply with the terms of appointment and be done with it. The company cannot sue you. And in case they do so, then most of the time, in such corporate coup, the employer fights the case in proxy. So be at peace.
24th July 2013 From Indonesia, Jakarta
Dear Anonymous, Hats off to you for giving the case of RK Swamy. My question to you, why you keep your identity hide?
24th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
Thanks Anonymous, Thanks for your reply.
As per your reply, we employees are on safe side and don't have to bother about legal issues. Whereas our employer can sue Client and demand for compensation. But as I have mentioned in my original post, our Client (a German based IT company) does not have any agreement with our employer which can restrict employing each others employee. So if our employer sues client, whose side will be strong legally? and what could be approximate minimum & maximum compensation amount client have to pay to employer if client loses the case?
Please provide your valuable feedback.
25th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
There is no premise on which the employer can sue the client, since there is no contract or agreement between them not to poach. Since you state that this client gives the bulk of the billing, it is all the more likely that your company owners will go and prostrate before the client and if they consider right, may give them some compensation.

But, then European MNC's are not known to be generous like American MNC's when it comes to these kind of issues. If it was an American MNC, they would have directly spoken to the owners of your company and bought out the company and also given them jobs as Vice Presidents or General Managers. In fact when MSN bought out Hotmail, they employed Sabir Bhatia as General Manager before he quit after a few years to start his own venture again. But European companies will look at the commercial angle and since its cheaper to hire the people than acquiring a company, they will hire the people.

And since your employers will have financial constraints, they are not likely to sue anyone, because, if they do so, they will be spending whatever little they have in court cases and they are aware that the German MNC will fight it as proxy for the employees and will have deep pockets.

So be at peace and since you guys are safe and since you are getting a better deal, no law in the world can stop you. You are well protected. And there is no way your employer is going to react. They will only try to salvage the business by trying to get more clients and build the business rather than fight legal cases
25th July 2013 From Indonesia, Jakarta
Thank you very much Anonymous Sir.
Other senior members of this forum have any other views/suggestions about my queries?
Please provide more feedback or else confirm views of Anonymous sir.
27th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear Venketesh,
As Hr Managers our focus should be more on retaining employees than stopping them from joining a competitor.
Our retention strategy should include attracting talents through unique recruitment practices,motivation employees to developing competencies which are rare and inimitable,learning opportunities,developing a community feeling and making employees a strategic partner.
What do you think?
16th September 2013 From India, Mumbai

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