The debate started here, with Nirav Mehta writing about two guys from his QA team disappearing without notice. And the recruiting company LioNBridge justifying it. Nirav believes this attitude reflects 'lack of ethics'
Vulturo responded with an impassioned piece on his own blog. His argument is:
Your employees are not your slaves... If you are unable to retain your employees, its your problem. Either you are lousy, or it is that they simply don’t wanna work for you. There’s no way you can force them too. Cribbing about it isn’t going to help either.
The answer to not giving a notice period, according to Vulturo, is that the employer can deduct that month's salary from the employees dues.
Vulturo reflects the attitude of most young workers today. They realise 'we are an asset' and not beholden to anyone for a job. There are plenty of opportunities out there - if I can bend the rules, I do. So what?
Such practices (encouraging the new employees to leave the company without proper notice) are bad for the industry in the long-term. says Ashish, who runs his own company - Tekriti Software. And I, on his side of the fence, would agree.
But the argument I would put forth against not giving a notice is a bit different. I would say follow the rules, out of enlightened self interest.
The world is a complex mesh of relationships. And the working world is no different. At the beginning of your career, it may not be so evident. But 10-15 years down the line you will find that it is the relationships you have built - with bosses, peers, subordinates, even suppliers - which really matter.
In the longer run, it's not just about WHAT you know but WHO you know and what they think of you. Do people trust you? Do they like you? If a background check were to be conducted, would your former employers and co workers refer to you positively?
I am not joking when I say the past comes back to haunt you. Recently, a company in the US contacted me for a reference check on someone who briefly worked with me at JAM. A decade ago. The guy had embellished his CV - claiming to have worked at JAM for 1.5 years when the actual duration was 6 months.
What's more, he did not leave on a good note. Neither did he keep in touch. I sent a one liner back, with his actual period of employment, as an answer. I don't know if my one line affected his career or not - frankly I don't care.
Similarly, I find many of the people who have worked with JAM come back requiring recommendation letters when they apply to universities abroad. Or even ISB. And I have, as a policy, decided I will give these letters only to those who I feel good about.
After all, a recommendation letter is not a right but a privilege.
What I am saying is that neither Infosys, nor Nirav's company or Ashish's or mine can stop attrition. People are free to choose employment as and where they wish. Yes, we will all work towards the three important points which Vulture mentioned:
- Brand Value
- Job Content, Ownership, Work Environment (and other unquantifiable attributes)
But a notice period is above and beyond all this.
Leaving without notice period, to my mind, reflects lack of common courtesy. And it is a behaviour that we as a company do not encourage. If you were already employed somewhere, but willing to join me tomorrow, I would look at it in an unfavourable light.
Other companies are free to have their own policies. And you are free to behave boorishly if you wish. But ten years from now, you may regret this impulsive behaviour.
"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction", as Newton once said. It may take a long time for the other party to find an opportunity to react but destiny generally provides for one.
I mean, God forbid if you harbour dreams of starting your own company... Your former boss - who you so unceremoniously walked out on - is now the CEO of a large company. Which could have been a potential client.
The guy who ended up doing all your work when you scampered off? He ended up at Wharton and is now a venture capitalist you're chasing. Without much success.
And the very notice period you once disdained, is now something you expect from those working with you. In fact, it's a cause you're passionate about :)
So, collect good karma and maintain that positive vibe. Isi mein samjhdaari hai, aur success bhi.