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Harsh Bhatia joined Millennium Software Technologies Limited [MSTL] as Project Manager on 09th May 2011. At the time of joining, Harsh was having relevant work experience of EIGHT years. Within 18 months of joining MSTL, Harsh was promoted to the level of Project Manager. Harsh holds degree in Masters of Technology [M.Tech.] from National School of Technology. In addition to it, he is PMP and Six Sigma Black Belt Certified. By behaviour, Harsh is a person who follows processes. He doesn’t feel comfortable with uncertain situations and he avoids conflicts.

Harsh is reporting to Vivek Verma, Senior Project Manager. Vivek holds degree in Bachelor of Technology [B.Tech] from Regional School of Technology. He is PMP certified. His total work experience is 14 years and he is working with MSTL since March 2008. By behaviour, Vivek is very dominating, demanding, and direct.

Six months ago Vivek had an argument with Harsh. Vivek was unable to provide clarity on few deliverables and as a result Harsh was lagging in his project. Their fight was very loud. Since then their relationship has gone kaput.

Harsh had begun to explore other career opportunities. As a result of his consistent efforts, he managed to get a role of Project Manager in Century Software Limited [CSL]. CSL wants Harsh to join within 30 days. As per his Terms and Conditions of employment with MSTL, he must serve a notice period of 90 days or pay in lieu of unserved notice period. His open tasks in hand can be completed in 15 days. On 19th January 2015, Harsh resigned from his employment with MSTL and requested for an early release. Vivek is not willing to release him early. He wants Harsh to complete the entire notice period. Harsh approached the HR of MSTL and presented his case. HR Head is feeling helpless; he cannot relieve Harsh unless he gets clearance from his reporting Manager. HR cannot give relieving letter or any kind of letter unless an employee gets clearance from his Functional Head or Reporting Manager.

Harsh approached the Hiring Manager of CSL and requested him to extend his joining date till 20th April 2015 to join. Hiring Manager explained to him the urgency of the position and why he cannot give time till April 2015. He wants Harsh to take quick decision or else he will go ahead with other candidates. Harsh is in no mood to let this opportunity slip. Hiring Manager of CSL told Harsh to join the company without relieving letter. Harsh know that the approach suggested by the hiring manager is unethical.

Harsh went back to his reporting manager and the HR Head and pleaded them to release him early. He proposed to pay in lieu of his remaining notice period. However, his reporting manager was reluctant to release him early.

Harsh accepted the offer of CSL. He continued to request his reporting manager to release him from his responsibilities. Harsh decided to abscond from the company from 27th February onwards. He joined CSL on 2nd March 2015.

This is not a unique case. There are many people like Harsh. I have no second thoughts in condemning Harsh. His approach was unethical. What other options he had?

Notice periods are meant for handover of tasks and activities. An employee is also supposed to complete tasks in hand. Organization can ask the outgoing employee to help her in finding his replacement. In worst possible scenarios, the organization can ask for payment in lieu to notice period. Any type of power to make exceptional or discrete decision in the hands of managers often leads to wrong practices and gives the manager godly feeling, where he can make or destroy career of anyone.

Hiring managers shall give due consideration to commitment of notice period of candidates. They shall not inculcate wrong practices in order to complete their targets.

In my opinion, employees shall be released immediately or as soon as possible after they have tendered their resignation. An employee who is serving his notice period is a disengaged employee. He is likely to do more harm than gain. If he is an influential person, you will see more employees walking out with him on his last working day.

In this case, it is difficult to identify the wrong doer. I don’t know if Harsh was wrong or Vivek or HR Head of MSTL or Hiring Manager of CSL. All of them were following their own motives. What do you think? Do you think it will harm Harsh in a long run? What will happen 10 years down the line when Harsh will be applying for senior level roles such as Program Manager or CEO?

Composed By: Sanjeev Himachali

From India, Mumbai
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
Hr & Od Consultant
Talent Acquisition Expert
Psychometrics, Competency Mapping, Spss,
Korgaonkar K A
Consultant Hr

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Sanjeev,
You have quoted names of the employees and also company. Are these names real or fictitious? If latter, then I recommend you giving disclaimer to this effect immediately.
The name of the company that you have quoted exists in Chennai. If you have quoted real names of the employees or company then your post merits deletion.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
gopinath varahamurthi

Dear Friend,

Here what Shri Dinesh Divekar cited is very much agreeable and have the merit. Yet, some suggestions are herewith either it is applicable or worthy according to the truths :

1) Where the management/organisation know there is a conflict between the two employee that should have been sorted out, failure, certainly raise conflicts and the intention of moving away to another job/service for better prospects never be vitiated. In some cases even they prefer to go to the lower own in getting big shots at the later date. The failure to resolve the issue is the main cause. In the instant case it is very much glaring facts.

2) When an employee comeup with resignation and there is intention of getting relief immediately, please go through the real cause refer him for counselling, if you can adapt the person under some other head, it is the pain he/she is being suffering from the present head and nothing else take proper remedial measures to mend the issues.

3) When present head is not willing(unwilling) to give relief there should be clear reasons for such acts, if it is personal we should intervene and give the relief.

4) Please draw monitoring committee to resolve issues that is good for the organisations and the employees, also, the employer may feel good for the monitoring, never fully depend on HR, HR is a tool and every thing should not be simply thrown on him/her. Some of the seniors should interfere and mend the issues.

5) If the employee want to get relief despite of all given opportunities, then it is better to relieve him as retaining him such employee cause a bad weather in the organisation.

Best of luck ........

From India, Arcot

I believe Sanjay has posted a case study, similar to what appears in trade publications and is trying to raise a view point so he (I think) can respond to this case study with a balanced answer or provoke responses so he can poll and choose the right way to deal with a real life situation.
From India, Mumbai
korgaonkar k a

Dear Friends,
Good story written / composed by the author Sanjeev Himachali. It seems it is a case study. The same is also posted on LinkedIn by the author on 10th August.
Author could have avoided the names. Even the names are fictitious, all the names are in existence.
This case study is worth discussing by HR Fraternity.

From India, Mumbai

I checked the web and did not find any company by that name. I found some with Millennium in their name: Millennium Software Company and Millennium Information Technologies. Thus I would presume Sanjeev has made the case study up.
From United Kingdom

I believe that in line Functional Head or Reporting Manager of Sh. Vivek Verma, Senior Project Manager, utterly failed to assume his responsibilities thus failed to execute his/her duties. Further, I am forced to conclude that, HR Department of M/s Millennium Software Technologies Limited [MSTL] is nothing more than a "Rubber Stamp". There is no grievance redressal policy/ framework/ system in place. HR Department of M/s Millennium Software Technologies Limited [MSTL] has forgot its essential role as friend, philosopher and guide of organization.
I suggest to HR Department of M/s Millennium Software Technologies Limited [MSTL] to do a cultural audit in the organization, identify the issues and make themselves ready for change. Of course, start with HR Department.

From India, New Delhi
Dear Sanjeev
First of all, it is a wrong practice to quote their names.
Secondly, My answer to your question is Mr X will do well because the problem lies not in him but with the RM/HM. Mr X has become the prey.

From India, Chennai
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