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'People leave bad supervisors'
ST Team
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
P Jayaraman, Head HR, Ikanos Communications India

I am sure that managers in India will give their right hand to find the silver bullet that will improve retention in an overheated labor market. Here are a few thoughts on retaining key employees.

Quality of Work. In the ASIC design space, the first question one encounters from the candidate is—“What work I am going to do?” Being from premier technical schools, engineers don’t want jobs, that are not able to keep them intellectually and technically engaged. Ikanos India has been fortunate to have leading-edge engineering projects enabling our employees to be engaged in solid and creative engineering work.

Supervisors. People do not leave bad jobs but bad supervisors. The supervisors must take interest in their subordinates’ careers. A common complaint from employees is that “I do not know my career path”. The supervisors need to communicate with their team members on the long-term career path.

Compensation. It is important that the company places itself appropriately on the compensation spectrum. It’s not about paying top dollar in the market. Factors that should influence pay and position include—brand value, the company’s position in it’s life-cycle, organization size and affordability.
The organization, able to generate a sense of purpose and passion will always have a greater ability to retain its employees. The company should articulate its vision to its employees at every opportunity, making it a mantra.
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