attrition, career growth, employee exeperience, future of work, short duration work culture, startups, work from home

Representative image.

Working 5-8 years with one employer was considered normal earlier, but with a shift in employee priorities and work culture, 15-18 months seems to have become the new long term for employees.

The phenomenon is getting fuelled not just by the ‘great resignation’ but a host of other issues as well, including opportunities, the confidence to lead a better life beyond one’s salary, the work-from-home ecosystem, and a hassle-free recruitment process that is online rather than offline.

Both employees and employers seem to have understood that workplace culture has changed. The talent crunch is real, at least for now, and changing jobs is not being seen as a taboo. Even young employees and talent managers argue that priorities have changed and that quality of work, and “enjoying the work you do” have taken precedence over  monetary gains alone. They argue that this is a new phenomenon that will pick up pace, and last for at least a decade.

“The average tenure of employees has drastically decreased from let’s say 30-36 months to 12 to 18 months,” says Pawan Alamchandani, global head, human resources, at Vinculum Group, a technology firm in the retail SaaS solution space.

“Even in our company, a new employee who has joined is staying on an average 12 to 15 months. Some argue that it is a loyalty issue, some say an ethics issue, but it’s a reality for many companies. Things have changed of late,” adds Alamchandani.

John Poulose, managing director of Eclatmax, a Mumbai-based career service and business strategy firm, agrees. Poulose says the trend of leaving early and considering 18 months as a long-term engagement is visible among employees in the 22-35 age group, who form the bulk of any sector.

“For these employees, the priorities of life have changed. When we were employees, stability, finance for family, and even the opinions of colleagues and managers used to matter most. Now, they don’t. These employees do not have the patience: while money and career are important, they are giving more focus to the quality of life,” Poulose argues.

He says they are doing “what they enjoy doing”. People are even leaving jobs without another in hand and this is being observed among workers who are highly skilled and good at data science.

“IT, tech-enabled sectors, startups and the larger BFSI space is where one is observing this. High pressure, lack of inspiration and a breakneck rat race is burning out people and pushing them to think differently. And opportunities have opened up in new sectors: people are making money from YouTube, from content generation, and even digital marketing is an emerging space,” he added.

Attrition wave

There has been a wave of voluntary attrition in India with 38 percent of employees in their current jobs for not more than two years, according to the findings of a fresh survey by global recruitment firm Michael Page.

Another 22 percent of employees said they had been working in their organisation for just three to four years. Put together (0-4 work tenure working population), the number stands at a whopping 60 percent.

Michael Page also stated that 86 percent of the respondents said they would be looking for new career prospects over the next six months, Moneycontrol reported on April 19.

Amit Khurana, managing director of Corporate Access, a human resource consulting firm, says that while change of priorities and opportunities are factors, one must not forget that the office connect is missing and for new employees, office politics, too, is working as a counter. “The perception building is happening big time, and office politics is cornering them too. In an office environment, one walks up to colleagues to sort out small niggles, but due to work from home the issues are piling up,” says Khurana, a former executive vice president (HR) at Yes Bank.

“Result: find another option and quit early. Toxic workspace and lack of parity are enablers of voluntary attrition. So, people are leaving in six months, too,” he argues.

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