Understanding attrition in analytics sector in India

If you have worked with a software team based out of India, or know someone did, you would be aware that the technology sector in India has a high rate of employee attrition or churn. This is estimated to be as high as 30 %.

As someone who changed jobs a decade ago before I turned entrepreneur I try and understand what makes young people in this decade change jobs. Here are some of the few reasons I think they go through ( I am trying to think like the employee not the company)-

  1. Bad Leadership – No it’s not money, but the lack of a good working professional relationship with your manager that makes you quit job.  You can blame the young person for jumping for a 40% hike, but the only reason people stay on is they like their boss and like working under him. More investment in leadership training (and not just games /team building junkets /offsites) can be a solution
  2. Stagnation in Learning Opportunities– Young people realize they lack experience and are willing to take a hit to learn more. Their ambition is thwarted by situations that force them to do routine jobs (without proper explanation of why it is important) and lack of credible road map to guide their career expectations, and ambitions. More investment in digital training can be a solution.
  3. Unfair working times– If working conditions demand that you ask team members to stay in office more than 9 hours you need to explain properly why they cant work from home using remote desktop and internet. Employees that help their companies live their office actually sidestep this issue quite effectively.
  4. Lack of Stock Options– Salary is paid and consumed. Stock options make people hang on. Stock options are comparitevly less in India though Infosys has been an admirable company in it. More intelligent and fair to both sides agreeement on stock can be a solution
  5. Lack of penalties for attrition on manager– Managers get by with excuses on blaming attrition on employee, industry,salary but not themself. Surprise attrition is unforgivable. Linking vraiable compensation of team lead and manager will force them to develop a working relationship with team member.  Using analytics to predict attrition and using variable incentives to reward low attrition team managers can be a solution
  6. Cynicism on company processes– The failure of HR in India to stand up and confront line managers has prevented them from acting as a safety release for pent up steam in employees. Culture eats strategy for lunch and if your best people keep leaving at 30% your strategy goes for a toss. A segmented approach at attrition can help
  7. Delinking performance with attitude issues-  A company culture that obligates employees to ask and be responsible for issues in working conditions makes their manager link attitutde and perfromance unfairly.  BetterHR metrics and buddy/mentor arrangements can be a solution. This can also be reinforced by a matrix reporting structure.

Politics is the enemy of analytics. Indian culture is political per se, so making young people more professional and responsible in long term is the job of senior management nut just middle level team leads.


Author: Ajay Ohri


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